A Tandragee woman is not letting the cancellation of this year’s London Marathon stop her from going the distance!
Instead, Natalie Bowbanks is planning to complete the full 26.2 miles by running around her garden.
And not just that, kind-hearted Natalie is putting her marathon efforts to good use as she intends to raise money to support our NHS Heroes.
She has set up a GoFundMe page in the hope people will make donations to support the vital work our health care professionals and frontline workers are carrying out during the COVID-19 crisis.
Natalie, like so many others, had been looking forward to the world-famous Marathon, which was due to take place later this month.
A seasoned runner, she has completed dozens in the past and always for a good cause.
Natalie told Armagh I : “I love long distance running and have ran 64 marathons, some locally and some abroad.
“I do try to fundraise as much as I can for the big events I do. In the past I have raised money for various charities and causes including Autism NI, Knockmore Primary School in Lisburn, where my nephew Max attends, Mourne Mountain Rescue, RBL, The Meadows Day Centre in Portadown for the elderly and those with dementia and others too.
“I believe that some good may as well come out of the punishment I like to put my body through!”
Natalie is planning not to let the disappointment deter her and it will be all the more special this year.
Instead of pounding the streets of London with tens of thousands of other runners, Natalie will be completing laps of her gardens and has already mapped out what will be required.
In fact, it comes in at an eye-watering 2,096 laps to be precise.
But it will sure be worth it!
Added Natalie: “I take part in the London Marathon every year and I’m also a pacer for the Belfast Marathon.
“I kind of knew when both events were cancelled I would complete them ‘virtually’ somehow on the dates they were meant to be held.
“I’d seen others setting themselves running challenges in their garden, and thought why not give it a go and fundraise money for the NHS at the same time?
“I have friends and neighbours who are nurses and I can see the strain it is putting them under.
“I am doing this to raise money for our NHS workers, who are working tirelessly and literally putting their lives at risk every single day.
“I had hoped to raise £1000, however in less than 24 hours my page has over £500 already and I’d love to get as much as I possibly can and people can generously donate too at this difficult time.”
Natalie’s ‘virtual’ London Marathon will take place on Saturday, April 26, starting at 10am.
What a brilliant effort and a fantastic fundraiser – please do show your support if you can by clicking on the link and giving whatever you can afford.
Let’s get behind Natalie as she runs to help our NHS heroes save lives! To donate to her cause just click the link here.