Saffron Walden-born comedian Esther Manito has been running to her gigs while training for the London Marathon.

Esther, 41, is currently touring her 'Hell Hath No Fury' show, described as a "provocative stand-up which examines the patriarchy".

Although a lifelong runner, this will be Esther's first marathon - and she is running in aid of World Animal Protection.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Esther Manito with Shappi KhorsandiEsther Manito with Shappi Khorsandi (Image: World Animal Protection)

She said: "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!"

Esther has been gearing up for the big day with a mix of long and short runs, as well as weight training, while balancing looking after her two children.

"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," Esther said.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Esther in her World Animal Protection T-shirtEsther in her World Animal Protection T-shirt (Image: World Animal Protection)

"I’m not far from Epping Forrest, which has become my absolute favourite place to run.

"If I’m doing an eight-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.

"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."

Esther's passion for World Animal Protection has also inspired her to make lifestyle changes.


She said: "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."

Esther has appeared on Live at the Apollo and ITV 2's Stand Up Sketch Show, and has been a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Award and for Asian Woman of the Year.

She recently launched a podcast about rejection, entitled I Didn't Want It Anyway, with her friend Shappi Khorsandi.