Reflections on 2019 – An inspiring year for running

It’s been a truly remarkable and inspiring year for running.

On the roads, Eluid Kipchoge showed the world that ‘no human is limited’ when he became the first human in history to run a sub-2-hour marathon in the city of Vienna on Saturday 12th October 2019.

Kipchoge completed the marathon in 1 hr, 59 mins, 40.2 secs at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt.

Meanwhile on the trails, Jim Walmsley smashed his own course record by over 20 minutes at the Western States Endurance Run, completing the 100-mile course in 14 hrs, 9 mins and 28 secs. Walmsley’s accomplishments in ultra-trail in the past two years have moved the goalposts in a major way – making a sub-14-hour time a genuine possibility (and far from a pipe dream).

Like Sir Roger Bannister in 1954 and other greats before them, these athletes are redefining what’s possible in running and inspiring others to do the same.

Inspiring runs of 2019

A little closer to home (and away from the world stage), it has been a great year of running for the Run4It team!

Our Retail & Customer Services Manager, Will, asked people across the company to nominate themselves and colleagues (and friends) who have inspired, influenced and motivated them in 2019. Each person shared a photo and a few words, highlighting a person and performance that had inspired and touched them. Here’s what they said…

He’s rapid!

~ Chiara about Gilles

I nominate Gilles! He ran a marathon PB at Loch Ness in 3:25, knocking off a good 7 mins from Stirling earlier in the year!

During the Scottish Half both his 10K splits were faster than any 10K race he ran before. He then achieved a sub 40 minute 10K (39.58) at the Men’s 10K yesterday! He is rapid!

A stonking top 10 performance that set up a fantastic year of running.

~ will ABOUT flick

Flick ran the Balmoral 15 mile trail race in April 2019, finishing in 1:59 to take 9th position in the senior female category. She went on to run the Loch Ness Marathon and the Illuminator in October.

Home event and incredible support!

~ duncan ABOUT great aberdeen run

Boss man Duncan ran the Great Aberdeen Run 10K in 43:18 coming 8th position in his age group and 91st overall.

He said this: “Great Run Aberdeen for me, as I had been unable to do it the past few years. Inspiring due to being my home event and the incredible support from the crowds and that run down a closed Union Street to the finish!”

A great example of combining work and dedicated training for an iconic event.

~ hamish about emma

Emma won the internal ballot for a free staff race place for the Virgin Money London Marathon courtesy of New Balance. She did an awesome job of balancing work responsibilities and training for this iconic event!

Read about Emma’s London Marathon Journey.

10 years of hard work to run a time some people can only dream of!

~ flick ABOUT finlay

Finlay achieved his long-standing goal of a sub 9hr Ironman in Barcelona in October after 10 years of hard graft! On the running leg, he ran a sub 3hr marathon in 2:59 – a time I could only dream of running – following a 3.8K swim in open water and 180K bike ride. An amazing achievement and consequence of years of dedication and training.

He raced as part of the Scottish Athletics team and ran a 15.09 PB – quite impressive

~ mandy ABOUT ben

In April 2019, Ben raced the London Mini Marathon as part of a Scottish Athletics team , running the last 3.2miles of the London Marathon route. With no warm up he ran it in 15.18! 

Then went on a week later to race the Edinburgh 5k in 15.09! Quite impressive times!

A significant, milestone achievement in my health and wellbeing journey!

~ amy ABOUT edinburgh half marathon

“The EMF Half Marathon 2019 was probably my biggest achievement. It marked a significant milestone in my health and wellbeing journey that started in December 2017 when I decided that I wanted to change my life, get fit and healthy. At that point I couldn’t even run for 5 minutes without needing to stop, so to complete a half in a time I was happy with was an amazing feeling.”

I felt strong, I felt sh**, I felt blissful then disappointed, then angry, then happy, etc.

~ romain about the west highland way

“Running the West Highland Way Race was a unique experience, characterised by an incredible emotional roller coaster. I felt strong, I felt sh**, I felt blissful then disappointed, then angry, then happy, etc. (the list goes on). It’s funny how you can mess with your own head when running with high expectations! That’s the exciting part of running: when a race offers a real opportunity to test the strength of your character and teaches you how to take a step back and see the bigger picture.”

Notoriously brutal – never again

~ gordie about the jura fell race

Luke Taylor nominated Gordie, who stepped up to attempt one of the classic British mountain races – the Isle of Jura Fell Race – a notoriously brutal and unforgiving course. Having never trained for anything this long before, he managed to whip himself into shape and hone his race day nutrition and improve his hill endurance through many long hours in the hills.

Although the race didn’t go completely to plan, getting lost in the low cloud, he managed to tough it out and get round the course in 6 hrs 44. “Never again” he says, but we’ll see about that.

41 miles of bog and he finished 5th!

~ MANDY ABOUT TOM

The OMM is Tom’s favourite event. It was the 52nd event in October and was held in Clyde Muirsheild Regional park. Tom and his teammate covered 41 miles of trackless bog and heather to finish in 5th place.

10 months of hard graft following an injury, he’s back racing in club kit! Pure dedication and patience

~ lucy ABOUT nick

Nick has been plagued with injury for a long time and has shown great discipline, patience and grit to get back racing again and back to his winning ways at this year’s XC.

Her passion for running helped her overcome the disappointment of injury.

~ luke W ABOUT NiCole

Nicole (pictured far left) trained hard for Loch Ness as this was a race she was aiming for a 10K PB in. However, an injury set her back in the lead up to the race. She was still able to run but the event would no longer be about performance and competing against others.

This inspired me because Nicole’s passion for running helped her overcome the disappointment of injury which then allowed her to run purely for the experience and enjoyment.

Two years to achieve a 5-minute 10K PB… after 7 pints the night before.

~ LUKE W ABOUT shaun

Shaun took over a minute off his previous PB, and in the space of two years had managed to take more than 5 minutes off his best 10K time set back in 2017 at Baxter’s.

This just goes to show what consistency in training can achieve in the long run. He also managed this having knocked back a minimum of 7 pints the night before!

Inspiring to combine workload and training to finish such a tough event!

~ hamish ABOUT will

Will finished the West Highland Way Race in 13th in a time of 18:44:44.  A serious achievement and amalgamation of hard work, dedication and commitment to the sport!

An excellent year for running for the Run4It team. Here’s to plenty more running escapades and adventures in 2020 and beyond!