03 Aug In the Spotlight – Ruth Cann

Thanks Louise for the nomination. Made me have to think!

When did running begin for you?

I was a late starter to exercise. I had a slipped femoral epiphysis of both hips as a young adolescent which needed surgery and  prevented me from taking part in PE at school for a number of years. The teachers did not know what to do with me during games lessons so I was sat outside the Headmaster’s table to do private study. This was also the naughty table and every week the same teacher would stop and give me a telling off for being at the naughty table. This is despite me explaining every week to him it was because I had bad hips! He was a delightful man.

After almost 2 years at the naughty table my running debut was in my first and last sports day at this school. None of my class were athletic types so we were really struggling to get all the events covered and somehow I managed to get nominated for what was the toughest event of all. The 800 metres! I ‘trained’ (jogged a couple of laps of the field track to make sure I could cover the distance) but on the day really struggled. I ended up walking but all my friends and class mates started to drag me around. It’s the taking part that counts 😀

That was it for running for me unless there was a cardiac arrest in work until I got to 30. I lost my Mum to Parkinson’s disease at this time and re-evaluated my lifestyle. I joined the gym and started to walk/jog short distances with my little dog Poppy. Before I knew it I had signed up to my first race the Llanelli Half Marathon to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. Despite having not done much running to train for this race I finished in 1.49 and got the running bug, so joined club back in 2012.

(Poppy out on the trails, and Ruth smiling her way through the 2019 Lliswerry 8)

Why do you run?

It helps to clear my head and I love being outside in the countryside. It just makes me feel better. I also enjoy the process of training for events and having a goal to aim for.

What race or moments in your running career holds the most significance and why?

My ‘Hen’ celebration Brecon Cross Country 2016. It was hilarious! I can’t believe we got away with it. I think the rowdy support from the hens helped to get the Men’s team promoted.

Marathon De Medoc 2018 for Deb and Ian’s wedding celebration – wine, beautiful weather, great company and a carnival atmosphere. Great experience.

Newport 2018. I managed to get my marathon pb of 3.28 . This was a week after running 3.39 in the hottest London ever.

(Editor’s comment: Ruth very modestly forgets to mention that this performance was also a P&D Women’s Club Record for the marathon….)

Who is your running inspiration?

I have so many! Lisa Cleary and Yvonne Williams always kept me motivated and interested in club running and socially. Ian Warburton’s club sessions were always favourites for me.

On an elite level Jo Pavey.

What event past or present would you like to take part in and why?

Sounds a bit basic but I would like to run the Ashby 20 Road Race. It’s in the town where I grew up and every time I try and enter it is full! Wouldn’t mind doing the Leicester Marathon too but the time has never been right.

What’s next?

I have a place for London in October. I am training consistently but doing what I feel like doing rather than following a strict plan. I am enjoying the variety at the minute even if it won’t get me a great marathon time.


I nominate Debbie Warburton!


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