Athletes come and go but we tend to remember those which leave the most impact on the sport. Some of those athletes still ring through history, like Michael Jordan or Pele and Maradona, who played multiple decades ago, in their respective sports.

In running sports, there are plenty of athletes to choose from. Not all of them do the same form of running but in all of the running disciplines, there have been plenty of athletes who are notable. Here are the world’s most impressive runners who dare to take their sport to the next level.

Usain Bolt – The Fastest Man 

Usain Bolt, a jamaican retired runner, dominated the world from 2004 until his retirement in 2017. He broke multiple world records for 100 and 200 meter sprint races and even held medals for 4×100 races. The last race and its medal were stripped from him, because one of his colleagues was doping at the time.

However, Bolt set the world and Olympic records for the 100 and 200 meter sprint races, both in 2009. They are still to this day unbroken. The records are notable because the 100 meter record was below 10 seconds and the 200 meter one is below 20 seconds, as well as for the fact that for 11 years and counting, the records have not been broken.

Allyson Felix – The Winningest Woman

Allyson Felix, on the other hand, is the world’s winningest woman of the decade, and a decade before. She dominated women’s racing from 2005 until 2016. Unlike Bolt, however, she is not retired and is working on her goals as a runner.

She has multiple gold medals at various World Championships tournaments as well as multiple gold and silver medals at the Olympic Games. As far as women’s running is concerned, she has been at the top.

Eliud Kipchoge – The Marathon King

Marathons are completely different to sprinting and it takes a special kind of runner to break world records for marathons and half-marathons. Eliud Kipchoge is that kind of runner. He won multiple world marathon majors and broke multiple records when it comes to the full marathon. He is currently the only person to have run a marathon in under 2 hours. Apart from his marathon racing, he also runs half-marathons, dominating those as well.

A Decade of Old Runners

Yes, world records are impressive when it comes to running, whether sprinting or marathon. But what about people who are well over their prime years, still pushing the limit, to see how far they can go? People over 70 have their own racing category, as well as people over 80. 

Ed Whitlock was one of those few people to break world records in his age category, being the first to run a marathon under 3 hours above 70 and the one to run a marathon in under 4 hours above 80 years of age.

Gene Dykes currently holds the record for a marathon above the age of 70, although unofficially, because it wasn’t done on a sanctioned race. Yet, these records are still impressive, given the category.

The world is full of staggering athletes who break records and our own beliefs every time when they step on the track. We are likely to have many more such athletes in the new decade.

By Jamie