Natasha has never met her coach Tony Houchin.
He’s based out in the USA and speaks to Natasha over face time after each training session, but the pair will finally get to meet when rising star Natasha heads out to take on the Houston Marathon in January 2019. Natasha is no stranger to American soil having spent three years at the University of Tulsa, but is now living in Newport back near where she grew up in Cwmbran and attended Croesyceiliog High School.
The former Cwmbran Harrier is now running for Micky Morris Race Team, and although she does most of her miles alone, does enjoy joining the club’s men out training when she can. Having raced on the track as a junior, she is now focusing solely on the Marathon, having had a breakthrough run this year, clocking a fantastic 2.35.49 in the 2018 Dublin Marathon. The outstanding time put her number one ranked female in Wales, fifth in the UK in 2018, and fifth all time in Wales. It was inside the European 2018 Championships qualifying mark of 2.36. and within the IAAF World Championship 2019 marathon standard of 2.37.
“After Houston, there’s a short turn around in Marathon terms before London and then later in the year possibly the World Champs in Doha if things go really well.”
Natasha cites the double Gold winning performances of Kelly Holmes at the Athens Olympics in 2004 as her inspiration, and having watched her victories on TV, she was then lucky enough to be mentored by Kelly at a ‘Future Stars with Kelly’ Education Day at Loughborough College in 2010.
Back in 2010 Natasha said: “It means a lot to me to have been selected by Kelly. I am happy with my achievements so far, but Kelly has inspired me to achieve much more and to aim higher. I learnt how to conduct myself when interviewed by the media as well as learning about how important nutrition is to an athlete. Kelly also taught me how to do aqua jogging which is much harder than it appears.”
“My own top tips now for young athletes would be: 'Never give up and believe in yourself' and 'Listen to your body and enjoy the process'.”
- Her favourite food is yoghurt, any flavour!
- ‘Wake me up’ by Avici is her go out pre-race track to get her ready to run
“I really welcome being brought in to the Welsh Athletics support programme and particularly getting access to the physiotherapy support to help me treat and prevent injuries, which I’ve struggled with in the past.”
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As her mileage is going up, she’s complementing it with lots of hours on the cross trainer, often done in the early mornings before heading to work as a civil servant in Newport. Natasha's Powerof10 profile.