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Natalie Cotterill

London Marathon 2019

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]How the hell did this happen? I'm running the 2019 London Marathon! Still can’t quite believe it.[/p][p]In 2016, I was encouraged to get the Couch to 5K app by my friend Danny Stevenson, who has always spurred me on. I then did Bushy Parkrun 5K and loved it. The first time I ran it I was completely buzzing afterwards and overwhelmed- I still get choked up when I do it. The sense of community and the mixture of people there really made me see that running is for everyone and that it could be for me, too, if I wanted it to be. [/p][p]But, I never dreamt I'd be running in the London Marathon. I applied for the ballot not at all expecting anything, as I have friends who have tried for years and have never got in. In October, I found out, at work, that I’d got a place. Straightaway my marathon-finishing colleague Anna Young told me I could do it. She said, ‘if you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.’ Thanks, Anna, for making me believe I could do this.[/p][p]It's been a tumultuous time in my life and having this to focus on has helped me so much. It’s made me put my health and my fitness first, for the first time in my life. It’s also taught me that, with the support of amazing friends and colleagues (who are the stuff of dreams), I can do anything I set my mind to. As long as I have enough coffee, that is! (And Caramel Macchiato energy gels- thanks, so much, Erin for the runner’s care package from Canada that got me onto these!) In January, Sare kindly drove me to Crystal Palace very early on a cold Saturday morning so that I could run my first - hilly! – 10K. Thank you, always, for your thousands of kindnesses.[/p][p]In November 2017, it was 20 years since we lost Dad. He loved running and coached my amazing little sister, Elly, when she was younger. Their teamwork was so precious and the memory of it has motivated me. When I'm out running in the mornings, I think of us all getting up early and going to watch Elly run for Sale Harriers and doing us all proud. She still makes us all proud every day. I'll be thinking of my Dad on the big day and I know he'll be with me every step. I'm doing this for you, Dad.[/p][p]I chose to support Spare Tyre because I love the fact that they are a participatory arts charity who give everyone, whatever their ability or background, a chance to express themselves through theatre and other arts. They’ve produced plays with actors with Down’s Syndrome and with dementia, created work with women who are rebuilding their lives after escaping abusive relationships. I saw their Blue Skies photography exhibition a few years ago with my great mate & ST head trustee Michelle and was really moved by the work. I remember what one of the women had written about how becoming a photographer had changed her: ‘I was a victim, then I was a survivor, now I’m a creator.’ I love the dignity and joy that Spare Tyre bring to people's lives. I feel honoured to run for them.[/p][p]My beloved soulmate, artist and auntie, Theresa Lambe, passed away four years ago this month. She had Down's Syndrome. We always felt like kindred spirits. I think she would love what Spare Tyre do, although she might have said, ‘you’re mad, you are. Kate Bush, you are!’ She loved to dance, knit, draw and make us all laugh and laugh. I’m running for you, too, Treez.[/p][p]98% of people who start the race, finish. Getting to the starting line is the biggest challenge. I’m on my way. As I write this, I have the Thames Meander half marathon coming up on 9th March- a week tomorrow. Once I’ve done that, I’ll know I can go all the way. Even if I have to walk the second half![/p][p]So, thank you if you have been a little part or a big part of my journey to the marathon. If you've let me stay at your house, gone running with me, cooked for me, sent me supportive messages, given me running tips, met me for a pint, driven me to a race, followed me @this_woman_can on Instagram or cheered me on on Facebook or just been your lovely self - THANK YOU. Don't know where I'd be without you. I'm so bloody grateful.[/p][p]Thank you very much in advance for sponsoring me and believing in me.[/p][p]Love,[/p][p] Nat[/p][p][br][/p][p]******UPDATE! £874 raised! THANK YOU!!!!!!!! It's amazing. I love re-reading your lovely comments, too!![/p][p]£874! I can't believe it! Originally I was aiming for £400, smashed that very quickly! Having learnt more about the costs this small charity incurs when putting on life-changing immersive theatre such as The Garden, for people with Dementia, I wanted to put my target up to £2000. Still believe we can get there! The team is so dedicated to what they do, I'm in awe of Spare Tyre![/p][p]The charity are also hoping to take a group of differently-abled actors and artists to Edinburgh festival to put on a version of Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus, I believe. Please help if you can by donating! [/p][p]The running is going well. Did 16 mile Kingston Breakfast run a couple of weeks ago, met a lovely man called Tom who talked to me all about precious memories with his dad to take my mind off the pain! I love the unexpected bonds you make with people. [/p][p]Can't wait for Sunday. I hope the sun doesn't shine though, sorry spectators! But even if it does- it'll be fine. It's a privilege to choose the pain of running. [/p][p]I love you all- thanks for everything.[/p][p]X[/p][p]***********update over ********[/p]
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Share Natalie's story


May 14, 2019

Eve Schwartz

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

May 8, 2019

Fi Landlady

To make it all the 2's. Amazing effort!!

£18.32 plus £4.58 Gift Aid

May 1, 2019

Alissa Abou Tooma

Congratulations Nat! You are seriously awesome. Amazing work with the marathon and fund raising. Big love ❤❤❤


Apr 30, 2019

Nicola Wilberforce

Congratulations, Nat.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Apr 30, 2019

Kate Landells

Congrats, Nat! A really amazing achievement.

Apr 29, 2019


Well done Nat! I’ve always thought you were marvellous and this just proves it again.

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Michelle’s mum

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Jo Lilley

Hello from Jo we chatted at the start! You smashed it! Amazing charity xxx HUUUUUUUUUUUMP

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Carol Wood

Very well done Nat for supporting this great cause.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Apr 28, 2019


£26.00 plus £6.50 Gift Aid