Published: 20 March 2024

A north Wales couple put on their running shoes to complete Chester 10k in aid of Wales Air Ambulance.

Sophie and James Ash, both aged 30, smashed their £300 fundraising target by raising a wonderful £618 for the all-Wales Charity.

Chester 10k was the couples’ first road 10k, however the ‘very competitive’ duo have previously taken part in obstacle cross country races together.

The husband and wife, from Llyn Brenig, were joined by their three rescue collies whilst training for the 10k; Sophie describes the dogs as ‘being insanely fit’ following the training.

Reflecting on the successful event, Sophie added: “The road running was definitely more challenging due to the continuous running, but it was great to see the turnout of support in Chester as that was a real boost as we ran round. We did end up with a new personal best (PB). We would definitely do another 10k and we’re already thinking about a half marathon next year.”

The charity, which is funded by the people of Wales, relies entirely on charitable donations to raise £11.2 million every year to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road across Wales.

Wales Air Ambulance has attended over 48,000 missions and is on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

One of the reasons the couple chose to fundraise for the Wales Air Ambulance was because of Sophie’s job as a Deputy Site Manager for Gwynt Y Mor Windfarm off the North Wales coast. She said: “I am aware that the Wales Air Ambulance would be one of the few organisations able to help us when working,  if required, and in addition I also know the perils of working daily in a remote location.

“From a personal perspective James and I's hobbies include horse riding and mountain biking, which are not without there dangers when riding out in the Welsh countryside remotely. Therefore, we know how lucky we are to have an air ambulance should the unthinkable happen, so we wanted to give back to a charity that works so tirelessly in our area.”

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery. 

It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.

Alwyn Jones, Wales Air Ambulance’s Community Fundraiser said: “A huge thank you to James and Sophie on taking part in the Chester 10k for our cause. They have raised a fantastic amount for the Wales Air Ambulance. It is great to hear that following their 10k they are now considering taking part in a marathon.  Fundraisers like theirs, will help us to be there for the people of Wales when they need us most. Also thank you to everyone who has donated to the cause, you have all played a part in helping us to continue serving the people of Wales and saving lives. Diolch yn fawr pawb.

There’s still time to show your support to James and Sophie by donating through their JustGiving page here.