JDRF Cardiff Walk For The Cure 2013

This Sunday morning on a blustery autumn day, saw the last of the JDRF UK Walk for the Cure events in Cardiff for this year. Bute park in the heart of Cardiff was the location where skeletons, vampires and witches gathered in the best halloween outfits I've seen for a long time. I was there in my witches hat to enjoy the event and start the walk.

The aim of the Walk for the Cure events has been to raise funds towards research into juvenile diabetes and eventually the cure. But one of the many benefits of this event was that over 200 people came together on a Sunday morning, to share experiences, meet each other and make friends. As well as walk together down the path for a cure. 

Upon arrival we all checked in with the fantastic volunteers in the walker's village and then filled out our 'cause cards'. As I mentioned in the 'JDRF UK Walk Warm-up blog' every person walking had the opportunity to put the reason that they were walking onto a card. That they then proudly pinned onto their chest during the walk. As well as being a great talking point when meeting new people. I found it quite an emotional experience looking around during the walk and seeing all the hopes that mums, dads, children, siblings and grand parents had written on their card for their loved one with diabetes. A common theme was 'We need a cure for...'.

I think these words speak volumes about how parents must feel with the shock of having a child diagnosed with the condition of diabetes. Not knowing what the future might hold, but hoping that it holds a cure. Or at the very least some research that can make living with diabetes that little bit easier. It was really heart warming to see all of the families that were there at the walk. With brothers and sisters all going along to support their sibling. One lady even had a fantastic jumper on saying 'proud Mum of a Type 1 diabetic' which I think spoke volumes about how people felt about the cause. 

I went along with my partner, my sister and my dad who all had their cards on too. And were also there to support me for the motivational talk I did, before the race began. The speeches began with introductions to the event with the fantastic organisers Danielle and Paul. Who have worked tirelessly in the last few months bringing everyone together for the walk, and collecting their sponsorship money. My speech was what I hope was motivational but insightful as to why I was there and why an event like this was so important. It was lovely being back in Bute park to do the walk because the location holds a special place in my heart.

Eighteen months ago the park was where I carried the Olympic Flame and for that event the sponsors Coca Cola encouraged us to think of a slogan. They then made the chosen slogan into banner's for us and put it on the drums that people beat for the event. The support slogan that I chose was ' Raise the Torch for Diabetes and Sport'. Which to me meant breaking down the barriers that people with diabetes might face around doing physical activity and come and get involved in it. So it seemed appropriate that I should be back in the same place over a year on, encouraging others to get involved in sport, volunteering about to walk for diabetes. After my speech the personal trainer's went on stage to do a physical warm-up for everyone walking. Which was needed on such a fresh day. Then myself and organiser Danielle began the count down and I let the hooter sound to start the race!

We all set off on our route around the park with 3km and 5km options available that took us on the path around the route, past the river Taff up to Blackweir bridge and looped back around towards Cardiff castle and the city centre. The weather managed to hold off right up until the finish line where we were able to collect our finisher's medals. Everyone made their way back to the walker's village, where it was announced that already £10,000 had been raised! And some donations were yet to come in! The money will go a long way towards research into Type 1 diabetes, but beyond that new friendships were formed and memories created. One particular memory that I won't forget was a vampire that came up to Paul before the walk, to tell him he'd read an inspirational story about him over coming his diabetes and had to come and get involved.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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