FILM: The Towpath Runner

Ruth Allen shares her stretch of the Cromford Canal in Derbyshire and explores why jogging beside water has become integral to her feeling at home.


Ruth has always run on towpaths. When she lived in Lancashire, she ran the Galgate to Glasson Dock stretch of the Lancaster Canal. When she was adapting to a new life in Nottinghamshire, she used the Grantham Canal as a way of connecting to her new surroundings and working through her homesickness for Lancashire.

After each run, Ruth would colour in a map and chart her progress, noting all the things she had found along the way. Now, as she settles into her new home in Derbyshire, she finds herself plotting the quickest path to her local stretch, the Cromford Canal. Even before she has finished unpacking, she’s pounding the towpath. In this short film, shot at Cromford Wharf, High Peak Junction and the Gregory Tunnel, Ruth explores just how important running beside water has become in her life.

Find your local waterway run here: