With chronic illness, Berkhamsted mum beats World Record

Berkhamsted mum with chronic illness beats World Record
Berkhamsted mum with chronic illness beats World Record | Image Source: hemeltoday.co.uk

A mother from Berkhamsted, a fighter against chronic sickness, and an athlete has shattered a world record.

Zoë Doyle, 35, set a record for the W45 age category 4x800m indoor relay on December 29 with her colleagues Kirstie Booth, Maria Shaw, and Nikki Strurzaker, breaking it by 37 seconds.

At the British Masters Run, Jump and Throw Open Meeting at the English Institute for Sport Indoor Area in Sheffield, the mother of three and her teammates broke the previous record, which was held by a Spanish team, by beating 10 minutes and 12 seconds.

In 2015, Zoë started her career as a competitive middle-distance track athlete. Since 2018, the center has supported her as an Everyone Active Sporting Champion by offering free memberships, exclusive events, and mentorship days.

After winning the titles of European W45 Champion in both the 800 and 1500 meters, Zoë’s amazing year came to an end with her record. She trains at Berkhamsted Leisure Centre, which is run by Everyone Active in collaboration with Dacorum Borough Council.

“My athletic career started when, following the birth of my first child, I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis type 2, an extremely rare chronic illness that causes my body’s immune system to attack my liver cells. This diagnosis made me focus on my health and wellbeing in order to be the best mother possible.

“I started competing after my third kid was born in an effort to regain my fitness. I started going to the Leisure Centre in Berkhamsted for adult swim lessons, then I participated and won a triathlon in St Albans!

From this point on, my confidence grew, and I began a profession in fitness and wellness as an NLP Practitioner and Holistic Empowerment Coach because I loved the objective and challenge of competition.

But following an almost catastrophic vehicle accident during a road race, I became even more motivated to finish my journey, and in order to compete safely, I joined a running club.

At this point, Zoë joined the London-based running club Belgrave Harriers, where she joined the highly successful ladies’ team. The team’s success led to Zoë competing internationally in 2015 after they were ranked first in the UK for the 800 and 1500 meters.

“Well-being—mind, body, and soul—is crucial to all facets of my life, including exercise. I stay healthy and make sure my liver disease doesn’t interfere with my ability to compete, enjoy my family, or my health by focusing on everything. It contributes to my pleasure and mental health.

“Knowing I had the support of my local center, even at the age of 35 and with three children, was a real confidence boost,” the support from Berkhamsted Leisure Centre said.

“I’ve been able to fulfill my athletic aspirations of setting multiple world records, winning multiple championships in Europe and the UK, and nearly ten years later, I’m still breaking records and becoming faster.

“I view the center as a dependable friend who has been there for me throughout my journey. It has helped me overcome setbacks and reach my highest level of fitness. The staff is consistently really friendly and encouraging, and the vibe in the gym is amazing. It has been essential to my success in setting this world record!

“We are delighted for Zoë and her team, and are honored to be able to play a part in this incredible athlete’s sporting career,” stated James Tovey, general manager of Everyone Active.

“With her success, ambition, and drive, Zoë is seen by many, including myself, as a strong ambassador for the center, and we are eager to see what she does next!”