A Mum from Worcester 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 to the Beacon Summit on the Malvern Hills and back again in memory of her dad, Andrew Stockburn.
The determined runner says she wants to give something back to those who cared for her dad at St Richard’s Hospice, in Worcester, before he died in 2008. Having originally set herself a fundraising 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 fundraising 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.
She said: “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.”
“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.
“Nothing is too much trouble for patients and their loved ones at the hospice. Before the current pandemic, animals could be brought in to provide comfort and weddings arranged at short notice. One nurse once said to me ‘if it’s legal, we try and make it happen’. And it’s for that exceptional care and kindness that I’ll be running this September.”
Tricia Cavell, Fundraising 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.
“It’s been a particularly challenging 2020 for charities like us with our fundraising income hit by event cancellations and charity shops having been closed. We’re touched when supporters like Ruth recognise that and remain determined to fundraise for our care solo or join one of our virtual events with their families or socially distanced friends.
“So, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Ruth and all our super supporters. With three quarters of our funding resulting from your generosity, we couldn’t do what we do here at St Richard’s without amazing people like you!”
To support Ruth in her challenge visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ruthrunsamarathon2020
St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.
Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,400 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.
St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with 22% funded by the NHS.
For more information about St Richard’s Hospice visit www.strichards.org.uk
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