Cardiff Councillor Helen Lloyd Jones in her dog costume for the Cardiff Bay 10k. Credit: Guide Dogs Cymru.

The 74-year-old woman who’s running the Cardiff Bay 10k dressed in a full dog costume

Helen Lloyd Jones will wear the heavy, furry dog suit to raise funds for Guide Dogs Cymru

COUNCILLOR Helen Lloyd Jones is taking part in the Cardiff Bay 10k dressed in a dog costume to raise money for Guide Dogs Cymru.

It’s heavy, cumbersome and guaranteed to slow her down – but the 74-year-old is determined to complete the job.

“This is the first time I will be running in a costume. I have practised running in the suit and it is really weird. I’ve adopted an odd shuffle,” said Coun Jones, who ran her first marathon at the age of 71.

“I have been walking around Radyr woods in my costume to practise. Runners were going past and saying good morning. Nobody was fazed.”

Guide Dogs Cymru is the Lord Mayor Graham Hinchey’s chosen charity and it was his suggestion for Coun Jones to dress up as a dog. She has already raised nearly £300.

“Guide Dogs Cymru is a great charity because having a dog is life-changing for so many people. I normally run with my dog Honey but she often gives up halfway through,” she added.

“There is a huge need for guide dogs, who really do change lives and bring a smile to everyone’s face. I hope I might encourage other people to have a go and not feel they are too old or too slow.”

The councillor for Radyr and Morganstown is a keen runner – her first, aged 71, was in New York.

The former teacher only started running in her 50s after helping a pupil finish a race on sports day.

“I realised how much I’d let my fitness go. It was a wake-up call. You can do it no matter how old you are. There’s no barrier,” said Coun Jones.

“I have given up all ambition to complete the 10k in a half respectable time. I have just accepted it but at least I’m doing it for a good cause.”

Councillor Helen Lloyd Jones in her outfit ready for the Cardiff Bay 10k. Credit: Guide Dogs Cymru.

For Guide Dogs UK to deliver all of its services, the charity needs £81.6 million a year. It costs £34,600 to breed and train a single guide dog.

The charity is grateful for any donations and fundraising events.

“Tackling a 10k is daunting enough, but running dressed as a dog will be a real test of fitness and character,” said Ruth Evans, community fundraising manager for Guide Dogs Cymru.

“It’s wonderful that so many of Cardiff’s councillors have chosen to support us through the Lord Mayor’s fund. We’ll be cheering Helen over the finish line.”

The Cardiff Bay 10k will take place at 11am on Sunday, March 26, at Roald Dahl Plass.

To donate to the Lord Mayor’s fundraiser, click here.