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Husband and wife tackle 18 marathons between them this year

By Crawley News  |  Posted: October 14, 2013

RACE ACES: Marathon runners Jack Chivers and his wife Natalie will be racing 18 marathons between them this year Photo by Grant Melton

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A HUSBAND and wife are running an incredible 18 marathons between them this year to raise money for charity.

Natalie and Jack Chivers are jogging nearly 500 miles in races across the world to fundraise for Crohn's and Colitis UK and Breast Cancer Care.

But despite the distances they are covering, the couple have only recently started running.

Natalie said: "I only started last year. I used to be six stone heavier. I couldn't run 10ft.

"So I joined Weight Watchers a few years ago and started to do Race for Life, but I couldn't do the whole thing.

"Then I started doing 10kms, then ten miles and mud runs, and I worked my way up.

"People say that doing a marathon is life changing – and it is. Afterwards you feel amazing."

The first marathon Natalie tackled was in Rome, which Jack also ran, in March.

Natalie, of Teesdale in Southgate, said: "I wasn't sure if I'd get round.

"But Jack's encouragement got me through – though he would say that I finished because I'm really stubborn!"

The pair were married a month later at St Margaret's Church, in Ifield. They will honeymoon in Jamaica in December – where they will run the Reggae Marathon together.

Natalie added: "The Bath Marathon was by far the hardest. It was hilly – it was beyond hilly. There were near vertical climbs and even the winner didn't run the whole thing. A lot of people dropped out. And it was mentally tough.

"There were only 200 people doing it. But the support of the people on the streets, the people shouting us on, made it so much easier."

The charities the couple are raising money for have acted as an inspiration.

Natalie said: "Jack is raising money for Crohn's and Colitis UK, which his father Alan died from in 2011. The memory of his dad spurs him on.

"I am supporting Breast Cancer Care, because I have lost family and friends to breast cancer.

"Knowing that I am fundraising keeps me going, and I am doing the marathons especially for my nan, Nancy King, who died of breast cancer."

Natalie and Jack have three more marathons to run this year. They ran the Bournemouth Marathon together at the weekend.

In 2012 they raised just over £3,000 through a series of shorter charity runs.

Anyone wishing to make a donation should visit www.just giving.com/runnattyrun or http://uk.virgin moneygiving.com/JackChivers

The 18 marathons the couple have run between them ...

Dubai: Jan 25 – Jack

Heartbreaker (New Forest): Feb 24 – Jack

Rome: March 17 – Jack and Natalie

Paris: April 7 – Jack

Edinburgh: May 25 – Jack and Natalie

South Downs: June 8 – Jack

Bath: July 28 – Jack and Natalie

Thames Meander Marathon: Aug 24 – Jack

Bacchus Marathon (North Downs): September 8 – Jack

Bournemouth: October 6 – Jack and Natalie

Athens: Nov 10 – Jack and Natalie

Reggae Marathon (Jamaica): Dec 7 – Jack and Natalie

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