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Meet our marvellous marathon runners Daniella and Zoe

Earlier this year, #TeamNAWT was officially assembled when Daniella and Zoe were chosen to be our London Marathon runners.

In October 2021, they will take on the epic challenge of running 26 miles. They have been training hard whilst also fundraising for NAWT, aiming to raise £3,000 between them before the big run.

We caught up with the girls recently to find out what motivates them to run, as well as how they are getting on with raising money and getting themselves ready to go conquer all those miles!

What made you want to run a marathon in the first place?


“I had always wanted to run a marathon as a child after going to watch mine and Daniella’s dads complete the London marathon back in 2001, I just saw it as such a huge achievement and was so proud of both our dads for doing it. It had always been on my bucket list! Sadly, earlier this year my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, which was the push I felt I needed to sign up and get it done this year in particular, I want him to see me do it! It’s also exactly 20 years on since our dads ran their first marathon in London, so it will be amazing for both our dads to see us cross the finish line together as they did 20 years earlier!”


“With an interest in all-things health and fitness, I have always considered running as a great way of keeping fit. However, it was only once Zoe had told me that she wanted to run the marathon that I truly considered it. To know that we’ll be running 20 years on since our dad’s ran their first marathon is so special to us, so it was a no brainer – plus, I love a challenge!”

What previous experiences do you have of running, and has it always been a hobby of yours?


“I first started running in October 2019 by taking part in a local couch to 5k group. I had been out for short runs before this but could never cover any real distance as I didn’t understand about pacing myself, and I had always hated it when I did go out! After completing the couch to 5k I really got the running bug and have been a regular jogger ever since. Particularly in the midst of the pandemic last year, when we were really limited about what we could do, I found it a massive help mentally and something I could look forward to each day”.


“My love for running rekindled over lockdown (partly to keep positive and to get out of the house!), but only now can I say that I’ve experienced runner’s high. Like Zoe says, the long runs can be daunting, but 10 times more rewarding!”

Thank you again for choosing NAWT as your charity for the London marathon! What are the reasons you decided to choose to run for us?


“We chose to run for NAWT because not only is it a local charity, it is very close to both our hearts. We are both keen animal lovers and pet owners, we really want to help raise as much as we can for a charity that does so much for the animals that aren’t fortunate enough to have owners that can look after them. The more we can raise for the charity the more animals lives they can improve at the centre and also hopefully get them put back into loving homes!”


“We always wanted to support a local charity, and NAWT naturally fit the bill – particularly as Zoe and I are huge animal lovers! Visiting the Watford site for ourselves highlighted the incredible work the trust does to care for, support, and rehome animals. Having rehomed rescue dogs with my family in the past, and now as a mum to a (very spoilt!) Dachshund, it’s very much a charity that’s close to our hearts”.

How are you getting on with your training so far?


“So far I am up to the half marathon point, so still a way to go! I look forward to most of my training sessions as I find them a good time to relax and get into a good head space, although the long runs can be daunting some Saturday mornings! However, a lot of the time the runs I dread the most end up being the ones I enjoy the most at the end. I’ve found running with other people as much as possible also helps!”


“I’m almost at the halfway mark which is a huge milestone for me! I’ve learned that long distance running is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I try not to think too hard about the 26mile run…”

What are your plans for fundraising for NAWT?


“So far both me and Daniella have set up fundraising pages on Just Giving. We are also planning on holding a summer dog walk in August to not only get people out with their pets, but also to try and get some extra money by people attending the event. We’ll be selling homemade dog treats and little bits there to try and fundraise some extra money.”


“I’m going to be hosting a bring-your-dog-along Pilates class (I’ve just qualified as a classical mat instructor), which should be fun! We’d love for anyone to join and/or donate!”

You can support Zoe and Daniella and help them raise money for NAWT by donating to their JustGiving pages below, please sponsor them if you are able to. We are excited to cheer them over the finish line, good luck girls!

Daniella’s JustGiving page – Donate Now                                               Zoe’s JustGiving page – Donate Now

The girls are also hosting a fundraising day on Sunday 15th August. This will involve a 2.6 mile morning dog walk in Cassiobury Park, followed by a BBQ and live music at The Black Boy pub in Bricket Wood. Anyone is welcome to join – they would love to see you there! Full details can be found on their Facebook event


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