For county woman Rachel Jones the Lloyds Bank Cardiff Half Marathon is more than just a race, it’s the culmination of an inspirational year.
Rachel was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 14 but was determined not to let it slow down her active lifestyle.
And that is an attitude the 22-year-old of Northampton has carried all the way into adult life, climbing Kilimanjaro earlier in the year and gearing up to tackle 13.1 miles in Cardiff.
Her Kilimanjaro climb was with the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and 19 other diabetes sufferers and she is planning on raising money for them at this year’s half marathon on Sunday, October 5.
However, while the chance to raise money and maintain an active lifestyle is part of Jones’ motivation, they do not tell the whole story.
Rachel is hoping her efforts can show others who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that they can still do the things they dream of.
She said: “I climbed Kilimanjaro which was a massive high for me but then I got back and it was a massive low.
“I started thinking about what I wanted to do next and that was a marathon but with my diabetes I wanted to break that down a bit.
“I was diagnosed in September 2006 and, while there is never a good time to be diagnosed, at 14 it was particularly difficult.
“I swam a lot and played hockey so I was really worried at first about how it would affect those things.
“But I made sure I never stopped doing sports but I’ve never done anything like a half marathon so it’s a new challenge to take on.”
Lloyds Bank is in its fifth year as title sponsor of the Cardiff Half Marathon which, along with other community programmes, helps bring to life the bank’s continuing commitment to Helping Britain Prosper.
Well over 19,000 people regularly take part in the 10K and half marathon road races in Cardiff and for Rachel it is the perfect chance to show what is possible.
She said: “I think it shows that having diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing things like this.
“I really want to be able to show that to people and for others who might be diagnosed and not know what to expect then hopefully they can see that they can still be active.
“But also for parents because I think when I was diagnosed my mum was more devastated than I was.
“She thought I would have limitations on what I could do so I want this to show people you can do crazy things.”
Lloyds Bank is proud to continue its support of the Lloyds Bank Cardiff Half Marathon – Wales’ largest mass participation event.