Runner Ruth facing uphill challenge in memory of dad - The Evesham Observer

Runner Ruth facing uphill challenge in memory of dad

Evesham Editorial 27th Aug, 2020   0

A DEVOTED daughter and mum is to take on a marathon – uphill – this September to raise funds for the hospice which cared for her dad.

Ruth Bennett, 39, is running from her home in Bevere in Worcester to the Beacon Summit on the Malvern Hills and back again in memory of her dad, Andrew Stockburn.

The determined runner wants to give something back to those who cared for her dad at St Richard’s Hospice before he died in 2008.

Having originally set herself a fund-raising challenge of gaining 40 runner’s medals by the time she was 40, Ruth decided to run an uphill marathon after many of the UK’s major running events were cancelled this year.

“It’s been so disappointing to see so many running events cancelled this year, both for us as runners but also the charities who benefit so much from the fund-raising they provide,” said Ruth.

“So, I decided I might not be able to run the flat marathons I hoped this year, and meet my ‘40 by 40 target’, but I could tackle one uphill – something I know will be a real challenge on tired legs!”

Ruth, a teacher at a school in South Birmingham, inspires other runners through her Instagram account @ruth_runs, which has amassed more than 15,000 followers.

“Running is my passion and it’s something that makes me feel connected to my dad, a keen runner himself. The Malverns were also his favourite place, somewhere we would go as a family, so my run to the beacon and back is very meaningful in that respect,” she said.

“St Richard’s took such great care of dad, both as a day hospice patient and at the end of his life. On the day dad died our nurse stayed with us beyond her shift; not wanting to leave my sister and I. I will never forget that.

Tricia Cavell, fund-raising director at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “It’s simply incredible to think Ruth is not only taking on a marathon for our care but a marathon uphill!

“Our Malvern Hills Walk sees supporters walk five or 11 miles around that area each year, which is challenging enough, so I’m sure many can relate to just how difficult a run like this will be, even for an experienced runner like Ruth.

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