Inspiration – where does it come from?

One of the things that has really surprised me, as I have gone through my running a Marathon journey, is where inspiration comes from, how infectious it can be, and how people you inspire inspire you in return. It’s truly infectious.


I decided to run the Marathon, as I was inspired to help people who were suffering with cancer, by raising money for charity.

My friends who were suffering let me know that my support, by running, raising money and just thinking about them, inspired them to keep fighting the terrible disease – which in turn inspired me to keep going.

I was inspired that I could run the marathon and given the belief, by the 100 year old Marathon runner, Fauja Singh, I was sure that if he could do it, then I could do it. It was just a question of application and determination.

My decision to run the Marathon inspired a couple of friends who had never run one either to do it with me, this in return inspired me by their support of what I was doing.

Dear friends from the US, Simon and Kristen, who were experienced Marathon runners were inspired by our commitment and said that they would travel to Germany to run with us, again more inspiration.

As we made progress: increasing our distances; improving our personal bests for 5k & 10k runs, etc.; and increasing our training to running 5-6 days per week, this inspired us further, knowing we were progressing and that our goal was getting nearer.

As we reported our progress to friends, predominantly via facebook, their positive feedback gave us motivation, and inspired us to continue.

As we started to improve to running 10ks regularly our progress then inspired many others to take up running, even my two daughter who were getting up at times they previously didn’t know existed to run, and many many others.

Our inspiration was now contagious, people who didn’t think we could do it, now realised that actually they could do it too.

Again this inspired us to continue further, now we were starting a movement.

Many friends who were runners then started to share their running progress, via applications like mapmyrun, nikeplus, etc., and we compared progress and an air of friendly competition inspired each of us to get up and run so that we didn’t fall further behind, or to show the progress we were making.

We found out that one of our friends, Martin, was also training for his first Marathon, he would run in London a week before we would run. We started to share training tips, progress with Martin, becoming virtual training partners, which encouraged us knowing that we were not alone in undertaking this tough challenge- we had another brother-in-arms.

Seeing Martin complete the big event inspired us. We knew we had done similar training to him, so our preparation was good enough. He also gave us great tips, which predominantly consisted of: start slowly; don’t run too quickly; start slowly; and did i tell you to start slowly! His clear desire to see us succeed inspired us.

On the big day: the camaraderie, the spirit of good will, the applause and cheers of the crowd; the colleagues who wanted to see us complete our big goal; the strangers who, when we were struggling grabbed us by the arms and said “come on run, with me, you can do it”; all inspired us to complete it when our legs were dead and we felt like we couldn’t go another yard.

Ultimately the success of running the marathon has inspired me and my running buddies, Tarak and Dave to run another Marathon, we will now sign up for the Cologne Marathon in October.

Our success has already inspired many others to think about coming to run with us in Cologne, many of whom haven’t run a Marathon before, which is fantastic, and will inspire us further.

It’s amazing how something so small could grow into something so big.

It is interesting how we were inspired, how our effort inspired others which then in turn inspired us further, how stranger inspired us, how our success has inspired us to try again and has inspired others to try for a first time.

Inspiration is clearly contagious and has the power to move people to achieve big goals.

It doesn’t take much to get it started, but when it catches it becomes infectious, it’s a wonderful feeling to inspire and be inspired.

So why not try it today, make a decision to inspire someone or to be inspired, the results are worth it, the feeling is fantastic, I can fully recommend it.

As my friend Tarak said after completing his goal – ‘I feel amazing’

What’s not to like about that!

Gordon Tredgold