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Alfie's Angels raise funds for lifesaving helicopter missions

Alfie’s Angels are back, and this year 100 volunteers will run the Cardiff half marathon, trained by the rugby legend.

A group of women from University of Wales Trinity Saint David are taking on the fitness challenge in aid of Wales Air Ambulance, a charity that is close to the team’s heart.

The five women from the South West Wales University decided to join Alfie’s Angels in aid of Wales Air Ambulance, after the charity came to the aid of a team member’s partner.

Louise Harris, Melanie Lawlor-Fellowes, Marlene Tobias, Mel Thomas and Helen Thomas make up ‘Marlene’s Marvels’ – five of the 100 women being trained by the Wales rugby legend.

Marlene’s Marvels decided to run the famous half marathon in aid of WAA, after team member Mel Thomas’ partner was involved in a car accident earlier this year.

In February, Alistair Gibbins suffered severe head injuries after being involved in a road traffic collision, and was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales by Wales Air Ambulance.

The group decided to raise funds for the helicopter charity, and to take part in the Alfie’s Angels challenge in aid of WAA, after seeing it advertised locally.


Louise Harris, UWTSD, said: “One of us saw an advert in the local paper.

“We were all in the same position, as we always wanted to do this sort of challenge, but had never done anything about it.

“It has been quite an adventure since June – we have attended two training sessions with Alfie. We have also been out training as a group, and have been training on our own.

“There is no doubt that Wales Air Ambulance saved Alistair’s life that day, as the crew had to work on him at the side of the road.

“We feel that WAA is a fantastic service, and we are very fortunate to have it.

“It is an absolute necessity for those of us living in rural areas, where hospitals are over 30 miles away.”


The BBC Programme, Gareth Thomas: Run for your Life, follows the progress of the 100 Angels in training, shadowing them from their first running session to completing the race around the capital.

Each of the 100 women taking part vary in levels of fitness, but Gareth will be mentoring them through their training, and facing the challenges alongside them.

Louise said: “Although hard at time, the journey so far has been brilliant. And I think it will be one of the best achievements of our lives to date, when we cross over the finish line on the October 2.”

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