Regular contributor Chris Broadbent has been drawing inspiration from all levels of the sport recently.
Inspiration can come from many sources and not always the most obvious ones. Recently, I have drawn it from different runners of varying standards. Along with thousands of other British athletics fans, I have been in thrall to the incredible performances from Laura Muir this winter.
The young Scot has taken all before her this indoor season, breaking British and European records left right and centre before winning double gold at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade in the 1500m and 3000m.
She has the rare quality of repeatedly doing something extraordinary, despite managing to appear very ordinary with it. It’s this trait that makes her such a powerful role model for the ordinary runner – like me.
I have also been inspired by a club mate who has recently reached new heights. He and I have not crossed competitive paths for a couple of years now. But we enjoyed a friendly rivalry at my local parkrun for a year or two. More often than not, he got the better of me.
But he has really knuckled into his training this past year and has been rewarded with a GB age-group vest in duathlon. Wow! What a great achievement. I have also been impressed with one of my closest friends recently, who is not a natural runner.
He is unlikely to ever be donning an international vest, but is no less inspirational.
A few years ago, he broke both his knee caps on a stag weekend to be forgotten, or remembered – I guess it depends on your perspective. There was a time when walking was a struggle and running seemed a long, long way away. Yet he has persevered and is taking great chunks off his best times at half marathon, faster even than those he was running with unblemished knees.
They’ve all been in my thoughts on recent runs. All have shown some discipline, work ethic and some guts – something every runner can relate to.