Inspiring Runners Demonstrate Transformative Power of Running

Great Run 2024 series highlights inspirational stories from runners around the UK

At The Great Run Company, we believe in the power of running – our runners have shared their inspiration behind taking part in our AJ Bell Great Run series events, whether it be the 10k, half marathon, or 10mile – and it’s clear to see: everyone has a story and reason for running.

The Power of Running campaign brings to life inspirational stories that highlight the transformative impact running has on individuals and communities in Great Run locations across the UK. There are many reasons for running, but we’ll be particularly highlighting stories of mental health, community, fundraising, and physical fitness.

For Great Run series ambassador and elite athlete, Eilish McColgan, running has always been a part of her life, and the Great Run events have been a proud part of her journey. Eilish first took part in the Junior Great North Run over twenty years ago, to now – a Commonwealth champion preparing for her fourth Olympics this summer in Paris, with the UK and European 10K and 10-mile records under her belt from the Great Manchester Run 2022 and Great South Run 2021.

Eilish McColgan, Great Run series ambassador, said: “I know firsthand the transformative impact running can have on individuals and their communities.

“It has completely transformed my life – not only is my body physically stronger than ever before, but I’ve met so many amazing people along the way.

“Running has helped millions lead fitter, healthier lives, supported with untold levels of fundraising, fostered lifelong friendships, and allowed us to create positive change in our communities.

“Mass participation events, such as the Great Run Series, provide us with an important reminder that regardless of your age, ability, or whether you’re first or last, everyone is together on the same start line to be part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone has their own personal best, their own goals to strive towards, which for me truly demonstrates the Power of Running.”

Every runner has a story

At Great Run, we know the power running has to make a positive impact on our lives in ways big and small, and that’s why we’re celebrating local people, groups and communities coming together to be part of something bigger than themselves. Every single person who crosses the finish line is an expression of positivity, local pride, and personal achievement.

Here are just a few inspiring stories from the tens of thousands of runners who line up across our start lines each year.

Helen Ryvar

Helen Ryvar is the Guinness World Record Holder for running the most consecutive half marathons, hitting 111 back in 2021. Read Helen’s story

Holly Tilt

Holly Tilt is making her comeback one year after sustaining a serious head injury. Read Holly’s story

Halee Robinson

After falling out of love with running Halee signed up for the Great Birmingham Run. Read Halee’s story

Andrew Porter

Andrew Porter, 47, has ran every Great Manchester Run 10k since it started in 2003. Read Andrew’s story


We want to hear your story
Every runner has their own reason for running – what’s yours? Tell us about your running story and what the Power of Running means to you, and you could feature in our campaign. Click here to submit your own story.

Find your Great Run
Take your place on a start line near you: Browse AJ Bell Great Run Series events.