Why I’m running the London Marathon for Scope

Ruth is running the London Marathon for Scope this weekend. Here she says what’s inspired her to get training. 

“When it gets hard I remember I am running for Maria.”

I’m from Durham originally, I lived in Newcastle while I was at university and then in nearby Gateshead for several years. I now live in east London and work for the University of Sunderland.

I like all aspects of keeping fit and I’ve recently taken up boxing and yoga – which have really helped with the running training (which is not as kind on my knees the older I get). I am also currently studying for my PhD which should take up all of my spare time – but have suddenly found that I can be easily distracted by trying to teach myself the guitar and any opportunity to see live music!

The London Marathon is the greatest running event

All in all I have run 12 marathons. My fellow Geordies will hate me for saying this (as we love the Great North Run so much) but for me the London Marathon is the greatest running event. I love the atmosphere and the crowd, I love feeling like for one day only London belongs to runners and not cars. I love running past my office in Canary Wharf, and past my front door and of course up the mall to the finish.

Running in memory of my friend

My friend Maria was the most loving, funny and beautiful angel. Her smile could light up a room. I was Maria’s babysitter throughout my teenage years and her whole family are very close friends of mine. Maria died suddenly in October of 2015 and it hit me very hard, it seemed so unfair that such a beautiful person was taken from our lives.

This year as I’m running in memory of my friend, I feel it will be an emotional day. I find that I think a lot about her on my long runs. and when it gets hard I remember I am running for Maria. I will be raising a glass of something sparkling to her on 24 April after the run!

Why I chose Scope

A selfie of Ruth in her purple Scope running vestThe reason I chose to run for Scope is that I’ve always had a connection with disability. My parents travel to Lourdes in France every year to take ill and disabled people there and I have travelled with them since I was a child. My mam also worked her whole life in a special needs school, and for a number of years I got involved in volunteering as a swimming and athletics coach, and taking young people with disabilities to Italy annually for a skiing trip – which was always a memorable experience.

Ruth is just one of our amazing Scope supporters taking part in this week’s London Marathon and one of the many runners who will be taking part in memory of a loved one. We know that she will do Maria proud! If you’d like to sponsor Ruth, visit her fundraising page

If you’d like to donate in memory of someone special to you, get in touch in the comments below or email us.