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Articles labeled Inspirational Stories

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Ultra runner Diane Van Deren says running is her outlet, her medicine and she doesn't say I can't anymore

Former professional tennis player Diane Van Deren was diagnosed with epilepsy in her 30s. For most people, this would not only end their career as a professional athlete, but also place major constraints on their daily routines and personal lives. That was not the case, however, for Van Deren. She not only persevered and ultimately found a way to get around her epileptic seizures – she did the extreme, opting to have a piece of her brain surgically removed to end her decade-long struggle with the disorder. After healing, Van Deren began running, trying her luck at a 50 mile race at age 42. Shortly thereafter, she ran her first 100-mile race and won it, right out of the gates. Since then, she has won the infamous Yukon Arctic Ultra, a 430-mile ultra footrace pulling a 50-pound sled through temperatures below 50 degrees for eight days, and set a record for the 1,000-mile Mountains to Sea Trail, where she traversed the state of North Carolina in just over 22 days. She’s been a professional endurance athlete with The North Face for the past 16 years. Van Deren, 58, is a wealth of positivity despite some of the obstacles she’s faced, including at times losing her sense of time and direction as a result of the surgery. “Running was my outlet, my medicine, the way to create a safe place for me,” Van Deren says. “When you are trying to be a wife and a mom, and you don’t know when the next seizure is going to come, it’s living in constant fear of ‘When is the beast going to hit me?’ When that changes and you get your health back, how can you not be grateful? I don’t say ‘I can’t’ or ‘I’m afraid’ anymore, or ‘What if?’ Now the way I look at life is, ‘I can’ – I can do it, I can try. So that’s where the gratitude comes from. I’ve walked it, I’ve lived it, I’ve been in a horrific situation, and through the brain surgery I now have wealth. I have my health.” (05/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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The doctors told 40-year-old Melonie that she would never walk again...now 71 she is running the Pear Blossom 5k this Saturday

Melonie Jorgensen was told by Doctors she would never walk again. At the age of 40, doctors were at a loss for a diagnosis until she found out she had fibromyalgia, and she would be living with chronic pain for the rest of her life. “I truly prayed that I would die, and I truly believe that if there was a pill I would have taken and not woken up, I would have taken it,” Melonie Jorgensen said. But Melonie started to see an end to her pain when her son convinced her to alter her lifestyle by making small changes to her diet, and her sleep. During her forties, Melonie was convinced that she would never be active again. And yet decades later, she’s now preparing to run in the Pear Blossom 5k. “I never could’ve pictured that I would have been doing this. Ever. So I feel like at 70, I’m younger at 70 than I was at 40, 50, 60,” she said. While Melonie would love to be able to place in her age group, her biggest hope is that can inspire others with her story. (04/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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96-year-old Mike Fremont still runs 10 miles three times per week

Mike Fremont, who turned 96 years old on February 23, still runs 10 miles three times per week. He canoes the other days. He holds four single-age world records (Marathon: ages 80 and 90 years old and Half Marathon: ages 90 and 91) and continues to compete today. He has been running his whole life, but attributes his excellent health and spunk to his vegan diet. When not running or paddling his canoe, Fremont volunteers his time speaking at schools to encourage others to live healthy lives and encourage environmental conservation. He’s as “rare as the yeti,” says his friend and accomplished ultrarunner, Harvey Lewis. Lewis, 42, of Cincinnati, Ohio, thinks Fremont should still “buy green bananas. His quality of life is outstanding. He can go farther than most Americans of any age. Mike has the energy of a high-school teenager,” says Lewis. “In fact, probably more. He can do more pull-ups—eight at one time—and push-ups than many active young people. And he will have you laughing within minutes. He’s humble, often kidding at his own expense.” When he was 60 he ran a 3:20 marathon. Not too bad, but the world record at that time was 2:36. At 90 he ran a 6:37 marathon. It set a world record. Almost twice what it took 30 years earlier. (03/28/2018) ⚡AMP
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Dag Aabye is 76, Lives in a Bus in the Woods and still runs Ultras

Dag Aabye is considered by some as "the most elusive man in North America." With the growing popularity of vanlife happening right now, living in a repurposed school bus in the woods might be a dream for some people. For Dag it is a reality. Somewhere hidden in the mountains of Vernon, British Columbia Aabye enjoys a simple life away from modern society while living amongst nature and training for ultramarathons. Aabye is 76-years-old and a champion of the 80-mile ultramarathon aptly named the "Death Race." He is the oldest person to have ever finished the race. Aabye is a rare breed of human that has lived his own path and blown the doors off the perception of what life has to be. And he certainly exudes plenty of wisdom for any that are willing to listen. (03/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Lottie Bildirici a cancer survivor ten years in remission just recently told the world

Lottie Bildirici is a tri-athlete, a health coach, a chef, a cooking show host, recipe developer and blogger. Lottie Bildirici recently revealed to her 68,000 followers, she's a cancer survivor. “I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkins lymphoma when I was 14 years old," she said, adding that she is ten years in remission. Lottie marked the decade by deciding to speak out about overcoming cancer. She's running the United Airlines Half Marathon this weekend to raise money with Team in Training. As a teenager she endured chemotherapy and radiation and then turned to clean eating and strength conditioning to stay healthy inside and out. "Simple is best, whole food, nothing processed, no white sugar, no white flour so it's really back to the basics." But it's through her fundraising for leukemia and lymphoma research where Lottie hopes to make a difference.. (03/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Time marches on but I just keep going says 102-year-old Ida Keeling

Ida Keeling is just 4-foot-6, weighs 83 pound and is 102-years-old. Ida rides an exercise bike, lifts weights, and runs up and down the hallways of her apartment building or on a treadmill.

