Tag Archives: Inspiring Stories

Best Inspiring Story 2011 : Blind Marathon Winner Finishes Without Guide

The story of marathon runner, Amy McDonaugh, has to be one of the best inspiring stories for 2011.

Blind marathon winner Amy McDonaugh, from Irmo, South Carolina, finished Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio, in just under three hours.

McDonaugh’s 2 hour, 58 minute and 14 second win in the 26.2 mile guide was accomplished without a guide.

Though she has no peripheral vision, is blind in one eye and has poor vision in the other, McDonaugh was able to get the best woman’s time in the 13th annual Flying Pig Marathon.

How does she run “blind”?

After the win McDonaugh told reporters that she’s completely blind in her right eye and almost completely blind in the left. She makes her way through the crowds by watching the person directly in front of her. Once she was out in front she followed the lead pace car.

Inspiring Running Stories : Running In Prison

One running blog that I loved to bits is , Running in Place: A Blog About Surviving Adversity. The blog is written by guy called Charlie Engle.

The interesting thing is Charlie Engle is in prison serving a 21 months sentence.He is there because he allegedly overstated his income on a home loan application in 2005. NY Times did a story on how the IRS went aggressively after him and there has been messages of support at his running blog.

Taking Lemons and Turning them into Lemonades

Charlie has decided to make the most of his time by keeping an inspiring prison blog. Charlie takes the time to talk to other inmates about running, and helping them learn to read.

At his sentencing, Mr. Engle told the judge: “I can say with confidence that I can turn negatives into positives. I have no doubt I will make the best of it.”

To understand how Charlie Engle unfairly got into prison, see NY Times Charlie Engle article.

To get inspired and show your support, go to Charlie Engle Prison Blog.

Twice Oldest London Marathon Runner : Dies

In my Inbox today morning I found the story of Albert Gordon. The twice oldest london marathon runner died in New York aged 107. Now that’s a long time to be alive.

More amazing fact about these veteran of London marathon. At 105, he was still working four days a week at Deltec Asset Management! He made calls to prospective clients well into his 90’s.

According to the New York times story Albert started marathon running in his 80’s.

Albert Gordon Secret To Long life

  • Dedication to physical fitness that meant marathon running.
  • He took one puff of a cigarette in his life.
  • Didn’t salt his food.
  • Limited his alcohol intake to a glass of Champagne a year.
  • If you can walk? walk. He sometimes walked from the airport to the office.

Celebrity : Hero at 2009 Boston Marathon

The biggest draw/celebrity at 2008 Boston Marathon was Lance Armstrong. For those who may have missed it, Lance finished 2008 Boston Marathon on a time of around 2.50s. He then surprised us with the announcement that he is quitting running and getting back to his first love, Cycling!

The 2009 Boston Marathon is just a few days away and I thought you need to be aware of the hero at this year’s boston marathon; Serge Roetheli. His name might not be as famous as Lance but Serge has an inspiring story. He has run around the world.

Serge on His African Leg of the Run Around the World

Serge on His African Leg of the Run Around the World

Serge and Nicole Roetheli (from Switzerland ) sold all of their belongings to run around the world. Serge ran and Nicole, his wife, followed behind him on a small motorcycle and filmed their entire journey. Serge ran more than 25,000 miles over five years with Nicole behind him. They traveled through 37 counties on six continents. While they were running through Africa , they both caught Malaria and almost died, but Serge and Nicole kept on tuckin.

A movie about their adventure has been made. The film is tiltled “Beyond The Epic Run” It will be out in springs. It’s an amazing story of an athlete –and a loving wife’s–physical and mental strength. They risked everything for this experience. Very inspiring for anyone trying to overcome any challenge!

For 25,000 runners at Boston marathon,Serge will be attending and will be available at the Runner’s World booth.Drop by and shake a hand.

To watch trailers of the movie visit serge’s bog.

Race Report : Running My First Tokyo Marathon

This is a Guest Blog post from my Friend Khalfan who ran the 2009 Tokyo Marathon. He is a Kenyan teaching in Japan

Tokyo Marathon(My first Marathon)
From Khalfan.


Actually my main sport has been soccer since when I was 6 years old. But in high school I ran a number of short races like 4 x 100m relay, and 200m.
Although I am from Kenya, running is not seen as cool by city youths. Only these days of running boom, people are kind of noticing the power of running. In my case I felt the power of running when I moved to Japan.

How I fell in Love with running

Last July, my student invited me to run in their 5k by 4 Ekiden, and I was the anchor! I was expecting something like 20 minutes, but to my surprise I ran for 17 minutes 30 seconds(Thanks to my soccer sprints!).

After this I felt like challenging half Marathon in November which went well and was tempted to shot at the Tokyo Marathon. Amazingly, a month before November’s half Marathon, I had only two runs. One 6 Kilometre run which I did in my October vacation in Mombasa and a 16 Kilometre run which I did two days from the race. I was quite poorly prepared, but was surprised to finish in 1 hour 31 minutes.

