Natalie's New York Mission
Thursday 17th November, 2011


“The day (or should I say stupidly early morning) had come. Up at 3.30am but to be honest I’d not slept a wink, the excitement and adrenaline had taken over. I dragged myself out of bed to have my first breakfast. I appreciate the irony of dragging oneself out of bed and then running 26.2 miles later in the day. Temporary tattoos took a while to put on, it was tiredness versus the clear plastic on the application that I could not remember to peel off rendering them useless. At 6am we packed into the Marriott lobby like sardines, the area overlooked by 9/11 memorabilia, my plight just started to feel insignificant. We were marched to the ferry to Staten Island like toddlers off to the swimming pool, excitement mixed with the fear that today was the day to take off the armbands and see if we swam. My efforts would be more of the doggy paddle end, but at least I was taking a dip. The journey seemed to fly, speaking to other runners, talking nonsense and quelling the nerves.


We landed at Staten Island where we would be held at the Army Base until we were called up. I met some wonderful people, locals and those from afar all with the same neurosis for the journey ahead. As we lined up on the bridge, this was it, NewYork NewYork was sung. The gun went off and we were away, I listened to the first and only song that day, Florence and the Machine Shake It Out. The rest of the race passed in a mix of delirium, elation, pain (from excruciating blood blisters doubling the size of my big toes). Mile by mile I was achieving my dream (I never dreamed of the pain by the way), when my energy dropped and I lost my focus a random supporter would shout my name and make me feel human again. Banners lined the streets, ‘complete stranger I am so proud of you’, ‘I hear there’s a beer tent at the end’, ‘sweat is sexy’, ‘who needs toenails anyway’. Children looking for high fives, OAP’s with pompoms and kazoo’s, some more delirious than us. We wound our way through the boroughs, streets and the many cultures NYC could offer.


I hit the wall at mile 22, I do not know how to explain this but you cannot see, you don’t know how you move, you think you may combust but you do not stop, you never stop. Even the so called hills were nothing for my Sheffield trained legs.


The end came so slowly, I didn’t cry when I crossed the line, I’d cried at 24 miles when my blisters decided to pop. I thought of my manager Caroline at this point, somehow I heard her voice telling me just to get on and that wonderful motherly tone she has that makes you believe you can do it. Plus I couldn’t give up, I couldn’t face her after the generous sponsorship! I didn’t stop and I pushed my weary legs over that line. After being cared for by the Red Cross it was time to have a bath and room service. As I got into bed, my toes poked out the end to keep the bandages intact.


I had lived my dream. It was just another day…now I’m off to listen to Florence to relive it, just to make sure it wasn’t all a dream…


Thank you to all that have support. In total I have raised over £2,600 for Bowel Cancer UK. Thank you to each and every person who has supported me, through your words, money or for the times when you willed me on. Thank you to all of those who participated with me, who came to runs, who were on the end of the phone. who posted comments on Facebook, listened to the radio, bought the paper and all the little things in between.

I could not have got through the year without each and every one of you. I hope none of us will need the support of Bowel Cancer UK, but there is someone out there who relies on them each and every day, you have fundraised for each and every person who receives assistance from them.

From the bottom of my heart...Thank You!”

A SHEFFIELD legal eagle is flying to the Big Apple - to pound the streets for charity.

Solicitor Natalie Cosgrove is taking part in the New York Marathon next month.

And she’s doing it in a very good cause - to raise funds for Bowel Cancer UK in memory of her uncle who died from the condition.

Natalie, aged 27, studied law at Hallam University and went on to become a Citizens’ Advice Bureau volunteer.

And it was while studying for her degree that Natalie fell in love with running.

She said: “I was a total fatty through my teens and lost weight during my second and third years of uni by pounding the streets of Sheffield.

“That’s where I got my love of running. I’ve been raising money for Bowel Cancer UK since 2008 and last year started a year of fundraising, getting friends and family to come to events with me.”

Natalie, who lives in Ecclesall and works at Caroline Moore Law in Nether Edge added: “I’ve been running most days through the city and out past Forge Dam into the Peaks.”

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