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Family history sparks team fundraising effort

A trio whose lives have been touched by heart disease will run 10km in this year’s Wellington Marathon.

Alannah Rogers and her partner Roberta Davis (pictured right to left above), along with Roberta’s mum Debra, have enjoyed running together for years. But their training took on new meaning when Alannah suggested competing as Heart Racers for the Heart Foundation.

“We’ve all known someone affected by heart disease and we wanted to help bring awareness and raise money to help a good cause. It was a no brainer, really,” says Alannah, 29, 

She has lost grandparents and a great grandfather to heart attacks, while three of her great uncles had triple bypasses. 

Roberta, 26, and Debra, 54, also have a family history of heart disease; Roberta lost two grandparents to heart attacks and her father had a heart attack in 2014, while Debra’s mother also had a heart attack many years ago.  

Alannah says raising money for the cause is an added motivation to train.

“It’s extra special as we’re running for a great reason – not just for our own health, but to raise awareness and do our bit to help, which will be really rewarding.”

Roberta adds they’re conscious of their family histories of heart problems and want to stay fit and care for their health.

“We personally think New Zealanders can be too casual about looking after their heart; it’s a very ‘she’ll be right’ attitude. 

“Diet and exercise are such key factors in order to decrease the chance of having a heart attack and it’s really important that people know this before it’s too late, and that they take an active approach to keeping fit and healthy.”

The three women will be running as part of the Wellington Marathon on Sunday, June 26.