I respect every runner. Some I respect more than others. I have a lot of respect for people winning races. Those guys and gals that are running 15-18 minute 5ks or 2:45 marathons. I respect them because I know that they are working very hard to tune their bodies to be very good at running. Really what I respect is their effort and dedication. I admire it and aspire to be like them.
I respect overweight runners even more. In some ways they are working harder and have more to overcome. They probably think that people are making fun of them. They probably think that the faster runners mock them. They probably have all sorts of self doubt. …And yet they get out there and run. They have a bigger hurdle to overcome than the elite runners.
Some question why people tend to be more inspired by overweight runners that take charge of their life and reach their goals. They ask “why should we care more about them than the person that never was overweight in the first place?” That’s a valid question. I guess it’s the story of the prodigal son. It should be celebrated that they lost their way even if, logically, it would have been better had they never been lost at all.