As we get ready to say farewell to 2015 and usher in a new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect back on the year and celebrate our favorite moments in running. It was a great year for running, with top stories ranging from inspirational to some amazing records set by the world’s elite runners who continue to push the brink with their talents Check out this list, which covers the 11 moments that defined running in 2015.
Mastering the records
There were a number of Master’s Records that were set this year, from Meb Keflezighi to Deena Kastor. From marathons to 10Ks, we were on the edge of our seats to not only see who won the race, but what Master’s records were being set. In 2015 alone, the following Master’s Records were set:
- Bernard Lagat set the Masters World 10K with a 27:48 in England in May, beating Haile Gebrselassie’s mark by 12 seconds
- Meb Keflezighi broke the U.S. Masters Half Marathon Record at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose in September, setting a time of 63:02
- Deena Castor ran a 2:27:47 at the Chicago Marathon, breaking the U.S. Masters Marathon Record for women by nearly a minute
- Meb Keflezighi broke the U.S. Masters Marathon Record at the TCS New York City Marathon in November, running a 2:13:32, which also set a Masters course record
92 years young
Harriette Thompson finished the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in June, making her the oldest woman to complete a marathon. At 92 years old, Thompson completed the race in 7 hours, 24 minutes and 36 minutes. She is just a month and a half older than the woman who previously set the record at the 2010 Honolulu Marathon.
Whatever it takes
Hyvon Ngetich literally gave the 2015 Austin Marathon her all and showcased what determination looks like. The Kenyan elite runner’s body gave out when she was just 50 meters from the finish of the Austin Marathon, making the decision to crawl to the finish instead of hopping in the wheelchair that marathon officials provided. Ngetich was clearly in the lead, but with nothing left for her body to give, she collapsed to her hands and knees and finished in third place.
Third time’s a charm
For the third time in a row, Tatyana McFadden took first place in the Boston Marathon women’s wheelchair division. She crossed the finish line with a time of 1:52:54, which was nearly 20 minutes slower than the time she ran the year previously due to the cold, rainy weather conditions.
Marathoners spur local economy
After a small town in Maine lost the main source for its local economy, runners took matters into their own hands to organize a free marathon the Millinocket Marathon and Half Marathon. The only ask? That entrants take the money they would have spent on the race fee and spend it in the town.
Bitter makes it look easy
After averaging 7:01 per mile for nearly 12 hours, Zach Bitter broke the U.S. 100-mile record. Bitter ran the Desert Solstice International in Phoenix, setting a time of 11:40:55. Bitter was targeting the world record, which stands at 11:28:03, but instead bettered the previous American record – which was held by Bitter – by seven minutes.
At age 70, Larry Macon completed marathon number 1,500 at the Big Sky Marathon in Madison, Montana in July. Macon didn’t start running until he was 54 years, running hundreds of marathon a year since then. In 2013 alone, he ran 255 marathons. As he had plans to run more marathons after Big Sky, he has likely completed even more marathons in the past few months.
Scott Jurek sets an amazing record
In July, Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek broke the Appalachian Trail hike time, finishing the 2,180-mile journey in 46 days, 8 hours and 8 minutes, which is just over three hours shorter than the previous record that was set in 2011 by long-distance runner Jennifer Pharr Davis.
Man on a mission
Only about eight percent of New Year’s Resolutions become a reality, and among those, is a goal that Derek Mitchell set at the beginning of 2015. The 570-pound Missouri man set a goal to run one 5k per month, and finished the year by running 20 5ks, two 10ks and a half Tough Mudder.
Kara’s triumphant return
In the past few years, many have debated whether Kara Goucher’s running career was washed up. However, 2015 was a great year for the runner who took first place in two half marathons, the Big Sur International Half Marathon and the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Her finishing times in both put her at the top of the list as a contender for the 2016 Marathon Olympic Trials.
Run with Hart
In June, Kevin Hart organized a surprise, pop up run in Boston. The comedian leveraged social media to gain interest, repeating the effort later that month in Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The frequency and size of the races continued to grow throughout the year, with Hart stating that he wants to “create a lifestyle/mindset that every all over the GLOBE can relate to and achieve.”