Newbury woman runs half marathon for charity close to her heart

Runner case story

January 8, 2015 // Andrew

Natasha Hutchins, 27 from Newbury will be running the Vitality Bath Half Marathon (Vitality BATHALF) next March for Reach; a charity who supported Natasha and her daughter Phoebe when she was born with symbrachydactyly, a condition where she has no fingers on one hand.

Natasha had originally signed up to take part in the 2013 BATHALF but a month before she was due to make her half marathon debut, she found out she was pregnant with Phoebe and decided to pull out of the race.

Natasha said: “In 2011 a friend of mine persuaded me to start running as she wanted a jogging partner. We signed up to take part in last year’s Bath Half Marathon in March, but a few months before the race, I found out I would be having Phoebe and decided to opt out. Ever since then I have been running on and off – it was either running or pizza!”

This year Natasha is back running and has pledged to run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon for family-run charity, Reach. When Phoebe was born, Natasha noticed that she had developed with no fingers on one hand and later discovered that she had been born with an upper arm deficiency.

Natasha commented: “I had a completely normal pregnancy, so when I went into labour I was just hoping that everything went well. Phoebe was born crying and healthy however her father noticed that her hand didn’t quite look right, when he brought her to me I noticed it too.

“I will admit that my heart sank and a huge instant wave of guilt washed over me, I felt as thought I had been given the most important job in the world and I had let her down by letting something happen to her.

“Later that evening the paediatrician came to see us and checked her over and said that it’s just one of those things, I felt a little better. When they said that it was the only thing wrong with her I decided to just concentrate on being grateful that she is healthy, and things could be a lot worse.”

Reach are a charity ran by families who have children with varying degrees of upper arm deficiency. The charity aims to support and offer advice to new parents and help them to get the support and care that their child may need.

Natasha commented: “Reach really helped us get through it all. The support they provide is amazing and knowing you aren’t the only one in the situation really helps make you feel less isolated. They provide a lot of emotional support for parents as well as useful information for the future. Their support is why I wanted to give myself a fundraising challenge and I couldn’t think of a better excuse to take part in the race that I had to pull out of.”


Natasha now runs regularly to train for the half marathon. Natasha added: “Currently I’m running two to three times a week, I’ll start upping my distance soon to work on my stamina ready for the race. This will be my first ever running event so I’m a little nervous but my goal is to complete the race and to raise money and awareness of children who suffer from upper arm deficiency.”


The Vitality Bath Half Marathon – which will see its 34th year in 2015 – will take place on Sunday 1st March 2015. It is part of the Vitality Run Series, a new national series of eight leading UK road races including the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon.

The popular race is recognised as one of the biggest single day fundraising events in the UK with last year’s race seeing runners raise an excess of £2.million for more than 90 official charities.

The Vitality BATHALF starts and finishes on Great Pulteney Street, taking runners on a fast, flat course which straddles both sides of the river Avon taking participants on a tour of the picturesque city. The two lap course is perfect for both those new to running or experienced runners who are chasing a new PB.

For more information, running tips and race day guidance please visit