Meet Ruth Lucas, Interim Head of Marketing, Digital and Creative Services at Swansea University.

Outside work, Ruth is a keen rugby supporter, foodie, fitness enthusiast and dog mum to Blue the Whippet.

Ruth signed up for the Swansea Half Marathon to kickstart her exercise routine after having her daughter Lily in 2020 and raise awareness for better mental health.

We chat to Ruth and find out all about her running journey.


ruth lucas

Why did you sign up to the race?
I discovered a passion for sport and exercise in my 30s, taking part in activities from Crossfit to obstacle course racing. I loved feeling fit and strong as well as socialising. After having my daughter in 2020, I tried hard to make regular exercise part of my routine again. I managed for a while, especially in lockdown. But when I went back to work full-time, I struggled to fit exercise in. After several attempts to get back into fitness, my 2023 New Year’s resolution was to sign up to the Swansea Half and that’s what I did.

How did you get on with training? Where did you mainly train?
It was tricky to start off, particularly in the winter with dark evenings. I tried to run in my lunch break but I’d end up soaking wet (cheers Welsh weather!). Turning up to meetings bedraggled was not a good look. But everything got easier during the spring. I could run in the evenings, weekends and with my colleagues. Thanks to Bek, Phil and Rhian for Tuesday Run Club! Most of my training was in Swansea, taking advantage of the lovely (flat) Swansea Bay but I squeezed in runs in New Forest while holidaying there too.

You’ve done fantastically well with fundraising, having raised over £1000; in what ways did you raise money?
When I started, I just hoped to hit £200 target so I was thrilled and grateful to achieve more than that! I began documenting my training on social media so my family and friends could feel part of my journey, then I reached out to people personally and a cake sale with my Tuesday Run Club colleagues helped. The donations kept coming! I think being honest about my motivations helped aswell. After becoming a mum, I struggled with my own mental health for a while. It was overwhelming and I didn’t prioritise my own needs, after putting my daughter first. I would like to thank everyone for their generosity and support for such a worthy cause.

What were the peaks and pitfalls on race day? (I can absolutely vouch that the heat was horrendous!)
I was excited and terrified! But I loved being part of Team Swansea and couldn’t wait to collect my vest. We were lucky to have a team talk from former Wales captain Ryan Jones, and endurance athlete, Lowri Morgan. They were both inspiring and I remember Lowri saying: “Not everyone can run a half marathon” and “It’s easier to run with a smile on your face”. I remembered that advice when things got tough! I’m lucky to be capable and I kept smiling. It was AMAZING to see all my supporters at the end, especially my husband, daughter and dog. There’s no warning at how emotional you feel. There were lots of tears!


Ruth Lucas

What would you say to anyone who wants to start their running journey?

You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership. Just a pair of trainers and motivation. My top tips would be to:

• Buy a good pair of trainers. I tried to run in an old pair at first and they weren’t kind to my joints!
• Run with others if you can, I had great support from friends and colleagues!
• Invest in new tech – not essential at all but I love my new Garmin watch, headphones and tracking my progress on Strava.
• Don’t forget to listen to something that motivates you. Podcasts have been brilliant for me. I also asked friends and family to suggest music to add to my running playlist, which I listened to on race day.
• And finally, take it slow. focus on putting one foot in front of the other, the rest will come in time. Enjoy it all!