Nathalie Cazals, a 36-year-old personal assistant from France, took part in the Vitality Big Half, a 13.1-mile race across London, on 10th March, where she joined 13 other runners to raise vital funds for mothers2mothers (m2m). Nathalie is training to complete two marathons this year—the London Marathon as well as the Corsica marathon in France. She completed the Vitality Big Half in an impressive 1 hour and 32 minutes Nathalie tells us what inspired her to run the half marathon in support of m2m.
One morning I was talking with my colleague Sandra during a coffee break about my training programme for the London Marathon. Mo Farah (British four-time Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion) had announced he would be running it again this year and I was saying how excited I was to run the same race as him! After learning he would also be running the Vitality Big Half, I was eager to get a place in this event too.
My colleague encouraged me to run for a charity, convincing me that people can be very generous for good causes, especially when fundraising for a challenge like a half marathon. I realised I couldn’t waste an opportunity to make a contribution. So, even though it was a little daunting at first, I had to take the chance. I was delighted to get a place with team m2m in the Vitality Big Half. After all, if a race is good enough for Sir Mo Farah, then it is good enough for me!
It didn’t take long to think about the charity I wanted to support. I was lucky enough to visit Tanzania and Zanzibar last December and the trip had a huge impact on me. It was obvious to me that the charity I wanted to fundraise for should be linked to Africa. A friend of mine works for m2m She is such an amazing person, so energetic and full of passion, and I knew this was the charity I wanted to support. She and her colleague were really helpful and made the whole process so simple. They welcomed me to team m2m and then my network did the rest! I was so surprised and grateful for the generosity of all my friends and family. It’s amazing what people can do when it is for a good cause.
Thanks to m2m I had a wonderful experience taking part in the Vitality Big Half. It is such an amazing feeling to run knowing that my supporters and I were making a real difference and that our donations could help support women, children, and families in sub-Saharan Africa live healthy lives and create a generation free from HIV.
During the race I kept thinking about all the people who donated to my fundraiser for m2m. This race was so different to others I have run because I kept thinking about all these people—I wanted to run well because of the opportunity I had been given.
It was a tough run in the wind and rain but I was really proud that after 1 hour and 32 minutes, I crossed the finish line. I ran a personal best and I ran it for all the inspiring women at m2m.