Tokyo Marathon 2009

Starting line:

I didn’t want to go to the Tokyo Marathon start line as poorly prepared as November. So I started training hard and long, only to get injured and stay out of action all of December and January. The injury was so serious that it forced me to go to an orthopedician. In mid Feb I was back on my feet but was scared to do tough training to avoid another injury. So I went to the start line with confidence but poorly prepared again with only one 25 Kilometre run as my longest run.

Register : Get an Entry To Tokyo marathon : Matter of Luck

I think you already know that Japan is a country of runners, I don’t mean record breakers as we know them but I mean people who love running! That means getting a ticket to the Tokyo Marathon, being the biggest running event in Japan is not a joke! The limit was 30,000 Marathon runners and 5,000 10 Km runners, but there were over 260,000 applicants. Lucky me!

On the starting line I met a few good runners I know since my position was good as I used my 5k results. I was dreaming of an ambitious target time of 2:55 to 3:30 and was planning to run 5k 20 to 21 minutes splits. From my half Marathon experience I knew that my pacing is bad, so I decided to follow a guy who can take me at a 4:10 pace.

When the gun went off, we crawled for about one and a half minute before crossing the start line. My leader Mr. Paddy was quite slow at the first split and we crossed 5k point after 23 minutes. Although I trusted him, I still doubted myself if I can hold such a slower pace for long, so I decided to speed up (A rookies mistake which I knew about!). The reason I sped off was the feeling that I better get tired after covering many Kilometres in a short while than getting tired trying to keep a uniform pace.

The second split 5k to 10k I did it in 21 minutes, 10k to 15k at 22minutes, 15k to 20k at 23 minutes. But my trouble started between 20 to 25 mark. My calf muscles started getting tighter as I approached 24k mark. Remember that is around my longest practice run! I hanged in there and crossed the 25k point in 26 minutes.

The Awesome Spectators of Tokyo marathon

The good thing about Tokyo Marathon is that, there are supporters everywhere, it makes it difficult to even think of quitting. And that is why the finishing percentage might be one of the highest in the world at 97%. Although the idea of quitting started filling my head after 25 mark, I knew that I had to reach 28k mark since that is where someone was waiting for me with my Gel. So I pushed on, telling my brain that after taking the gel I can just quit.

I have heard of people eating Bananas, cookies and bread and other stuff as they run, but I always felt this is very silly since serious runners have no such leisures. Also the idea of run-walking was something I never imagined I could keep up with! But as I approach 28K mark I felt all my energy was sapped out! When I saw the Banana supply, I grabbed a handful of Banana pieces that amount to about two bananas. I took the banana hungrily, drunk lots of water and amino drink, enough to get me to the 28 mark.

At 28 mark I got my gel but since I was so hungry I drunk the gel in few seconds, and was supply less. Luckily just around the corner some supporter offered me a bottle of water, and two more supporters gave me gels. Nevertheless at 29 mark I broke my not walking promise and stopped to stretch and walk. In fact at this point I was thinking of quitting but most of the route had railings and supporters never stopped cheering. That made me feel like I was on the stage, and I started enjoying talking with the supporters in between my runs!

The only thing that helped me on top of the food helping was the medical support around! I knew someone had medical supplies, but I forgot what color jacket volunteers had medical supplies. I stopped a number of them asking, until I found out the volunteers in red jackets had spray that could ease my calf muscles. So with few pit stops, I could manage a decent walk run that saw me cross 30k mark after 32 minutes, 35k mark after 31 minutes, and 40k mark after 33, The last 2ks or so I did them in about 12 minutes and managed to cross the finish line far from my target time after 3 hours 46minutes. The rest is history!

The winner of Tokyo Marathon was a fellow Kenyan – Salim Kipsang, I wished I had asked him to carry my chip for me!

Inspiring Story of a 65 year Old Japanese Marathon Runner

Though a Kenyan won, the real record breaker was a 65 years old Japanese with Bushido(Samurai) spirit – Mr. Akinori Kusuda who ran 52 Marathons in 52 days. Tokyo Marathon was his 52nd!

I just ran my first Marathon and I feel like I need two weeks recovery, I wonder what kind of muscles does Mr. Akinori have!

The run was tough, but really memorable and fun! My next plan is to do more long runs of 30 to 35k and do a couple of 10 ks and half Marathons before attempting another Full Marathon!

95 Years Old Athlete : Inspiring Story Of The Week : Leland Mcphie

So, what are your plans for your 95th birthday? I thought about that question after reading the life story of 95 year old athlete Leland Mcphie.

At last weekend US masters indoor championship Leland Mcphie competing in the weight toss,threw a 35-pound mass nearly 22 feet. It wasn’t a record, but it was good enough to win his age group.

That age group? 95 years and older. His is a story of 78 years athletic career.

