Your running heroes

Who are the people that you draw inspiration from and why?


  • Lots but some are on here so will not embarrass them by naming names.

    Ron Hill of course: went from 2:20+ marathons to sub 2:10 (and won Boston) and wrote a warts-and-all *auto*biography which gives you a great insight into the ups and downs of a running career

    Paula Radcliffe, also for not being a word mincer (the bit in her book where she said that Liz Yelling had gone in her pants during one of her marathons and felt better so she gave it a go too during the Olympics, ha! there's girltalk for you!).

    Scott Jurek for the miraculous ability to eat burritos and falafel during races and not have them come straight out again at one end or the other.

    Priscilla Welch - codger power - Bedfordshire gal who won NYC @ 42

    Geoffrey Mutai - cos he went from 2:12 at Monaco to 2:03 at Boston (and once he nearly lapped me in a 2lap marathon)
  • Joss Naylor and other fell-racing legends are an inspiration but I would never had heard about them were it not for Richard Askwith. An ordinary runner with a talent for translating what make fell running such a thrill onto the page

    Others I admire are the top runners who aren't arrogant or stuck in a clique but happy to chat and share with MOPers and BOPers like me, such as Mark Palmer. Having seen interviews with guys like Jez Bragg and Ian Sharman they seem very down to earth indeed, which I respect

    Talent and hard work but no ego

  • Emil Zatopeck

    The only person ever (or likely to) win Olympic golds at 5k, 10k and Marathon (his first attempt at the distance) in Helsinki 1952 and his stand against the old Soviet system

  • Fido2Dogs - I am no burrito expert but dont they typically contain meat etc and Scott Jurek is a strict vegan... would be interested to know what he does have in them that keeps him running well.

    For me it is Joss Naylor.

  • Strange though it may seem when thinking about running heroes my first thought is always a lady called Madge who the BBC use to interview each year at London marathon she seemed to get such I great deal of enjoyment from running always smiling. She sums up why I run and was my inspiration to start. I also have a huge amount of respect for people like TISM and the lady who ran around the world.
  • for me...kilian journet and Dean Kimage
  • Yiannis Kouros who is the greatest ultra runner ever.

    During the 80's and 90's he held just about every ultra running record known.

    He once ran over 1000k in 6 days.

    He also holds the top 4 times at Spartathlon. The fastest 20.29 being about 2 hours faster than any other man.

    Truly inspirational.

  • For me its not just about the guys at the front although they do inspire me.

    Its the folks that have taken on the challenge not knowing if they are even capable of finishing. To see the sheer joy on there face at the finish and share in there tears is a profoundly moving experience and one that I like to be part of time and time again.....

  • Right on Bret Runner, I have two running heroes right now:

    1)Is my pal Mat, who the wrong side of 20 stone is taking those first few steps, lungs bursting legs hurting every step on his way to his first 10k and a slimmer fitter him.

    2) My daughter who wanting to see what all the fuss was about managed 2.7 miles yesterday, with just a tiny walking break in the middle.
  • Mick and Phil damn nice guys making the most of a difficult life, and over coming the challenges presented to them.. insperational imho and a example to us all.
    These two prove to me that no matter if you think you can or think you can't you are probably right.
  • Bret Runner has made an important point. 

    You really don't have to go far up the ultra running hierarchy to find a hero. 

    Any man or woman who takes on a target much bigger than anything they have done previously, and overcomes the odds, has displayed an element of heroism.  Taking on a race where you are likely to fail is a bit like looking into the abyss. 

    I have gained a strong respect for female ultra runners who take on the 100 mile events.  It is terrifying to take on an event where you have a 50/50 chance of getting eliminated on paper, but some of these events see the female field reduced to a single lone warrior. 

    That is a hero for you right there!

  •             A part from the usual international runners, I'd have to say there some  ordinary that do Extra ordinary things, Jane Tomlinson for her Marathon running whilst battling Cancer and my all time hero's the father and son team Team Hoyt there story is amaizing and so inspiring ! True love of a Father and his son ! check out the link ! You'll weep ..
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