Hayley Carruthers, a research radiographer at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), recently finished as the fourth overall woman at the London Marathon.
Hayley, who only started running in recent years, was also the second fastest British woman, finishing in a time of 2:47.47.
Though she began running earlier, Hayley’s first competitive race was the Manchester marathon in April 2017, and earlier this year ran the fastest long leg at the Northern Road Relays.
“I used to run the same pace every day, and had no real knowledge about training or nutrition, and was annoyed that I kept getting injured,” Hayley explains.
“I met my coach Gary Warhust last November, and we now speak every day, as well as meeting on race days.”
Gary is linked to Rotherham Harriers, who Hayley competes for at races, and has also worked with England athletes.
In the summer, Hayley will compete at elite level for the first time, running a 10,000m race in London, and would like to qualify and compete for England, including at the 2022 Commonwealth Games which will be held in Birmingham.
Hayley, who lives in Walsall, has also worked at UHB for the last two years in radiotherapy research, and is based in the cancer centre on the third floor of the UHB Heritage Building.
“I’d always wanted to work in research, as I’m interested in the whole pathway for patients, including what they were doing before radiotherapy, and how they are afterwards,” Hayley explains.
“Working in research means focusing on understanding cancer rather than just treating it.
“The job can sometimes be mentally draining, but I find that going for a run always makes the day better,” Hayley added.
Victoria Harrop, Senior Research Radiographer at UHB said: “The Cancer Research Team was really pleased to hear of Hayley’s success. Hayley is a popular member of the team and an incredibly hard working, focussed individual and that clearly translates to her passion in running.
“We all hope she does equally well in her track racing this summer.”
Hayley was cheered on by her family in London, during which she did “negative splitting” – meaning she actually got faster and faster as the race went on!