Two best friends from Ledbury in Herefordshire, who joined a ‘Couch to 5K’ running programme in 2017, took on the ultimate challenge at the weekend by running the London Marathon in support of international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary.

Denise Wright, an NHS physiotherapist, and GP receptionist Lyn Lott, were among thousands of others who took to the streets of the capital on Sunday, crossing the finish line on The Mall, 26.2 miles later, in five hours and 35 minutes.

The pair, who are both 57, had spent months training for the event, which had been re-scheduled due to the pandemic, and raised £2,381 for The Donkey Sanctuary’s work to reach donkeys and mules in need.

Lyn said: “We had a great day with lots of family supporting us and are so pleased we managed to exceed our fundraising target.”

The inspiration for the friends to run for donkeys came from Lyn’s mother-in-law, Milly, who sadly passed away a few years ago. Milly had owned a small farm in Monmarsh, Herefordshire where she kept countless rescued animals, including four beloved donkeys.

“She was so kind,” Lyn recalled, “Her devotion to animals was a true inspiration.”

Three of Milly’s donkeys were former beach donkeys. She gave them a loving retirement home and took care of them every day. They shared her home with a menagerie of other rescued animals, including goats, sheep, greyhounds, pigs, chickens and geese.

Lyn added: “We had started running initially just to see if we could do it, four years later we’re so proud to have completed the London Marathon for The Donkey Sanctuary. It’s our way of doing something positive for the donkeys, and in memory of Milly.”

Rose Huxham, Community Fundraising Officer at The Donkey Sanctuary, added: “We’re extremely grateful that Lyn and Denise chose to go the extra 26 miles for donkeys by running the London Marathon. It’s an amazing achievement and we are so proud of them.”

*Image shown is from 2018 London Marathon


For interviews, images and information please contact The Donkey Sanctuary press office on 01395 573124 or 07970 927778 (including out of hours) or send an email.

Notes to Editors

The Donkey Sanctuary is the world's largest equine welfare charity. Our vision is a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. We run 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules. Our hospital treats sick donkeys and trains vets both nationwide and worldwide. Our donkey-facilitated learning programme helps vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation, and those used in the production of meat and skin.

Please note that the name ‘The Donkey Sanctuary’ should not be abbreviated to ‘Donkey Sanctuary’, and the word ‘The’ should always appear with a capital ‘T’ as above.