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“The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race.”
~ spectator sign seen during a marathon

The man who inspired the 26.2 mile run. He ran. He announced victory. He died. A legend was born.


Is there a better way to start a conversation about inspirational runners than to write about the man who started this whole crazy idea of running until your body can’t run no more … or, as in his case, until the body ceases all together.

So for those who are still not so familiar with the story. Here goes a synopsis:

It was around 490 BC, when Greece, at war with Persia, had just won a great battle at Marathon. Pheidippides, the running dude on team Greece, was ordered to bring the message of victory to Athens. And so he ran, endorphins pumping through his veins, until he reached Acropolis and announced “Joy, we win.” And then … the combination of joy from victory and joy from running was too much for his heart to take. His heart burst. He died. Poems were written. The legend of the marathon was born.

His greatest achievements:

He has inspired and continues to inspire millions of people world-wide to run. Some numbers:

  • Millions or runners participating in the marathon around the world. With half a million people running in the US alone every year.
  • Thousands of races around the world. On February 23 of this year, runners will be making their way through the 26.2 mile journey in places like: Tokyo, Sevilla, Pretoria, and Punakha (that’s in Bhutan).
  • He is the first documented running dude and he is the first in our list of the most inspirational runners.


Your turn

Please comment on who is your most inspiring runner and why. We’ll share your story with others.


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