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Brave teenager inspires gruelling challenge

July 20th, 2018
Brave Joshua with Mrs Emma Arrand and Mr Rob Picken.

An English teacher will be pushing herself to the limit next month to support a brave teenager.

Mrs Emma Arrand has been inspired by pupil, Joshua, to tackle the gruelling 100km Wye Valley Challenge in just 24 hours, starting on Saturday 11th August.

Joshua, a 15-year-old pupil at Monmouth School for Boys, was born with a heart condition and wants to boost the profile of the Welsh Hearts charity.

Mrs Arrand will be raising money for Welsh Hearts and Cancer Research in her first ultra-marathon which begins in Chepstow and finishes in Hereford.

The 100km challenge is broken down into four stages of between 20km to 30km each.

Mrs Arrand, who teaches at Monmouth School for Boys, said: “I get to see how a boy like Joshua can do so much at school despite everything else he has to deal with and it’s something I really want to show my support for.

“I have done other running challenges but this will be my first endurance challenge.

“The training has been going well and, hopefully, I will be able to complete the challenge in 24 hours and raise lots of money for charity.”

The full Wye Valley Challenge starts in Chepstow and includes a twisting riverside path which passes Tintern Abbey en route to Ross-on-Wye.

Runners will climb Capler Hill to the Iron Age fort and traverse above the river before eventually arriving at Hereford Cathedral.

Mrs Arrand added: “I have managed to coerce at least one other member of the English department, Mr Rob Picken, in joining me along the way in some form.”

Welsh Hearts is a leading heart charity in Wales for placing defibrillators in communities and delivering CPR and defibrillator training in Wales.

According to figures, cardiovascular disease accounts for a third of all deaths in Wales, where the death rate is higher than in the majority of countries in Western Europe.

Joshua, who lives in Llanover, said: “Welsh Hearts is a fantastic charity because it gets the message across that even if you have a diagnosed or undiagnosed heart condition then you can carry on with your life.

“I was born with several heart conditions which I manage on a daily basis and it doesn’t hold me back when I come to school each day.

“I have just started to play golf and I am very interested in drama. I want to be a forensic scientist when I am older and go to university to study forensic psychology.”

Joshua added: “I feel very strongly that we should support Welsh Hearts and raise the profile of the fantastic work which the charity does.

“We need more defibrillators in Wales and I am honoured that Mrs Arrand and Mr Picken will be running in August to support me and the charity.”

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