10th March 2023

Ruth’s London Marathon story

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Twenty-one years after her parents completed the London Marathon, Ruth Chappell is conquering the same feat in honour and support of her mum June who was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer in November 2021.  

“In 2002 my mum and dad ran the London Marathon. It was incredible because every year I’d watch the amazing athletes take part. Never did I think it could become a reality for me. 

I came to running much later in life when I did Couch to 5k in 2020. From there it spiralled, running a 10k and then half marathon. It was only when a friend pointed out that I’m already halfway to completing a marathon and not getting any younger, so I took the plunge.” 

Training for the London Marathon

Ruth and her family
Ruth’s parents 21 years ago

“With the help of the Hatch Warren Runners club I’ve been following training plans to get me ready for the London Marathon.  

I slowed down towards the end of last year due to an injury but I’m back at it now. I aim for four runs a week – one track session which includes a lot of speed work, two easy runs and a long Sunday run. The Sunday runs are with my running club and there is an amazing amount of support.  

I’m mindful that I’m not the fastest runner but I’m feeling really positive about the London Marathon.  

It’s as much a mental challenge as a physical one and I’ve had to dig deep many times and give myself a good talking to. I think it’s normal to doubt yourself at times, but I’ve worked hard to shift my focus to enjoying every single training run, to take a positive out of it and put my trust in the training plan I’m following.” 

Running the London Marathon means so much to me because I’m following in the footsteps of my Mum and Dad, it’s going to be an incredibly emotional day. I’m looking forward to crossing that finish line, hugging my mum and achieving one of the biggest challenges in my life! 

My reasons for running the London Marathon

Ruth and her mum

“At 48 I’m running the London Marathon, the same age my mum was when she ran. It’s a milestone moment for her and something she can look forward to.  

Mum is easily my biggest cheerleader in everything I do and we’re extremely close. She’s such a positive person and she makes everyone feel good about themselves.  

When she was diagnosed, we were all shocked. She’d been suffering from a lingering cough and experiencing some pain when her GP referred her for a scan, and then it was all action stations.  

She started chemotherapy and radiotherapy but last year the incredibly hard decision to stop treatment was made and the focus shifted to making her more comfortable, enjoying the time we have left.  

Finding a charity to support was a no brainer – taking on this challenge, knowing I’m raising funds for a charity that supports people in a similar position to my Mum and our family gives me a lot of inspiration and motivation.” 

Show your support to Ruth by donating to her Just Giving page here.