A Haywards Heath Harrier who ran five marathons last year is urging people to give the Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend a try on May 3–5.
Natalie Chivers ran the East Grinstead leg of the Mid Sussex Marathon two years ago, her first ever race.
She said: “It scared the living daylights out of me at first, I was probably like a lot of people out there, I didn’t want to make a fool of myself and I was worried I would be left behind by the other faster runners.
“But everyone was so supportive, those who finished first waited around to cheer you on and everyone respects you for doing it.
“Even the marshals were brilliant. I was expecting them to be thinking, there goes this flabby girl, but they were all applauding and urging me on, it really keeps you going.”
The Mid Sussex Marathon is well suited to beginners because people can choose how far they want to run.
“I had the best time doing the run. I felt so proud of myself when I finished and I kept my medal on for 2 days solid!”
The marathon takes place over three days at three different locations and at each event beginners will be able take part in the shorter Mid Sussex Mile, which will run alongside the main marathon race.
Natalie then begun to run regularly and ran her first full marathon nine months later.
One of her five marathons last year was the original marathon in Athens.
The Harrier added: “All the running clubs in the area are really friendly.
I like being part of them because they cheer you on when you’re finishing, it feels like you’re part of a family more than anything,”
Runners in the Mid Sussex Marathon can take part in all three, tackle two or choose to enter just one race.
Combined, the three races cover the classic marathon distance of 26.2 miles.
“I never thought that I would be able to run 10 miles and when I did it gave me such a confidence boost,” she added.
“I felt unstoppable, like I could do anything and that confidence helped me to improve other areas of my life.
“I’ve lost 3 stone in weight since I started running, I’ve got better skin, better hair, I’m more toned and I’ve got so much more energy, it’s just been amazing.”
Find out more at www.midsussexmarathonweekend.co.uk.