Our TEAMmates come to TEAM GritChicks with their own unique background, motivations, goals and dreams, and we find so much inspiration from each other. We all have unique gifts and so much to give, and in our safe, supportive community, we are free and encouraged to be exactly who we are.
In this spirit, we are excited to share a little of our TEAMmates’ stories, to celebrate them and to inspire others as well.
With that said, I am excited to share with you a little about another one of our Inspiring Female Athletes, TEAM GritChicks TEAMmate Ruthie Loffi. If you follow Ruthie on Instagram you already know what a badass inspiration she is!
Ruthie, tell us when and why you started running?
I ran in High School 100-meter distance – not long distance. I didn’t really care for it much at all but did it because I was ok at it.
The “why” came a lot later. I moved overseas to India with my first husband in 1986 (yes I’m old) and when I finally did venture out after the culture shock, I was desperate to meet people and find some sense of normalcy as I was not permitted to work. I discovered a network of fun ex-pats that were part of The Hash House Harriers. So, then, my “why” was for the companionship and camaraderie it gave me.
My “why” now has become that it has given me self-confidence which I have always struggled with my entire life, and a sense of independence and sense of self.
What do you love most about it?
I love that running is the simplest of forms of therapy – both physically and mentally.
What is your biggest challenge when training?
Not overtraining!! Sticking to the plan…
What are your favorite places and time of day to run?
I much prefer afternoon/evening running!
Nowadays, my favorite places to run locally – that is in Stillwater, OK – are the network of about 31 miles of trails at Lake McMurtry which is a mile from the house.
My other favorite place, is Lake City, Colorado. The mountains are where I love to be and truly feel most connected with God and nature.
Have you had an embarrassing or funny running experience you'd be willing to share?
Not necessarily funny, but as I mentioned, I was very involved in The Hash House Harriers when I lived overseas. While in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, myself and two of my crazy friends took on one of the "hash" runs (they were once a month) and since we were all female we decided on a "PINK" Hash. The requirements regardless of male or female, were that you had to wear a pink item of clothing. Suffice to say, the males of the running group, were quite ingenious in their selections...
What is your favorite place (destination) you've run?
Having lived in quite a few countries and run in some of them, I'd have to say that Cape Town, South Africa was beautiful and the running community, robust.
What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment with running/fitness?
I would have to say my 100-mile finish in 22 hours, in 2019. Everything just fell into place, I had a crew/pacer of one and I was thrilled to bits to finish strong. I would like to say that my first 100 was a DNF and I still consider that an accomplishment because, when we step out there to push our fear factor, it can be very rewarding. DNFs show us that we are strong, not afraid of failure and take a lot of learning moments from the adventure. For me, DNF does not mean Did Not Finish, it means, Did Not Fail.
Do you have a female role model (running related or not)? If so, who is she and why?
Her name is Bodica. (here’s a rundown ;) She’s a historical figure from circa AD 60. She came from the same part of England that I come from – East Anglia. She basically roused an army of Iceni people to fight the Romans.
What are some interesting non-running facts about you?
I’ve lived in 8 different countries around the world.
I have a heart murmur (from birth).
When I was barely a few weeks old, Sir John Hunt held me in his arms. He was good friends with my Nanny and Grandad. (dad’s parents). He was the leader of the first British expedition up Mount Everest in 1953. Maybe he influenced my love of the mountains ;)
What is your biggest running goal/dream?
I would love to run Ultra Trail Mont Blanc.
I am “running” (using that word loosely) Barkley Fall Classic this September. I would love to finish the 50K or at LEAST, the marathon.
What is your biggest NON-running goal/dream?
I lived in Cairo, Egypt for 2 years and have always thought I’d love to study Egyptology. I am always quite envious of Egyptologists that appear on documentaries about all things Egyptian history…
Anything else you'd like to share?
I am thankful for the wonderful and positive community that is GritChicks and you Jen, as our fearless leader.