Highgate marathon runner hosting Scottish ceilidh to raise funds for Save the Rhino

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 11 April 2019

Hannah in her rhino costume on Hampstead Heath in the snow. Picture: Hannah Sharp

Hannah in her rhino costume on Hampstead Heath in the snow. Picture: Hannah Sharp


The news that cows could be reintroduced to Hampstead Heath will have done little to prepare walkers for seeing a rhino there in the last few weeks.

Hannah Sharp during a previous marathon run. Picture: Hannah SharpHannah Sharp during a previous marathon run. Picture: Hannah Sharp

Hannah Sharp, from Highgate, has been donning the costume over the last few weeks while training for the London Marathon later this month.

Getting into costume is a familiar feeling for the 23-year-old actress – she’s appeared in Casualty, Doctors and Doctor Who.

Now she’s running 26.2 miles for Save the Rhino after she did part of her gap year in South Africa.

“I was doing some conservation work in South Africa and saw what’s happening with poaching. Rhinos are these beautiful majestic beasts that almost look like dinosaurs, and I got to see some while I was out there.

“However, poachers come along and cause these horrific injuries to try and get their horns – it’s ridiculous,” she told the Ham&High.

Rhinos are targeted because in some Asian cultures their horns are thought to have medicinal qualities.

As part of her fundraising for the marathon, Hannah is holding a traditional Scottish ceilidh on Friday night at Lauderdale House.

“I’ve done a few in the past. I’ve got Scottish family and I went to school in Scotland,” said Hannah.

“My father is also head of the Middle Temple Burns Night and he’ll be on hand.

“It’s a night of drinking and dancing, and a good way of bringing people together.”

Tickets cost £20, and there will be a live band and a caller directing beginners and the more experienced alike.

Hannah, who lives in Pond Square, says the reaction has been positive so far.

“I’ve been out in my rhino suit twice on the Heath, and people seem really interested,” she said. “I’ve had children and parents come up to me and give money and be really supportive.”

With just weeks to go, Hannah, who has run marathons before, has no worries about her form. She said: “I did my last marathon in three hours and 25 minutes, and I want to get close to that. I did 22 miles this week, and so I need to start dialling it down to shorter runs. I’ve not got any injuries yet, which is pretty good news.”

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