Zoe Daniels, the International Rescue Committee’s Roving Country Director, will take part in this year’s Virgin London Marathon to raise funds for our work supporting refugees and displaced people. With 100,000 runners expected to participate, Zoe’s inspirational efforts will be followed closely by her friends, family and IRC work colleagues.
We spoke to Zoe recently about her preparation & excitement for the upcoming marathon:
Is this your first long distance run?
I ran the New York marathon in November 2011 which was my first race at this distance. Previously I have completed a couple of half marathons but there is a big difference between 13.1 and 26.2 miles. The New York marathon was also for the IRC and I raised just over £2300 which was used to support the IRC's lifesaving programmes that assist families displaced by conflict or natural disaster. The IRC uses these funds to give refugees access to clean water and sanitation, essential health services and education, as well as for projects that aim to protect and empower women and girls.
How’s the training going?
Training is really tough here in Kinshasa. It is often 36 degrees Celsius and very humid, so to do a long run takes a lot of motivation. Also, due to security reasons, I can only run in a small area by the River Congo which is a loop of 1.6 miles so it can be difficult to keep focused. One of the things I usually enjoy about running is the feeling of ‘going somewhere’; unfortunately I don’t get that while training on this short loop.
Why did you choose to run on behalf of the IRC?
I have worked for the IRC for nearly five years and know and admire the work we do in over 40 countries around the world. I travel to many of our country programmes and am always impressed by the work our dedicated staff and partners do; from providing emergency medical care to save lives, to supporting strategies to reduce domestic violence.
What’s your role at the IRC?
My title is Roving Country Director and I go on short-term missions to provide support and leadership to various IRC country programmes. This is often during a time of transition or if a new senior staff member requires some orientation. It involves a lot of travel and a lot of flexibility – have suitcase, will travel!
What’s your fundraising target?
Although my fundraising target is £3000 I am obviously hoping to raise much more than that to help support the great work that the IRC does.
How can people help you reach your fundraising target?
I have set up a website where people can make donations. They can also contact IRC directly on +44 (0)20 7692 0405 to make donations via telephone.
When’s the run taking place?
The Virgin London Marathon is on 21st April so come out and cheer me on.
Are you looking forward to the run?
I am sure I will enjoy the run immensely in retrospect. At the moment there is some trepidation and nervousness – but in a good way!
If you’re a Roving Runner & have been inspired by Zoe’s story, it’s not too late to get involved in a run this year! With the online ballot for this year’s Virgin London Marathon now closed, IRC has places available in the BUPA 10,000 for those wanting to run & fundraise for us.