Giang | 28 Aug 2023

Overcoming Challenges in Marathon Running: A Lesson from an Ethiopian Athlete


Running a marathon requires not only physical strength but also mental resilience. In the world of professional sports, where the competition is intense and the pressure is high, athletes often face numerous challenges and obstacles. However, it is their ability to adapt and overcome these challenges that set them apart from the rest. One such inspiring story is that of the 30-year-old Ethiopian athlete, who defied the odds and emerged victorious in a recent marathon event.

Be Patient and Listen to Your Body:

Hassan, a determined and passionate runner, entered the marathon race knowing she would be competing against seasoned athletes like Peres Jepchirchir and reigning champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw. Instead of diving headfirst into an intensive training regime, Hassan opted for a more measured approach. She understood the importance of being patient and listening to her body, ensuring that she engaged in exercises that were suitable for her unique needs. This wise decision allowed her to maintain a balance between pushing her limits and avoiding potential injuries.

Image Source: Running Magazine

Stopping Does Not Equate to Giving Up:

During the race, Hassan faced a difficult choice when her left hip started to spasm. Despite her opponent forging ahead, she chose to prioritize her long-term well-being over short-term success. Rather than risk further damage to her lower body muscles by pushing through the pain, Hassan made the brave decision to stop and stretch. This temporary setback did not mean she had given up; instead, it showcased her wisdom and commitment to her body’s needs.

Image source: NBC Sport

The Triumph Over Injury:

As the race progressed, it looked like the injury might hinder Hassan’s chances of catching up with her opponent. However, in a truly remarkable turn of events, Hassan defied all expectations. She not only overcame her injury but also displayed remarkable fortitude and determination as she relentlessly pushed forward. With every step, she drew closer to her opponent, finally overtaking her on the 19th mile. This awe-inspiring display of resilience and skill reminded us all of the true spirit of sportsmanship and the power of perseverance.


Hassan’s journey in the marathon race taught us invaluable lessons. The importance of patience, listening to our bodies, and knowing when to step back became evident. Through her determination and resilience, she showed that setbacks are opportunities for growth and that true success lies in conquering one’s own limitations. Her inspiring story will continue to resonate not only with athletes but also with teenagers who share a passion for sports. 

The 2023 London Marathon concluded with Sifan Hassan emerging as the victorious athlete in both the 5000m and 10,000m events—a remarkable feat considering it was her debut in this challenging competition. Despite facing numerous hurdles, including cramps in her left hip, the determined Dutch runner refused to give up and took crucial moments to stretch and find relief. Her unwavering tenacity ultimately led her to claim the championship title, crossing the finish line with a remarkable time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 40 seconds.

Hassan’s relentless effort saw her surpass her toughest opponents, Alemu Megertu of Ethiopia and Jepchirchir, as she displayed the speed and stamina of a seasoned sprinter in her inaugural marathon. In the aftermath of her victory, Hassan graciously acknowledged the lessons she gleaned from the London Marathon, vowing to implement them in future races. She expressed her determination to utilize this invaluable experience to enhance her performance, stating, “I will learn from this race so that I am better prepared for what lies ahead.”

Sport, marathons, and running are the central themes that encompass this thrilling account of Sifan Hassan’s triumph at the 2023 London Marathon.