1183Running icons

Running icons

Our Running Icons have overcome prejudice, injury and even social stigma in their quest to compete at the highest level. But which Icon, through endeavour or simply setting the record books alight has resonated through the ages for you? Is it Steve Ovett's ever competitive spirit, Tommie Smith and John Carlos' symbolic stand for equality or the unorthodox approach of the 'Czech Locomotive', Emil Zátopek?
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1. Brother Colm O'Connell In the Kenyan town where Running Icons are produced en masse, the most unlikely of coaches is revered as the largest single reason for their success. Read More >

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2. Scott Overall
Scott Overall didn’t even think he’d be running marathons by now, but a stunning performance in Berlin last year has propelled him into the Olympic team. Read More >

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3. Usain Bolt
He has re-written the sprinting record books twice and is on the verge of another glorious chapter. Meet the fastest man who ever lived. Read More >
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4. Chris Brasher To the running world, he was a visionary Olympian who fought insurmountable odds to bring London’s Marathon to life, but to his friends he was simply ‘Scrubber’. Read more >
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5. Steve Ovett
In the second of our series on running legends, we turn our attention to one half of the greatest British track rivalry of the 1980s. Read more >
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6. Michael Johnson
Recordbreaker, ambassador, sometimes an outspoken critic, America's greatest track star is truly golden. Read more >
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7. Dave Bedford Bon vivant, record breaker and man about town, he brought the London Marathon to glittering life - as he’ll be only too happy to tell you Read more >
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8. Abebe Bikila
He was the first black African to win an Olympic gold and he changed the face of distance running forever. But his glittering career and life were to end in a tragic way. Read more >
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9. Ed Moses He made the track's hardest event look like child's play, and did much to clean up the sport he graced. A champion, gentleman and running genius. Read more >
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10. Ron Hill
A man who has run every day since 1964, broken records at the highest level and changed what the world wears when they go out racing in the streets. Read more >
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11. Sebastian Coe
He’s the man who brought the Games to London and has enjoyed stints in both the Commons and the Lords, but first and foremost he was a world class athlete who made it count on the track. Read more >
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12. Emil Zatopek
The reluctant athlete who won gold with ease was also a husband, humanitarian and generous of heart. His is a remarkable story of passion and fair play. Read more >
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13. Haile Gebrselassie
Arguably the greatest runner the world has ever seen, back from premature retirement and now looking for more records to break. He's that hoary old epithet writ large - a living legend. Read more >
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14. Paavo Nurmi Dominating distance running at three Olympics, the Flying Finn trained himself, racked up 22 world records and almost always let his achievements on the track do the talking. Read more >
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15. Jesse Owens Treated like a second class citizen in his own country, the Alabama trailblazer overcame astonishing adversity and racism to become one of the most influential and important figures in sporting history. Read more >
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16. Alberto Salazar The young Cuban who ran for the USA competed at the highest level on track, road and across country, but almost paid a terrible price. Meet one of running’s toughest and truest competitors. Read more >
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17. Roger Bannister A runner who was as bold as he was brilliant and a brain surgeon by day, he was truly one of athletics’ most unique and laudable competitors who changed the face of running forever. Read more >
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18. Smith, Carlos and Norman This month we turn to an iconic moment in running history when three men stood atop an Olympic podium to send a message that resonated around the world. Read more >
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19. Steve Prefontaine The poster boy for the world-wide running boom and a man who made his rivals give everything to match him, only to be tragically cut down before he had the medals to confirm his undoubted talent. Read more >
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20. Oscar Pistorius The only man to span both Paralympics and Olympics, meet the boy from South Africa who grew up to become one of the most inspiring runners the world has ever know. Read More >
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21. Billy Mills Meet the orphaned boy from the margins of society who rose to the top of the Olympic podium and used his story to inspire a generation Read More >
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22. Death Valley Jack Meet the man who holds the record for the oldest runner to conquer one of the world toughest ultra races when he crossed Death Valley at the age of 75. Read More >
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23. Micah True Introduced to us by a book that opened the door on a world running had never seen before, the man know as Caballo Blanco became a legend. Read More >
Think we're missing someone? Who else should enter our Running Icons hall of fame? Tell us your suggestions HERE


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