Penarth woman's Grand Canyon trek for Marie Curie
4:50pm Monday 15th October 2012 in News
TRAINING hard to tackle the hostile environment of America's Grand Canyon, Michelle Spencer has already topped her £3,100 fundraising target for the Marie Curie Hospice in Penarth!
Legal executive Michelle, 29, has been fitting in climbs in the Brecon Beacons and strenuous gym sessions with her busy workload at Martyn Prowel Solicitors in Cardiff. She has already secured pledges of £3,400 for the trek, which takes place this week.
She decided to help raise funds for the Holme Tower hospice after staff there cared for her grandfather, and will be doing the trek partly in his memory.
And it will be quite a challenge in the desert environment at the bottom of the canyon - up to a mile deep and 277 miles long - with its inhabitants including rattlesnakes, black widow spiders and tarantulas! Heat exhaustion is another of the hazards.
"It will be very hot, but I think I will be fit enough and I'm a very determined person anyway," said Michelle, who had 60 per cent of the cartilage removed from her left knee during surgery two years ago.
She will be part of a group trekking in the canyon for up to eight hours - or 15 miles - a day, accompanied by a native American guide. One of the biggest challenges will be the descent of Mooney Falls, a steep trail with tunnels and ladders.
Michelle, who lives in Penarth and has been spurred on in her training by colleague Aled Watkins, added: "We have been so busy at work at the moment that it's hard fitting in three or four gym sessions a week, and weekend treks in the Beacons, but I've had a lot of morale-boosting support from friends and colleagues."