Tributes to Bath athlete who died on morning run

Tash Lewis was a keen athlete who was killed while on her morning run near Bath. Credit: Team Bath AC

Friends of a Bath athlete who died after she was hit by a car have described her as one of "life's brightest stars".

Natasha Lewis, known as Tash, died after she was involved in a collision with a car while on her early morning run.

The incident happened near Peasedown St John on Wednesday 7 April. A 19-year-old man was arrested in connection with the collision.

Tash took up running as a child and wrote about the joy it brought her on Global Running Day 2020.

She wrote: "Running has been ingrained into me for as long as I can remember. Words can’t explain my love for running, it’s not just about the races, it goes way deeper than that.

"It’s taught me so much about myself. It’s helped me grow, it’s kept me humble, it’s made me cry, it’s made me happy, it’s opened up opportunities I never imagined possible, it’s allowed me to meet so many incredible people who inspire me and help me be better.

"It’s been a constant in my life and I’m so grateful for it."

Tash took up running competitively at a young age and always loved the sport. Credit: Team Bath AC

Tash was a popular member of Team Bath Athletic Club, which has paid tribute to her.

"Natasha was a formidable character and athlete. Still in her 20s, over the years she competed at a national level at many different disciplines including Long Jump and 200m. She went on to represent Great Britain in Bobsleigh and triathlon.

"More recently, she excelled at long distance running under the guidance of coach Tom Craggs and was aiming for elite status, with dreams of another national vest.

"Through her Get Fit in Bath personal training, which she ran with her long-term partner and fiancé Dave, she inspired and coached many in achieving their fitness goals.

"She was incredibly determined and committed, full of life and positive energy. Behind her steely determination she was kind, caring and fun.

"This is an incredibly tragic loss of an incredible young lady with so much to live for. Our love and thoughts are with her family who are suffering from unimaginable shock and loss."

Friends have set up a fundraising page in memory of Tash, seen here with her fiancé Dave Bowler. Credit: Jessica Strickson

Tash was a personal trainer and co-owned the business Get Fit in Bath with her fiancé David Bowler. She trained and competed as a runner alongside her job.

A fundraising page set up in memory of Tash has already raised more than £28,000. In keeping with her love of running, some of the donations will support athletes who are in need of running shoes to help push them on to greater things.

Fellow Bath athlete and Olympic bronze medallist Emily Diamond is among those who have paid tribute to Tash.

Triathlete Kim Barfoot-Brace sent a heartfelt message to her friend, saying "You were always so interested in and supportive of what I was up to even when you stepped back from triathlon.

"Tough on the outside, underneath you were so caring and fun. You and David Bowler were the dream team in the true sense of the expression, soulmates that have touched and made a positive impact on so many lives in our community.

"You were the most incredible athlete Tash and you had so much love and dedication for what you did."

Tash's coach, Tom Craggs, said on his Instagram page, "In short Natasha was a phenomenal athlete.

"More importantly though Tash was a wonderful, kind, driven and motivating human being who inspired countless others into sport and exercise and in their wider lives through her life and the business she built with Dave."

Avon and Somerset Police are asking for information about the fatal crash at Clandown near Bath at around 6am on 7 April.

A 19-year-old man arrested in connection with the collision has been released under investigation.

Anyone who saw what happened, or was in the area and may have dashcam footage, is asked to call 101 and give reference number 5221073766