According to a story of Leland Mcphie in the San diego tribune,

  • Born in Salt Lake City in March 1914, the oldest of nine children
  • a self-taught pole vaulter at Colton Union High School from 1929 to 1933.
  • At San Bernardino Valley College in 1935, using a bamboo pole, he set a vault record (12-10) that endured until 1961.
  • In 1973 he began playing tennis.
  • In 1994 he discovered the track out of curiosity. Dressed in tennis clothes and shoes, he tackled the 50-meter dash – and won his first race.

Mcphie training plan

He trains five days a week, he’s either toning muscles on the weight machines at the YMCA or practicing throws and jumps.

“He does a crossword puzzle each day,” McPhie’s granddaughter, Rochelle Michaels, told the Trib. “He has continued to exercise all his life. He has a strong spirit. He’s amazingly inspirational.”

Best Inspiring Books about Marathon Running

One of the best medicine for a runner who feels low is a good inspiring book. The following is a list of four inspiring books that I have come across.

  1. “My Life on the Run,” by Bart Yasso. The book chronicles experiences of the icon from Runner’s World magazine, providing humor and perspective any runner can appreciate.
  2. “Running with the Buffaloes,” by Chris Lear. An All-American runner in his college days, Lear set out to follow the 1998 cross country team at the University of Colorado. Lear takes the reader behind the scenes as the team faces adversity and tragedy.
  3. “Bowerman and the Men of Oregon,” by Kenny Moore. The author, a two-time Olympic marathoner, gives readers an exhaustive look at Bill Bowerman, the legendary track and field coach at the University of Oregon, his coaching philosophies and the program’s rise to national prominence.
  4. “Duel in the Sun,” by John Brant. The David versus Goliath tale of the 1982 Boston Marathon, which pitted America’s distance running star, Alberto Salazar, against gritty underdog Dick Beardsley, the Minnesota native and former Detroit Lakes resident.

Running heroes, 98 Yrs Old Runner, Rosario Dies in Mexico

I read the following remarkable headline from International Herald Tribune.

“Rosario Iglesias, a world-class runner in the 90 years-and-older category, has died in Mexico City. She was 98.”

According to the newspaper report “The news vendor took up sports at the age of 80, Iglesias collected newspapers from distributors and ran though the streets delivering them to subscribers, covering six to seven miles (nine to 11 kilometers) a day. A customer who was also a runner noticed her rushing about at an age when most people have long retired and suggested she enter a race.”

She did, she won, and her running career took off.

This “I can do it attitude” shows the only barrier in life is our own limitations. Be inspired.

Yoshihisa Hosaka : Running Heroes of 2009

In life, some people choose to grow bolder while others grow older.

This week I read the amazing story of Yoshihisa Hosaka, the 60 year-old Japanese runner turned back the years with a run of sparkling brilliance. Finishing 89th overall in 2:36:30, at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon on Feb. 1, 2009. Now that is something that makes us forget the global credit crunch! I have known Japan has good senior marathon runners but I didn’t imagine they can be this good.

And this is a photo of Yoshihisa at the finishline

You deserve it ma

"It was the best. There is no other amateur runner anywhere as happy as I am."

Yoshihisa Hosaka Marathon training plan

According to japan running news the great man trained 30Kms a day!! The dude must have strong muscles and bones!!

He started running at 36 and  at his first marathon he ran a superb 2:31:19.

Running Quotes By Haile Gebreselassie

Quotes on what pushed Gebreselassie to start running,

“He was not a runner, my father, but he was quick. I always remember it was very difficult to escape from him when he was angry. If he wanted to beat us he would always catch us. Even me, he could always catch me.” Haile Gebreselassie

I used to run to school, 10k every day. And this at altitude, perfect preparation, really.” Haile Gebreselassie

“In the rainy season, sometimes to get to the first lesson we had to run really quick, because we had to cross the river to school and we’d have to go up and down the bank to find a place to cross because there is no bridge.” Haile Gebreselassie

His father never believed in running

“My father thought sport was something fun – he didn’t know it was a way to make money. Then I won a Mercedes at the world championships and I gave it to him. From the moment it arrived my father said: ‘Good, you can support not just yourself but me too” Haile Gebreselassie

The most important things for Haile Gebreselassie

“I will always listen to my coaches. But first I listen to my body. If what they tell me suits my body, great. If my body doesn’t feel good with what they say, then always my body comes first” Haile Gebreselassie

“I’m lucky. The best possible place in the world for training is Addis Ababa, so I am home all the time except when I am racing. I like to be there, near my family, my kids, also the real estate business I run with my wife” Haile Gebreselassie

The future

“At the moment I am a little bit politician, yes. I think that could be my next step. It is not because I want power, it is because of what I think I could do for the people.” Haile Gebreselassie

His thought on his “crooked” hand

“This hand is not very active always, because it was in this hand that I carried my books. My carrying hand was always my strongest. Now I think my other hand has developed more muscles from signing all those autographs.” Haile Gebreselassie