Higham Ferrers marathon runner shows Dutch courage

Ruth Wildman finishes the Rotterdam Marathon
Ruth Wildman finishes the Rotterdam Marathon

A woman from Higham Ferrers captured the hearts of spectators of a marathon in The Netherlands after crossing the finishing line last.

Ruth Wildman, 51, who is a member of Wellingborough and District Athletics club, was interviewed on Dutch television after finishing the Rotterdam Marathon last in five hours, 35 minutes and 16 seconds.

The overall winner of the marathon Eliud Kipchoge, of Kenya, and the mayor of Rotterdam waited at the finishing line to congratulate her on her efforts.

Ruth, who ran in a pair of old trainers because they were comfortable, was interviewed on Dutch television after the event and said: “It was amazing.”

The annual Rotterdam Marathon sees 13,500 runners from 76 countries running through the city’s streets and over the famous Erasmusbrug bridge.

The top woman runner, Abebech Afework, from Ethiopia, finished in a time of two hours, 23 minutes, 59 seconds, with Mr Kipchoge finishing in two hours five minutes.

It is estimated nearly one million spectators line the streets to cheer on the runners taking part in what is the biggest one day event in The Netherlands.

The Rotterdam Marathon started in 1981 and is famous among runners for being a fast course, with four of the 10 fastest marathon runners ever running their fastest times in Rotterdam.

In April 2012 six runners taking part in the marathon beat the two hour five minute mark. The world record is two hours three minutes and 23 seconds.