‘Not the London Marathon’ but what an atmosphere for Natasha’s alternative run in Wing

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A woman from Wing ran a 26.2-mile route around Aylesbury Vale after failing to win a place in the London Marathon.

Fitness instructor Natasha Richmond, who runs fitness business Trainers & Bananas, was aiming for a place in the iconic race around the capital for the fourth consecutive year.

She planned to run in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society after her father was diagnosed with dementia in 2018.

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But after missing out on a charity place due to the charity ballot being oversubscribed, Natasha decided to run her own equivalent marathon route around Aylesbury Vale on the day of the big race.

Natasha RichmondNatasha Richmond
Natasha Richmond

Due to illness Natasha was initially forced to postpone her effort, but has since completed the feat she dubbed ‘Not the London Marathon’ after recovering from a virus.

She completed her Sunday, May 5 run in four hours, 32 minutes and 44 seconds, a personal best for the marathon distance.

The route was Wing to Mentmore and back (eight miles); Wing to Wingrave and back (six miles); Wing to Ledburn and back (six miles); plus Wing to Soulbury and back (six miles).

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The challenge was made a little easier by ‘cheer squads’ of villagers who offered encouragement along certain parts of the route. Additionally some locals joined in some sections of the run with Natasha and there were signs and banners around the course.

She said: “I would have done it but it would have been so much harder on my own and I would have walked a lot I’m sure. They said they wanted to create a little bit of London Marathon atmosphere for me, and it was so much more than that. Being one amongst a massive sea of runners in the London Marathon is an amazing experience, but being just me amongst supporters who are friends and family was incredible. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated.”

Upon completion a ribbon was held up at her house to mark the finishing line where a crowd of people had congregated. She was then presented with flowers, a card, earrings, box of pamper goodies, a couple of medals (one crocheted), a painting, a finisher’s T-shirt and even a foil blanket to add to the realism.

The fundraising total has reached approximately £1,300.