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Dan’s incredible challenge gets people talking



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November Challenge: With friends Matthew Evan and Jason Jones

CAREW’s Dan Mumford set himself a challenge at the start of 2015: to run 2015 miles in the year.

At nearly 39 miles a week or an average of 5.5 miles a day, it was going to be a serious test, but Dan had a great inspiration for trying to achieve this incredible feat, raising money for a cause close to his heart. Dan was raising money for Mind Pembrokeshire after suffering with depression for a number of years. He has found running to be of great assistance in helping him to regain control in his life, but he also wanted to do something that he felt could help others in the same situation: “Something had to be done to get people talking, to help others like me who couldn’t talk about it, to make people aware that they do not need to settle for poor mental health, to show people that they can achieve great things and to raise awareness of the help that is out there.”

A target was set to raise £1200 for Mind Pembrokeshire to help train a member of staff to become a Mindfulness Practitioner, at the end of the challenge just over £3000 and counting has been raised which will pay for all the staff to receive the training, which will benefit everyone who attends in the future. Dan is very open about his own battle with depression, saying: “It all began years back when I slipped deeper and deeper into depression. “Despite being a Gym Instructor and also a PTI in the Territorial Army, I stopped exercising. I struggled to socialise, my weight increased and my marriage was struggling under the pressure. “The emptiness of the depression left me feeling nothing, well apart from the worthlessness that I felt. I was suffering but felt too ashamed to discuss it, I felt that no one would understand and it got worse. “I started on medication, which numbed me further, I struggled with Neuralgia and other conditions which made the problem worse. I ended up on the sick for months.”

But then the breakthrough came when a good friend suggested he should go out running with him: “I hadn’t run for years, but I always loved running. Running used to make me feel relaxed and the benefits of running were almost instant. I could feel something, even if that something was pain and discomfort. “I kept going, with a fair bit of help and persuasion from my wife and a good friend. Slowly, things just seemed to get a bit easier. I returned to work, lost weight and the pain started to drop off.

“That was three and a half years ago and here I am recapping my 2015 challenge.” But how did Dan go from running to ease his depression, to raising thousands of pounds and completing a remarkable challenge? “I contacted my local Mental Health Charity, Mind Pembrokeshire. We discussed my challenge and what I aimed to do. The funds raised would go to pay for the whole team to be trained as ‘Mindfulness Practitioners’. “Mumford & Runs was born, I laced up my trainers and off I went. I signed up to a few races including the Born to Run 40 mile Ultra.”

“I had to run long in training. Running 30 milers on your own is tough, so I organised a tag-a-long run. We would run from Tenby to Mind Pembrokeshire in Haverfordwest and people could join in where they wanted. Around 30 people joined me that day, most of them had a story to tell, and they felt safe to talk with me, as I was so open with them. The miles flew by and we soon arrived at Mind to a warm welcome and cake!” When the day arrived for the 40-mile Ultra, Dan was inundated with messages of support on social media and through his dedicated page ‘Mumford and Runs’.

He flew through the marathon point with a personal best time, and he kept on going well, finishing in 4th with a time of 5hours 28mins, which set the tone for the year to come. Dan entered numerous races over the course of the year, including the Manchester Marathon, Swansea Half, Tenby10k, Wales Marathon, Ealing Half & Cardiff Half. He worked extremely hard to get ready for every race, and wanted to go faster every time, which he achieved. Although he ran in all these high profile events, Dan’s favourite event was one that was dubbed ‘Mumford’s Mile’ and was ran alongside The Autism Centre at Pembroke School: “We arranged a sponsored 1 mile run, as running helps to calm and keep the youngsters active. We set off on the route, some running, some walking, but everyone had a smile on their face, and this is what it is all about!”

Continuing with the community events, Dan helped set up the Carew Running Club which aimed to get people of the community get out running and the club has helped numerous people to achieve their own personal goals, with many people who have never ran before having taken part in 10k and half marathon events in the last year. However a year of non-stop running, as you may expect didn’t always go according to plan. The challenge had it’s pressures and this pressure at times affected his mental health, as he struggled to fit in his weekly miles and missed out on time with the family.

“Racing took it out of me and left me unable to run for days. I suffered a couple of injuries and illness too. The challenge was almost out of reach at the end of October, meaning I’d have to run 9 miles a day every day until New Year’s Eve. I had to do something and this is when I decided to do the November Challenge. “This was to run an extra mile every day in November. If I completed this it would bring me right back on track, but it would be tough. There was no guarantee I could finish it and I didn’t! “On day 23 the weather was awful, I ran in the morning outside covering about 12 miles of the 23 I had to cover that day before heading to the gym to finish off the remaining 11 miles on the Treadmill. I was feeling good until the arch on my right foot started playing up. I thought it was going to tear. I dropped the pace and nursed it to the end.

“On day 24 I got up out of bed, my foot throbbing from the 140 miles I had ran in the last 7 days, double what I’d ever done before. I couldn’t risk carrying on, and with my 2015- mile challenge under threat. I pulled out.” He did however recover in time to complete his challenge, with his children joining him on their bikes to help him get through the final miles; his daughter even dragged him out on Christmas day! “Boxing Day I went out on my tod and quietly crossed the finish line of my personal challenge. It was meant to be the following day at Carew Fun Run but I thought to myself, this is about “Doing more, talking more and Going the extra mile.” So that is what Dan did.

Over 130 people gathered at the Carew Sports Club for the Annual Charity Fun Run to support Dan and run the extra mile together. So Dan completed his remarkable challenge with 5 days to spare, and in the end ended up running 2020 miles in the year, but he couldn’t have done it without some key people and organisations: “It has been a journey that has created a bit of a buzz, started some conversations, raised awareness of our great local charity and raised a good sum of money too. I owe great thanks to everyone who has supported me all year long, especially those who fundraised under Team Mumford & Runs, WP Lewis and Son who sponsored my travel, Feel Good Inc. for collecting and doing the ‘Bungee off the Bridge’, Tees R Us for kit, Carew Club for all of the fundraising and Pembrokeshire Leisure for collecting and donating prizes.

“The biggest thanks has to go to my wife and children who continue to support me every day and put up with my coping mechanisms.” If you would like to donate to Dan’s cause you can online at For more information on Mind Pembrokeshire you can go to . You can also follow Dan’s new blog at www.mindrunner. or on Facebook or Twitter at either ‘Mumford and Runs’ or ‘Mindrunner’.

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements



PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident



POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin



POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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