Three Inspirational Runners Stories to Get You Out of Bed Today
To become a successful runner, you need a lot of determination, perseverance, and grit. Whether you're just starting out on the track, you were once an avid cross country runner and have recently decided to lace up your shoes again, or you've been a dedicated runner for some time, but you need some mojo to increase your drive, you're in the right place. Below, you'll find some snippets of highly inspirational stories about runners that will be sure to make you want to push past the breathlessness and cramps and go further than you ever thought you possibly could.
Kathy Switzer: A Pioneer for Women Runners
Kathy Switzer, a female runner, was determined to participate in the Boston Marathon at a time when women were banned from participating in the competition. She met a lot of discouragement, including from her own coach, who proclaimed that women were too fragile to engage in a marathon. In 1967, she proved the naysayers wrong when she registered for the race under the name "K.V. Switzer" to disguise her gender.
The only woman amongst a crowd of men, Switzer was quickly spotted by race officials, who treated her as an intruder. Jock Semple, the director of the race, attempted to forcibly remove her and said, quote: “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!” Kathy Switzer steered clear of Semple and crossed the finish line, making her the first woman who entered the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry and completed the race. Switzer paved the way for future women runners, as in 1972, women were permitted to enter the Boston Marathon.
Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin: The Stars of the Rio Olympics
When you've dedicated your entire life to running, making it to the Olympics is considered one of the most prestigious accomplishments. While being there is undoubtedly a proud moment on its own, but winning is the gold is the ultimate goal. When Abbey D’Agostino, a US runner who made her way to the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning was certainly her objective; however, things changed when she crossed paths with Nikki Hamblin, a New Zealand runner. Literally. In the middle of the race, the women collided and fell to the ground. D’Agostiono was the first to stand, and instead of trying to push herself to the lead, she decided to reach out and help her fellow racer. She held out her hand and helped Hamblin get back on her feet, and as the pair started running again, D’Agostino realized she was injured and fell to the ground. Repaying the kindness, Hamblin reached out to D’Agostiono, helped her up, and encouraged her to complete the race.
Rick Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy, and doctors told his father, Dick Hoyt, that he would never live a normal life. It turns out that they were right; Rick Hoyt's life was far from ordinary, but not for the reasons the doctors thought. In 1977, Rick told his father, Dick, that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile race organized to benefit a lacrosse player who was left paralyzed by accident. Dick, who was inspired by his son's determination, decided to help him and pushed Rick's wheelchair through the race. While the duo came second to last, people were so inspired by their participation that Team Hoyt competed in more than 1,000 races.
- Memphis, TN.