Her daughter, Shelley, is the one who actually got her to start running – at the age of sixty-seven after some incredible hardships. They ran a 5K that year and Ida says, "I thought that race was never going to end...however I felt so good (afterward) and have been running ever since."

In 2011 she set a 60 meters world record of 29.86 seconds in her 95 year-old age group. At 99-years-old (in 2014), Ida set the fastest known time for a woman of her age in the 100-meter-dash posting 59.80. In 2016: 100-year-old Ida Keeling became the first woman in history to complete the 100-meter dash in one minute 17 seconds. Shelley could not be prouder of her mother.

“The biggest thing with my mom," says Shelley, "is that she never lets anything get her down. If somebody said to her, ‘I’m going to put you in a box and you’re never going to get out,’ she’s say, ‘Just you wait.’”

“You see so many older people just sitting around," says Ida, "well, that’s not me. Time marches on, but I keep going.”

(03/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kristen Laubner suffered a stroke in 2010 and running Boston to help others

Kristen Laubner suffered a stroke in 2010 at age 35, just two weeks after delivering her second daughter. Fortunately, she has no lasting impact from the stroke, but they still don’t know what caused it. It took Laubner a few years to trust her body enough to start running again, and she is now taking on the Boston Marathon. The North Andover Mass. resident will run Boston as a member of “Tedy’s Team,” led by retired New England Patriot and stroke survivor Tedy Bruschi, to raise money for the American Stroke Association. (03/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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Claire Lomas wants to finish the Greater Manchester Marathon in 10 days

Paralysed from the chest down Claire Lomas will walk the Greater Manchester Marathon with the help of a ‘robotic suit’... and she reckons it will take her up to 10 days. Inspirational Claire Lomas will take on the 26.2 mile course on April 8 along with thousands of runners. The 37-year-old was injured in a freak horse riding accident in 2007, which affected her spine and left her paralysed. Since then, Claire has set about inspiring others by taking on endurance events. She has raised more than $700,000 for research into spinal cord injuries. Claire completed the London Marathon in 2012, finishing in 17 days. She is now preparing to take on the Greater Manchester marathon - and hope to finish seven days quicker. (03/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Running legend Ron Hill, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

Running legend Ron Hill has revealed he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Hill, aged 79, spoke with honesty and determination when announcing his condition, saying, “It won’t stop me in my tracks I’ll cheerfully carry on keeping active and, hopefully, this will give other people the impression that dementia is nothing to be frightened by.” One of the most popular figures in the running world, Hill won marathon gold medals at the European Championships in 1969 and the year after at the Commonwealth Games. He was the second ever man to break 2:10 over 26.2 miles, running a 2:09:28 in Edinburgh in 1970, and achieved a life-long goal of racing in 100 countries by the time of his 70th birthday. Until January, 2017 he ran at least a mile a day for 19,032 days. (03/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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This Military Wife Dropped 60 Pounds and now runs everyday

“I see my running as a way to make friends and live a healthy lifestyle.” says Audrey Walsh 31 year old mother of two boys. My kids were born fairly close together, and I found it difficult to chase after a toddler and deal with the exhaustion of pregnancy. My husband’s work schedule left me alone with the boys for very long days and sometimes all alone if he needed to travel. This led to my weight topping out at 185 pounds...I joined the Air Force after high school, and I mainly ran to pass the mandatory physical fitness tests...While my husband was deployed last year, I racked up more than 200 stroller miles with the double stroller. It was a lifesaver....Now I run every day. I’ve been run-streaking since October 17. Living in Spokane offers many opportunities to be active in the outdoors...I like racing because it gives me a solid goal to work toward. I’ve run Bloomsday but I run some smaller local races with a group called Trail Maniacs, too. (03/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gus McKechnie has cerebral palsy and is going to run a Marathon

Gus McKechine suffers from a form of cerebral palsy is out to prove you can do anything you set your mind to – by completing the Southampton Marathon in the UK using hiking sticks. He is going to push his body and mind to the limits as he takes on the Marathon April 22. The 42-year-old, who also has hemiparesis, says he wants to show others the benefits of a positive mental attitude by completing the challenge. “It can be easy to listen to the negative part of your brain that makes you think ‘I couldn’t possibly do that’ or ‘I’m not strong enough’. I want to show people that they can achieve so much more than they give themselves credit for,” he says. Good luck Gus. He hopes to complete the full marathon in five and a half hours – 30 minutes under the official cut-off time for participants. (02/28/2018) ⚡AMP
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11 Labeled: Inspirational Stories, Page: 1


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