ST. ALBANS, Queens (PIX11) – An FDNY couple is preparing for the New York City Half Marathon later this month.
Davon Howard is a firefighter at Ladder 162/Engine 304 in Queens Village; his wife, Natasha Howard, is an EMS Lieutenant at EMS Station 57 in Bed-Stuy.
The pair met at the EMS Academy in 2007.
“Honestly, I didn’t really notice him, but I noticed he kept coming around and one day, we exchanged numbers and we went on a date and that was it,” Natasha said.
They already ran the New York City Marathon in 2021, but they’re going into the half marathon with the same disciplined mindset.
“We realized that we could face any obstacle put in front of us and it’s also good for our job,” Davon said.
With three children and a German Shepherd, they’ve created a life many dream of, but getting to this point wasn’t easy. Davon lost his mother 35 years ago and when she died, FDNY EMTs responded to the scene and it inspired him to become one.
“I wanted to kind of give back and give somebody a chance to have their loved ones and their siblings,” Davon added.
He transferred to the firefighting side of the department ten years ago.
Running strengthened his bond with Natasha, which started when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“That was a high call volume period for us, so I used to come home stressed and anxious and one day he was just like, ‘Babe, let’s go outside and let’s go for a run,’” Natasha recalled.
They train in their neighborhood at St. Albans Park a few days a week.
Their 11th anniversary is on March 18, which is during the half marathon weekend, and a 13.1-mile race is how they’ll celebrate their love and share it with their family.
“This gave our kids an opportunity to see that mom and dad are warriors and we’re heroes and we’re strong and this is a kind of way for them to see that if mom and dad could do it, we could do it too,” Davon added.
He and Natasha say they will try to complete the half marathon in under two hours, but their primary goal is just to finish the race.