“A kilometre is a kilometre, no matter how fast you run it.”
When Great Britain’s Mo Farah crossed the finish line in a European Record 59:32 at the recent EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, he was physically and mentally spent, having expended every last ounce of energy in covering the 13.1 miles (21km) in Portugal’s capital.
And, while relatively few athletes in very few sports get to experience sharing a start line with an Olympic, World and European champion, athletics, and road running in particular, is different. 10,559 others also competed in Lisbon and covered the exact same course as Mo.
Whether they crossed the line in under an hour, under 90 minutes, under two hours or under four, their target was the same – to be the best they could be on the day and to push their bodies to the limit.
Everybody runs for different reasons, from winning races to losing weight, from relieving stress to living a healthy lifestyle and these different motivations can affect the frequency that people choose to run, the pace that they run at and the sorts of events in which they like to participate.
Yet, ultimately, everyone who runs is doing the same sport and is part of the same family. ‘European Athletics – Running for All’ means just that: running is for everyone and running is athletics, arguably in its purest form.
Across Europe, more and more people are taking the plunge and lacing up their running shoes and the result is increasingly buoyant membership figures within clubs and athletics federations, potentially healthier populations and a whole new audience exposed to our great sport.
Running for All is about European Athletics and member federations doing all that they can to ensure that runners are provided with the sorts of activities and races that they most need and want.
Because after all, if you run, you’re a runner and if you’re a runner, you’re an athlete.
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