This week Bill Carne nipped across to Milford Haven to chat to Sanna Duthie, who is showing how a young lady can take up a tough sport and do well, thanks to her dedication, hard work and a sense of fun . . .

SANNA Duthie would readily admit that she is a young lady who hails from Milford Haven and who has never been active in team sports but enjoyed keeping fit in the gym - and has taken up running and endurance challenges with such relish she has now completed marathons in a personal best time of around 3 hours 10 minutes.

Not content with that feat, Sanna has also taken part in events like the 'Preseli Beast' challenge, appeared on television in the 'Ninja Warrior' programme and has recently taken up long-boat rowing at Milford Haven Yacht Club - but more of these challenging events later!

Sanna's first attempt at running with other people came when she decided to raise funds for Cancer Research at the 'Race for Life' in Haverfordwest with mum Suzanne Pritchard going along for moral support. Sanna raised £500 and her running career was up and running!

“Since then my running and racing is only made possible because of the support I receive from my mum, dad, partner and his parents. Without them I could not even get to the races.

My mum and my colleagues at BDS are my biggest fans, although I'm sure I must bore them sometimes with all my running stats. They have even nicknamed me ‘The Crazy Running Lady’ which I’m not sure is a compliment or not!”

"There were loads of people at the ‘Race for Life’ event,, which made me a little nervous," admitted Sanna, "but once I got started I enjoyed the 5K run and was pleased with third place - and even more delighted to hand over £500 for my charity, thanks to great support from family and friends.

"From there I did a few local 10K runs and obstacle races like 'survival of the Fittest' and 'Man-up in the Mud' and started widening my scope to full marathons.

Then came the decision to try to run the London Marathon and Sanna's sister Saska worked for the Royal Voluntary Services and they accepted Sanna's offer to volunteer for them as an entrant in the world-famous race - and before she knew it the time had come for her to set off for London with her partner Andrew Davies as her principal supporter.

"We stayed with my auntie, Debbie Saunders and her daughter Kayleigh so I had three people cheering me on in such a huge crowd.

"I completed the course in four hours, a little slower than I had hoped, because it was like being caught up in a human log jam for a few miles, weaving in and out of people - but the atmosphere was amazing and will never forget the cheering - and the chance to see for the first time landmarks like the 'Cutty Sark' , Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

"I was proud to finish but even more proud when I eventually handed over £2,000 to RVS," said Sanna with a chuckle!

This year has seen Sanna be even busier because in February she took part in the St Davids Coastal Marathon which started at Celtic Camping, went through Porthgain, Whitesands, St Justinian’s and then ended up at St Davids Rugby Club.

"It was a very hilly course and so I was pleased with my time of 4 hours 25 minutes, which earned me third place in the women's section.

Then in March, Sanna took on the Llanelli 20-mile run which started and finished at the Leisure Centre after two laps over a flat course and was second female in a time of 2 hours 30 minutes - and was back in Llanelli the next month for the Llanelli Welsh Marathon, which took place along the waterfront and closed roads. She was aiming for a time of 3 hours and 30 minutes but cut 20 minutes off that estimate to come first!

As races came thick and fast in May, Sanna took on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Marathon, starting and finishing in Little Haven whilst taking in St Brides and the Dale Peninsula so the course was very hilly - but again she ran well and claimed first home of the women taking part.

As if that wasn't enough, Sanna then took part in the 'Preseli Beast’, which goes from Maenclochog, Rosebush Quarry, through the hills to Carn Ingli and then down to Newport.

"I had taken part the year before but after six miles I fell and hurt my leg. It really was painful but a struggled on for another six miles before I had to stop running. My grandparents, Olive Pritchard and Nigel Narbett, were on the course to cheer me on and by then I was so slow I told them to go home because I thought it would be a long time before I had finished!"

"So I had to go back and I was really pleased to complete the 24-mile course, which is incredibly hilly and the hardest run I have ever taken on - in a time of 4 hours 29 minutes, which earned me third place in the female section.

Outside of her running, Sanna applied to take part in the 'Ninja Warrior' series on TV after she had been the link by Andrew's sister - and after filling in the form she found herself in Manchester for the crazy obstacle race based on Japanese 'Torture' television.

"I managed the first giant obstacle," said Sanna, "but fell into the water on the very slippery second one - but I met some lovely people and it was certainly a day to remember!"

In January, Sanna spotted an advert for an Open Day for prospective rowers at Milford Haven Rowing Club and after chatting to her father, Stephen Duthie, about it went along and after receiving the warmest of welcomes decided to take part in another tough sport.

"At first I was nervous in rough seas but I am beginning to cope with that, plus the blisters on hands, toes and backside. My friends there tell me I am starting to acquire 'man hands', I have bought brilliant 'blister socks' and am looking into ways of solving my other problem!"

Sanna has already been part of a rowing crew at Aberdovey and Aberaeron and is looking forward to improving her rowing skills with the same determination that she has shown in her running.

Back on the running front, Sanna’s next run is the Tenby Marathon on the 5th of July, which is part of the Long Course Weekend, and she is hoping to run her first ultra-race (which takes place over 50 miles) in October if all goes to plan.

She is already training hard and we wish Sanna Duthie continued success because she competes for fun and is an example to other young ladies with regard to just getting stuck in to a sport, rather than just being a couch potato!