No More Excuses: 5 Awe-Inspiring Marathoners!

Run­ning a marathon is one of those things many peo­ple talk about doing ‘some­day’. It feels good to say it and hear it, but it’s only the first step of many to actu­al­ly get you to a start­ing line – let alone 26.2 miles along to the fin­ish line. Con­sid­er­ing how hard it is for the aver­age per­son to build up the gump­tion to sign up and train for a marathon, the fol­low­ing five peo­ple are more than inspir­ing – they leave the rest of us with no excuse.

Fau­ja Singh
Fau­ja became the old­est per­son on record to com­plete a marathon when he com­plet­ed the 2011 Toron­to Marathon at age 100. Many may argue that just as impres­sive is the fact that he didn’t begin run­ning until age 89! Fau­ja decid­ed to give the sport a try in order to help bat­tle depres­sion after the death of his wife and son. He ran a total of nine marathons before decid­ing to retire from running.

Ste­faan Engels
Dean Kar­nazes got a lot of atten­tion for his marathon tour (and sub­se­quent book and DVD on the expe­ri­ence) where he ran 50 marathons, in 50 days, in 50 states.  It makes one won­der why in the hell we haven’t heard of Ste­faan Engels then, because Engels’ accom­plish­ment absolute­ly dwarfs Dean’s. Ste­faan ran 365 marathons in 365 days. That’s a marathon a day for a year! He only stopped because he hurt his foot and had no choice but to rest for 18 days. On the 19th day, Ste­faan sim­ply ran a marathon and start­ed the count over. If your jaw isn’t on the ground, note that he also aver­aged 4 hours per dai­ly marathon, with his fastest being 2 hours and 56 min­utes. To call this man a machine doesn’t even begin do him justice.

Amber Miller
At 27-years-old, this woman com­plet­ed a marathon while 9 months preg­nant. The fact that she was an ‘expe­ri­enced marathon­er’ – this being her 8th marathon — hard­ly low­ers the wow fac­tor here. Expe­ri­enced or not, run­ning 26.2 miles while 39 weeks preg­nant – with an entire oth­er human being inside of you! – is about as hard­core as they come. With­in min­utes of com­plet­ing the 2011 Chica­go Marathon, Amber start­ed feel­ing con­trac­tions and head­ed to the hos­pi­tal. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl a few hours later.

Aron Ral­ston
From mul­ti­ple 14,000-foot moun­tains, to cut­ting off his own arm to escape sure death, to rock climb­ing with a pros­thet­ic, to com­plet­ing a 100-mile ultra­ma­rathon, there is appar­ent­ly noth­ing Aron can’t (or won’t) do. Aron gained fame when a movie, 127 Hours, was made about his real life sit­u­a­tion that result­ed in him hav­ing to amputee his own arm, but for some rea­son the pub­lic hasn’t been well informed of his mul­ti­ple impres­sive accom­plish­ments that – believe it or not – rival his arm sto­ry. Aron has already com­pet­ed in some the hard­est ultras out there, includ­ing the Leadville 100 and Hardrock 100, and he has expressed inter­est in tack­ling the West­ern States 100 and the Bad­wa­ter Ultra­ma­rathon, the 135-mile race through Death Val­ley and up Mount Whit­ney, dubbed “the hard­est footrace” as his next ultramarathons.

Amy Palmero-Win­ters
Per­haps the most famous name on this list, Amy is best known as an untouch­able track ath­lete, who also hap­pens to be an amputee. Amy lost her left leg below the knee in a motor­cy­cle acci­dent, but has gone on to run mul­ti­ple marathons (her first in which she was five months preg­nant); she cur­rent­ly holds eleven world records in track events; she was award­ed an ESPN ESPY award for top female ath­lete with a dis­abil­i­ty in the world; and she com­plet­ed in numer­ous ultra­ma­rathons, includ­ing two of the most hard­core ultra­ma­rathons out there, the West­ern States 100 and Badwater.

If you’re feel­ing a bit out of excus­es as to why you’re not already signed up and train­ing for your next (or first!) marathon, you’re not alone. No more excus­es – let’s get to it!