Natalie’s Story: The Jung Frau Marathon
I was totally overwhelmed by the support and so many people reached out after hearing my story to open up and talk through their own experiences.
Running the Jung Frau marathon wasn’t something I had decided to do for charity initially, it was more of a personal life goal and I decided that 2019 was going to be the year! I always knew I wanted to run the marathon for charity but if I’m being honest, I was scared of committing due to the pressure I knew I would put on myself when running for such an important cause. My Dad suffered for a number of years with depression and alcohol addiction before his death in 2013 which is why I decided to raise money for Manchester Mind.
At the time he was suffering there was little help and support available to both my Dad and those around him. My original fundraising goal was £500, I knew it wouldn’t change the world, but I hoped it would help another’s person’s family from experiencing the loss that we did. Within a matter of hours of sharing the page I had already raised over £500 so I extended the goal to £1,000, but it kept going up and up! I was totally overwhelmed by the support and so many people reached out after hearing my story to open up and talk through their own experiences. I was nervous about sharing my story at first and putting it out there for the world to see, but just knowing that talking to other people may have helped their situation outweighed this.
The training…now where on earth do I start!? For those of you that don’t know, Jung Frau is an uphill mountain marathon so it’s not the easiest thing to train for when you live in the UK. I’ve always been a natural runner so I just started off by working on distance training, before joining Altrincham Running club to help me with endurance training too. I combined this with strength training on my legs, and most of my weekends were spent running up Rivington Pike or Dovestone reservoir to try to mimic the terrain and elevation of the run. It’s safe to say I was a little bit naive with my training as nothing could have prepared me for the incline of Jung Frau – it was BRUTAL!
Race day soon flew round, and we were out in Switzerland looking at the mountain ahead of us. My emotions were running high; nerves, not wanting to let people down after all the sponsorship and just knowing I had a pretty tough run ahead of me.
I don’t think I could describe the run if I tried. It was the most challenging but most rewarding experience of my life and if anyone gets the opportunity to run the Jung Frau marathon, I’d highly recommend it!
Post run I am definitely having a little down time but I will 100% be back supporting Manchester Mind again in the future!
Written by Natalie Fahey.