Natalie Barlatier’s running journey is marked by tremendous resilience and fortitude, and an exceptional ability to adjust to changing circumstances.
Barlatier has a determination when it comes to her running that is truly remarkable. She discovered a love of track and field in her youth, but took a break from running when she entered college. She returned to the sport after being diagnosed with MS in her late 20s, and began to explore distance running. Barlatier worked her way up to marathons over time, and running has been an important part of maintaining her health: mental, physical, and emotional.
She has continued to run despite a major MS relapse, and she’s returned to running after having her two children.
Barlatier has run nine marathons, but that’s not without some notably unusual set-backs along the way, beginning with the first two marathons Barlatier trained for.
The first marathon was NYC 2012, which was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Next up, Boston 2013, the year of the bombing: Natalie was one of the many runners who was stopped just about a mile from the finish. This experience also resulted in lasting trauma that almost spelled an end to Barlatier’s marathon ambitions.
Barlatier did finally reach the finish line of a marathon on her third try, and followed that up with several more marathons after that. Then came COVID, which put an end to Barlatier’s training and plans for running the 2020 Boston Marathon, but she returned to run in 2021 and again in 2023, and most recently she completed the 2023 Chicago Marathon.
Beyond her commitment to meeting her own running goals and serving as an example to others impacted by MS of what can be possible, as well as being a role model to her two young children, Barlatier has discovered the joy and strength of her local running community, in particular Black Girls Run.
Ways to Connect with Natalie Barlatier
Mentioned in this Episode
Black Unicorn Marathoners: https://www.blackunicornmarathoners.org/
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