East-London-based Esther Manito runs to gigs to train for London Marathon in support of charity


East-London-based Comedian Esther Manito has been running to gigs to train for the London Marathon in support of World Animal Protection.
It’s the first marathon Esther’s ever ran. She’s training whilst on-tour with her latest ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ show – a provocative standup which examines the patriarchy.
Esther, 41, is a well-known comedian across the UK and abroad. She has been featured on programmes from Live at the Apollo to ITV2’s Stand Up Sketch Show and BBC Sounds BITESIZE. She recently launched a podcast with her good friend Shappi Khorsandi – titled “I Didn’t Want It Anyway,” a podcast about rejection.
Esther has been a finalist in many awards from Asian Woman of the Year to the BBC New Comedy Award.
Although a lifelong runner, the marathon is a new challenge for Esther – and one she hasn’t taken lightly.
Donning a World Animal Protection t-shirt to keep the cause at the front of her mind while training, Esther says she has run as far as 17 miles to date. “I’ve been running to gigs – it’s helpful because I have to get there in time, so I can’t stop and take a break. The time pressure helps keep me going, as long as the venue has a shower!”
As a mom of two, Esther balances her marathon training and touring with looking after her children. She adds: “occasionally I get the kids to run with me, but the moaning can counteract the de-stressing effects of the run!”
Having been training for a few weeks now, Esther has been gearing up for the big day with a mix of long and short runs, as well as weight training. She also believes that running helps her feel less stressed and motivates her to wake up in the morning. “I’ve found that the best ways to get excited about going for a run – especially when it’s cold and dark in winter! – has been to vary my running routes.”
“I’m not far from Epping Forrest, which has become my absolute favourite place to run. If I’m doing an 8-miler, the forest is my favourite place to be, not to mention that being around nature and wildlife is a reminder of why I’m doing this training in the first place,” she says.
“For the longer runs, 13 miles and up, I prefer to run in the City. There are so many distractions, and you can just blend in with the crowd”.
While she admits that training has been tough, Esther has no doubt that supporting World Animal Protection has helped her focus on reaching her fundraising goal.
Esther’s passion for World Animal Protection has also inspired her to make lifestyle changes to better the lives of animals and the environment.
She says, “I’ve recently reduced how much meat I eat, as I know factory farming has a huge impact on climate change, and incredibly cruel practices like teeth clipping, tail cutting and birthing crates that animals in the industry are subjected to throughout their lives.”

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