A desire to help support Lifeline NZ sees 20-year-old Samantha Hall pound the pavements most days, training for the 42.2km Rotorua Marathon later this year.

The Hamilton student is passionate about helping people, and set herself the challenge to raise money and awareness for Lifeline NZ some months ago.

“Lifeline is an amazing organisation which relies fully on volunteers and donations after having its government funding cut.

“Mental health issues are serious in New Zealand, and most people will know someone (or themselves) who have suffered from depression or anxiety. I think it’s so important that awareness and funds are raised for Lifeline as it really can save lives.”

Sponsored by King Honey (which has supplied Samantha with honey to sell, with money raised going to Lifeline NZ), she has also set up a fundraising page at rotoruamarathon2018.everydayhero.com/nz/running-for-lives.

“I want to make a difference. Running a marathon has been a long term goal of mine and I wish to complete it while raising funds for Lifeline charity and providing inspiration and motivation to others.”

When not training, Samantha is studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Exercise Physiology at Wintec.

“This is training to work with the moderate and high risk clients who are unable to attend standard gyms. I started my three year Sport Science degree in 2015, wanting to work with clients and help them to achieve their health and fitness goals, to use exercise to change their lives and improve their quality of life.”

She also works as a personal trainer at Cambridge Fitness Centre.

“I was never into team sports in school, but got into running in 2015, when I ran my first half marathon, for which I trained hard,” she says. “After completing it, my mindset changed and I felt that I could achieve anything so long as I put in the hard work and dedication.

“I’ve continued running half marathons, and now decided it’s time for a marathon.”

After choosing to enter the Rotorua Marathon (May 5, 2018), Samantha has been training hard to increase her distances and weekly mileage.

“It has taken a few months to get into a routine regarding training and finding what works best for me,” she admits. “I aim to run approx 60km each week, and this increases further as I get closer to the marathon.”

For more information, visit rotoruamarathon2018.everydayhero.com/nz/running-for-lives