The Cyprus Trail Runners paid tribute to Natalie Christopher with a “Living Life Joyfully the way Natalie did” run at Athalassa Park on Saturday with the big focus being a eucalyptus tree she loved so much.
Running friends around the world also celebrated Natalie’s life by ‘virtually’ joining the run — some solo and some as part of a group –in Paphos, Limassol and Protaras in Cyprus, in London at Hampstead Heath and Trent Park, in the USA from Tucson to Norther Maine, in Ireland, Poland, Dubai, Sweden, Paris, Amsterdam, Canada, South Africa and Somerset, England, the group said on their Facebook page.
Natalie, a 34-year-old British Cypriot astrophysicist and peace activist known for her love for sport died instantly after she fell into a ravine while out jogging in Ikaria. It is believed she fell when a boulder came loose as she was attempting to ascend or descend a cliff face.
Tributes have poured in for the young scientist, while a memorial run was held at Athalassa on Saturday by the Cyprus Trail Runners of which she was a keen member and which had sent a team to Ikaria to help look for her.
The Cyprus Trail Runners wrote on their Facebook page:
“The runners turned up in colourful crowds, the atmosphere was sweet — and ‘Natalie’s tree’ will never be the same again.
“Big thank you to all — children, adults, fast runners, slow runners, grieving runners — who joined us in this celebration of our dear Natalie’s brief but sparkling life.
“Main focus of the 5km and 10km trail runs in Athalassa Park, held in memory of Natalie Christopher, who died after falling into a ravine while out running on the Greek island of Ikaria, was a huge eucalyptus tree near the river bed at the lower end of the park. The tree that Natalie loved so much — and hugged so much.
“After Pola Hadjipapa had wound metres and metres of colourful cloth around the trunk of the imposing tree (she is not known as ‘Artist on the Run’ for nothing), runners added colourful ribbons — weaving a magical patchwork that we hope will remain for years to come.
“There were tears of course (why shouldn’t people cry when someone they love dies in such a tragic way?) but there were also whoops and cheers as runners ran across the trails, revelling in life and beauty — the way Natalie once did.
“At the end of it all, however, was an overwhelming sense of loss.
We all miss you Natalie. So much.”
Photos from the Facebook page of the Cyprus Trail Runners