The run can be grueling and tough on those without the motivation to keep going which is exactly why so many runners pick out a cause to run for.
Find Inspiration By Following These Top Running Athletes
Whether it’s their own interests, a charity run or simply to prove that they can, the motivation behind any runner is just as important as the training they’ve done to get there. For those of us who need a little extra push, however, we can find inspiration in some of the world’s top runners. Striving to follow in the well-run footsteps of the best runners can help us go above and beyond our capabilities – here are six to get you started.
For those that have miraculously managed to miss Eliud Kipchoge’s success in marathon running, this Kenyan runner is certainly one to watch and follow in the future. In 2016, he won the Olympic Marathon, just 13 years after he surprised the industry by winning the 5000-meter final. Despite having technically run the fastest marathon time in history of just 2:00.25, this unfortunately didn’t count due to the fact the race wasn’t technically on a record-eligible course.
Despite this, Kipchoge continues to run some of the fastest times any marathon has ever seen, with his personal best sitting at an incredible 2:03.05 which he ran in London, 2016. His inspiration comes from his pure passion for the race, and the simple fact he’s won all but one of his countless career marathons, including the recent 2018 London Marathon.
Perhaps one of the well-known runners in the world today, Usain Bolt is certainly providing inspiration for countless people across the globe. Bolt isn’t a marathon runner, and given his short-distance sprint style, it’s unlikely that he will anytime in the future, but the inspiration he provides isn’t something to turn your nose up at. Currently holding the world record for the men’s 100m sprint at just 9.58 seconds, his passion and success in his sport certainly isn’t something to ignore.
With his record-breaking runs and his countless wins – after all, Usain Bolt won all three of his London 2012 Olympic Games events – most would expect the fame to go to his head but the simple fact is the complete opposite. In fact, Bolt has proven time and time again that he remains humble with donations to his previous high school, to demanding that a recent photoshoot be done in Jamaica in order to promote more jobs on the island. If that’s not something to take inspiration from, we aren’t sure what is!
English marathon runner Paula Radcliffe is a much-loved icon in her home country and rightly so. After taking up running at the tender age of only 7 years old after being influenced by her father who was also a marathon runner, Radcliffe battled through her training despite numerous health issues. With asthma and anaemia to contend with, the world seemed to be against her but she went on to become one of the best runners the world has ever seen. In 2002, she moved from shorter 5,000m distance runs to the full marathon and won the London Marathon that year. She set the global women’s record in 2003 too, with an incredible time of 2:15.25.
If there’s anything we need to take away from Radcliffe’s activity, it’s that despite her ill health and numerous injuries, she battled on. Despite recent controversy surrounding her activity and whether she was losing passion for her sport, Paula Radcliffe appears to have run her last race in 2017 at the London Marathon and in our opinion, she deserves the rest!
Mo Farah wasn’t a born marathon runner by any means, but he’s certainly proven himself time and time again as one of the best regardless. With multiple wins for Olympic, World and European championships, he’s more than secured himself a place in the history books and a place amongst some of the most inspirational runners in the world. Farah is perhaps best known for creating Olympic history at London 2012 when he won Britain’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the 10,000m with a time of just 27:30.42.
Since then, Farah has gone on to train and run marathon events, with his London Marathon run in 2018 earning him a British record-breaking time of 2:06.22. The previous record had been held by Steve Jones in 1985 with a time of 2:07.13. Farah’s inspiration comes from his determination to do well and his work within the sporting industry and beyond.
If there was ever an inspirational runner to follow, Claire Lomas is that runner. While she is by no means the fastest, she is definitely one to inspire and here’s why – it took her 9 days, but Lomas walked the Great Manchester Marathon in a robotic suit. After a freak riding accident in 2007 that left her paralyzed from the waist down through a dislocation in her spinal cord, Claire has since been training and working to not only push herself to do new activities that she loves, but also to raise money for research into paralysis cures and more.
Her London Marathon success in 2012 saw her take 17 days to walk the marathon in a pioneering robotic suit and raise £210,000 for Spinal Research, and has recently achieved the aforementioned Great Manchester Marathon personal best! Claire has proven that while running can seem difficult, anyone can do it and as long as you have something to keep going for, anything truly is possible.
Training to run a marathon, or even running the marathon itself, can be a challenge but one that is certainly worth it in the end. Hopefully our list has given you an insight into some of the most inspirational runners of our time and given you the push you need to get running yourself. There are plenty of inspirational runners that aren’t famous that are worth following too – all you have to do is pick your inspiration, and get running.
-By Harry Isaacs