Let running ‘Greats’ inspire your run

Camille Herron,  Guinness World Record, 2012 Women's Route 66 MarathonEvery child needs a hero, one who can either fly, is super fast, super strong or has some eye-boggling gift that defies human ability.  As  we grow older, that hero takes on different qualities and / or definition and plays a different, but no less important role in our aspirations and dreams. Who doesn’t love a good hero? Someone who does what we dream of, only better.  For runners, it’s no different. We derive inspiration from many of either our fellow greats or those who’ve gone before us and put their indelible stamp on running history.

Some of the greatest runners have used the running platform to raise awareness for causes, to speak out against various ills in society or to garner support for a personal dream or idea that has impacted the world.  Still, there are those who inspire us because of their determination and drive to overcome their physical, mental or psychological limitations.

Here are a few who inspire me.

83-year-old, Bob Dolphin and Lenore Dolphin are running proof that age is just a number. They are race directors of the Yakima River Canyon Marathon; Bob has completed more than 500 marathons while Lenore volunteers at most of these events.

Six year old, Keelan Glass, is a world record holder. With a time of 2:46:31, she is the youngest half-marathoner in the world.

Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston marathon in 1967. Amidst much controversy she finished and later went on to win the NYC marathon.

American Sprinter Allyson Felix, an Olympic gold and silver medalist, she fights against the physical inactivity epidemic.

Paula Radcliffe, world record holder for women’s marathon and mother, she has run while pregnant -training for the 2012 London marathon, and as a new mother.

Jason Smyth, a Paralympic runner, who was likened to Usain Bolt in the 2012 games. He is visually impaired with 10 percent vision because of an hereditary, degenerative eye condition and the fastest disabled runner of all-time.

There are many others such as Usain Bolt, Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan, Meb Keflegizhi among others who carry the running torch that advances the sport of running and inspire us to dream big, to never give up and to set our sights on making a difference doing what we love one step at a time. However, whomever and wherever they are, because of them the world is a better place and we salute them as we aspire to become an inspiration ourselves.

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