MIDHURST Town Council’s assistant clerk Natasha Young is celebrating her 40th birthday by taking part in the London marathon.
The race takes place next weekend and she says all birthday celebrations are on hold until she crosses the finish line.
Natasha, a long-standing member of the Midhurst Milers, is running for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust because close friend and fellow ‘Miler’ Michelle Quaid is a sufferer.
“This has kept me motivated through some extremely wet training runs this winter,” Natasha said.
“There have been some dark times when I found myself thigh deep in water on the Selham road and when I was pounded with hailstones. I had an Achilles injury which was a real set-back and my very first ice bath – I think I deserve sponsorship for that alone!”
But on a positive note, she said there had been many long runs across Midhurst, Stedham, Iping and Ambersham Commons.
“Whenever I have felt tempted to give up on a training run, I just remind myself how lucky I am to be able to do it at all and think of the challenges Michelle faces on a daily basis without ever complaining. Her strength of character and relentlessly positive attitude have been a real inspiration to me.”
Natasha met Michelle at the running club when Michelle was just 16.
“She showed real promise as a runner. She was soon picked up by the county team and was competing at county level.”
Michelle was diagnosed after starting university, but was determined to continue her studies and gained a degree in biochemistry.
“She works so hard to keep herself as healthy as possible and is back in the gym or the pool as soon as the doctors will allow,” Natasha said.
“As well as managing her condition, which could be considered a full-time job, she finds time to work and, to top it all, she is now studying for an MSc in medicinal chemistry with the Open University.”