An Inspiration

Earlier this year I marked International Women’s Day with a post about inspiring female athletes. Those I chose to write about on that occasion have all been in the public eye, but of course someone does not have to be famous to be inspiring and many of the most inspiring runners are ordinary people we come across in our day to day lives. Perhaps it’s the person who first convinced you to lace up your running shoes and head out the door. Perhaps it’s someone who trains and encourages you no matter what. Perhaps it’s someone going (literally!) the extra mile(s) to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts. I’m sure we all know someone we find inspiring.

The Scottish running shop chain Run 4 It recognises this, and as part of their celebrations to mark 10 years in business, they asked people to nominate inspiring male (boys and adults), female (girls and adults) and charity runners. They have whittled this down to the top 5 in each category and a public vote is taking place now to crown the winners. The top 2 in each category will be kitted out in some new running gear.

Everyone in the final is indeed an inspiring runner: overcoming difficulties, helping others and raising money. All are ordinary people, fitting their training and other activities around hectic lives. Each one of them would be a deserving winner, but today I want to focus on just one of them – my husband Steve!

When I saw what Run 4 It were doing, I knew I had to nominate Steve. I have written recently of how proud I am of him for his achievements this year (not least his accomplishments at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival), but he has done so much more than that. It was Steve who first convinced me that I should do more than simply jog 5k on nice summer evenings; it was Steve who encouraged me and trained me for my first marathon and beyond; it was Steve who held my hand and let me cry after limping across the finishing line of my most recent marathon in Edinburgh with a lower leg injury, despite being completely knackered from his own overwhelming challenge. I know he will always be there to encourage me in whatever I do and be proud of me regardless of outcome.

But it’s not just me. Steve helps beginners and more experienced runners through his running clubs. People who have never run before catch the running bug and go on to complete distances they never before thought possible. People who want to improve find themselves getting better and better with Steve to encourage them every step of the way. And every bit of praise, support and encouragement is absolutely genuine – he truly does want to help EVERYONE run and that’s why I nominated him.

So today I am going to ask for your help. Yes that’s right, YOU!

If you are on Facebook, then I would love it if you could visit the Run 4 It page, find the photo with Steve’s name on it (pictured below) and click “like” this weekend.

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That’s all, just one little click to vote for Steve and help him win. No more than a few seconds out of your life. I know a lot of you have been following his running challenge this year, and those of you who know Steve will know that he is incredibly humble. He was amazed when I told him that he had been shortlisted for this prize, and even more amazed when he learned that he had also been nominated for it by Jaynie (aka TartanJogger), a runner and blogger we haven’t actually met (yet!) but who has been following what we have both been doing this year and wanted to show support for all the hard work Steve has been doing to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Run 4 It campaign asked “who is your running inspiration?”. Steve is my running inspiration and I know he has inspired many others. I don’t often use my blog to ask my readers for things, but I would love to see Steve win and have his selfless efforts recognised, so if you are inspired too, please vote.

Thank you,
The Running Princess
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