With Christmas, the season of giving, well and truly upon us, below is a list of some of the amazing participants from across the year whose stories will inspire you to set yourself a long term goal, follow your dreams and achieve success:
1. PETE WALLROTH
When Pete Wallroth's wife Mair was 22 weeks pregnant, she discovered a lump on her breast and was diagnosed with cancer. She began chemotherapy during her pregnancy and received more just six days after the birth of the couple's second child, Merlin.
Following her seventh session, the family were told the cancer was untreatable. Mair passed away in December 2012, leaving behind Pete and their two children Martha, three and Merlin, who was just two months old. Pete, from Glossop in Derbyshire, was inspired to set up Mummy’s Star, a network of support that would make a difference to families who found themselves in the same position.
Pete took on the Simplyhealth Great North Run this year for the first time for Mummy’s Star.
2. FREYA LEWIS
Freya Lewis was seriously injured in the Manchester Arena Attack and took part in the Simplyhealth Junior Great Manchester Run to raise money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity who cared for her in the aftermath.
She suffered multiple fractures, lacerations and burns and her friend Nell Jones was tragically killed. Freya was given an honorary starter role at the event after her fundraising raised £24,000 for the charity since the attack.
Freya received a hero’s welcome at the event completed the 2.5k course despite undergoing multiple operations at the hospital, with one lasting more than 10 hours.
3. ROB CAMM
Since rugby player Rob Camm was left paralysed from the neck down in a car accident, he has never let his tetraplegic injury hold him back.
Rob took part in the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon this September in a specialist off-road wheelchair that he controlled with his chin. He was supporting Special Effect, a charity that have provided him with support to gain a first-class honours degree as well as live independently in the city.
4. KATE FARLEY
Kate Farley walked the last mile of the Simplyhealth Great South Run event this October, despite living with Cerebral Palsy.
She is also known as Girl Boxer with CP after footage of her boxing on her knees went viral and became an internet sensation. Kate’s aim was to raise money for Superpeople, a charity she co-founded to showcase how disabled and non-disabled people can work together and create social change.
Part of their work includes creating films highlighting accessible clubs that people can attend. Kate completed the final mile in 30 minutes and hopes that her story can inspire others to take on a challenge, no matter who they are.
5. JOHN WESTERN
Inspirational pensioner John Western took on his first half marathon at Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run at the age of 75!
John is registered blind and took up running following the death of his wife Lesley after the stress of losing her caused him to lose his sight.
Gradually over the last four years, he has improved his running and felt ready to take on the half marathon challenge in Birmingham in October.
6. TEAM CLAGUE
The wife and sister of Andy Clague, who lost his life to cancer are led a team of family and friends to commemorate him at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run this year.
Louise Clague and Lisa Webster set up #teamclague after Andy lost his life to Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last December.
Andy was fit and active and a very keen cyclist. In November 2015 the family's world was turned upside when he was diagnosed with cancer. What Andy thought was a muscle strain in his back turned into pins and needles and over the course of three days, he lost the use of his legs.
Despite multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Andy was given the devastating news that he was not going to recover.
Andy received most of his treatment at the Christie and so Louise and Lisa inspired a team of 20 to run both the 10k and half marathon for the charity at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.
7. GRANT HUTCHINSON
Grant Hutchinson took part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run in memory of his brother Scott, who took his own life in May.
Scott was just 36 when he died and the brothers were part of the Frightened Rabbit rock band. Grant decided to run the half marathon to raise awareness of mental health and his brother’s death.
8. COURTNEY RIGBY
The sister of murdered soldier Lee Rigby took on her longest ever run at the Simplyhealth Great South Run this year. Courtney ran to raise money for the Lee Rigby Foundation, which her family set up to support veterans and victims of British Terror Attacks.
Courtney managed to raise £3,000 for the charity at the event, which offers veterans and victims of terror attacks the use of a free countryside retreat in Staffordshire.
9. PAUL WILSON
Paul Wilson took part in his first Simplyhealth Great North Run this year, raising funds for the Dark Horse Theatre, a national touring theatre company in Huddersfield who provide training and acting opportunities for learning disabled actors.
Paul, who has Down's Syndrome and is himself an actor at Dark Horse, decided to take on the challenge of running a half marathon after the theatre called out for volunteers to help raise funds for the registered charity in order to provide greater training opportunities and to organise more productions.
Seeing Paul cross the finish line was an incredibly proud moment for his family, who want him to focus on all of the things he can do, not can’t do.