When thinking about runners that inspire me I can't help but think about elites like Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan, Lauren Fleshman and more. I also can't help but think about runners that may not be as well known to the average everyday person, but are well known in their field like Nicole DeBoom, Dimity McDowell and Sara Bowen Shea from Another Mother Runner, and more. And there are those that led the way so that women could participate in sports today like Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon that I wrote a post about earlier this year. I also think about all the great people I know through various groups such as my Skirt Sports sistahs, Coach Jenny Hadfield's Challenge Group, Sweat Pink Ambassadors, and more.
In other words, inspiring runners are in abundance and can be found just about anywhere I look!
But, I have to say that the runners that TRULY inspire me are the underdog runners. The ones that don't fit the "running mold". The ones that are 80 and still running. The ones that don't find running to be the easiest thing but keep going out there and pushing just a little bit harder.
I'm sure you've seen them at races. They are usually at the very back and sometimes they are crossing the finish line long after the majority of people have gone home.
Rick and Dick Hoyt
Jimmy Jenson that was the first runner with Down Syndrome to cross the finish line of the NYC Marathon in 2013.
The blind runners and their partners like Scotty Smiley and his race partner and brother-in-law, Andy Cooper.
These are the runners that amaze and inspire me! I can find inspiration in so many places, but I truly do root for the underdog! Running isn't easy for me and I'm not a natural athlete. But anytime I want to complain about my pace or my abilities or pull a woe is me moment, I don't have to look far to find someone that is not just fighting through their own lazy brain syndrome (like I am 90% of the time) but is fighting through insurmountable odds to accomplish a dream.
Why yes, my excuse is invalid. It most definitely is. But thankfully, the inspiration I get from all these amazing runners that are my running heroes, is usually enough to get past whatever invalid excuses I have!
Question: Who are your running (or other life) heroes? Who provides you with the inspiration you need to keep going through tough situations?
Don't forget to stop by any of the hosts pages to visit the other posts about inspirational runners!