Dan’s marathon effort to land spot in famous London race

Newton poppleford resident, Danielle Howlett, will be running this year's London Marathon. Ref shs 7

Newton poppleford resident, Danielle Howlett, will be running this year's London Marathon. Ref shs 7475-07-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A youth worker from Newton Poppleford will finally have the chance to take part in one of the world’s most iconic races – after five years of trying to secure a place.

Danielle Howlett, known as Dan, will lace up her running shoes to join nearly 40,000 other competitors in the 26-mile London Marathon in April.

The 44-year-old, who spent seven years working at Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary’s youth centres, will be taking on the challenge to raise money for the NSPCC.

The mum-of-two had applied for a spot for five consecutive years, but each attempt proved unsuccessful.

Millmoor Lane resident Dan then applied to run on behalf of the child protection charity – and finally received the news she was hoping for.

She said: “Every year I went on [to the marathon website] at 6am in the morning when the ballot entry opens in April.

“Then you have to wait until October to find out if you got in, so it was always disappointing to have to wait that long then find out you didn’t get a place.

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“I’ve worked with children and young people for 11 years, so the NSPCC is a perfect charity for me. I’m intending to do it once in London and then will never have to do it again!”

To build up for the race on April 26, Dan said her training runs have gradually increased in length.

She will be taking on the 20-mile Grizzly run next month, which starts and ends in Seaton.

She has already raised more than £1,000 for the NSPCC through events including a pamper night, which raised £200, and a fun swim at Sidmouth’s pool.

Dan is aiming to collect £2,000 for her chosen charity.

To help her reach her target, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanielleHowlett.

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