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16 Women Share The Reasons Why They Started Running

There's no reason too big or too small. Start running with the new adidas UltraBOOST X shoes and see where you end up...

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To feel like flying.

"I first started running track at age 13 because it felt good to feel fast, powerful, and capable as a young girl. It felt like flying. I started running again at age 23, and, this time, I learned how to run longer. I ran because it helped me break down barriers — mentally, physically, and in society. Today, I still run to share and empower others, to build community, and to connect to my city."—Jessie
Courtesy of Jessie Zapo

"I first started running track at age 13 because it felt good to feel fast, powerful, and capable as a young girl. It felt like flying. I started running again at age 23, and, this time, I learned how to run longer. I ran because it helped me break down barriers — mentally, physically, and in society. Today, I still run to share and empower others, to build community, and to connect to my city."

—Jessie

To bid cancer goodbye.

"After I finished up my cancer treatments, I laced up my shoes and decided to make running a part of my life. I would go outside and run around the streets of New York City until I couldn’t go any more. Those first runs were hard and slow, but after a while they got longer and longer. Running made me feel like I could be strong and powerful again. Now, 10 years later, I have finished 10 Ironman marathons and the Boston Marathon!"—Laurel
Courtesy of Laurel Wassner

"After I finished up my cancer treatments, I laced up my shoes and decided to make running a part of my life. I would go outside and run around the streets of New York City until I couldn’t go any more. Those first runs were hard and slow, but after a while they got longer and longer. Running made me feel like I could be strong and powerful again. Now, 10 years later, I have finished 10 Ironman marathons and the Boston Marathon!"

—Laurel

To explore the world around them.

"I fell into a rut of avoiding tourist traps and not taking advantage of the amazing surroundings in Washington, D.C. Running is such an incredible way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and D.C. has no shortage of compelling scenery. I love choosing routes that can allow me to explore a new hot neighborhood, check out Obama's new house, relax by the river, or marvel at the monuments."—Leah
Courtesy of Leah Kirkland

"I fell into a rut of avoiding tourist traps and not taking advantage of the amazing surroundings in Washington, D.C. Running is such an incredible way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and D.C. has no shortage of compelling scenery. I love choosing routes that can allow me to explore a new hot neighborhood, check out Obama's new house, relax by the river, or marvel at the monuments."

—Leah

To begin a better lifestyle.

Instagram: @allymisslove

"As a fitness model and dancer, no one felt sorry for me, a girl who seemed athletic but couldn't actually run a mile. Two years ago, I decided to change that. Authenticity became an important brand value as I set out in the Big Apple to advance my sports hosting career. A girlfriend of mine signed me up for the Central Park Half Marathon, and this was the catalyst for running becoming a lifestyle, not a trend, for me."

—Ally

To prove to themselves that anything is possible.

"There was a time when running 13.1 miles seemed insane, impractical, and altogether impossible. So I signed up for my first half-marathon on a whim, to test my willpower and see if perhaps I could do something I was certain I could not do. I quickly learned the joys of progressing a mile farther in training, the pride in conquering a steep hill, and the endorphin rush of bounding across a finish line. Now, running 13.1 miles is one of my favorite things to do!"—Maya
Courtesy of Maya Mancuso

"There was a time when running 13.1 miles seemed insane, impractical, and altogether impossible. So I signed up for my first half-marathon on a whim, to test my willpower and see if perhaps I could do something I was certain I could not do. I quickly learned the joys of progressing a mile farther in training, the pride in conquering a steep hill, and the endorphin rush of bounding across a finish line. Now, running 13.1 miles is one of my favorite things to do!"

—Maya

To face their fears head on.

"I have asthma, and ever since middle school I hadn't been able to run more than 20 seconds without being incredibly out of breath. I thought learning to run would be impossible — until I did some research. I spent a whole summer with a printed-out training program to level out my breathing, and now I can run up to an hour straight comfortably! It wasn't easy at all, but I was very proud the first time I looked at the stopwatch and it showed 60 minutes."—Chesney
Courtesy of Chesney Lattuga

"I have asthma, and ever since middle school I hadn't been able to run more than 20 seconds without being incredibly out of breath. I thought learning to run would be impossible — until I did some research. I spent a whole summer with a printed-out training program to level out my breathing, and now I can run up to an hour straight comfortably! It wasn't easy at all, but I was very proud the first time I looked at the stopwatch and it showed 60 minutes."

—Chesney

To overcome the limits of their body.

Instagram: @gabby_denigris

"For me, running was a form of therapy, granting me time to be by myself and reflect. I recognized things about myself in the solitude of my feet hitting the pavement that I may have never realized otherwise. Getting acquainted with what it feels like to reach failure in my body forces my mind to pick up the pieces; it forces me to meet myself as I truly am. Knowing how far I can get on my own two feet builds my confidence. Running has set me free."

—Gabby

To look good on paper.

"I started running in high school because my mom said I needed to have a sport to put on my college applications. I hated her at the time and still don't like that that was the reason she made me do it, but I couldn't be more grateful she did. I ended up running 12 seasons of cross-country and track, and I haven't stopped running for more than a couple days at a time in the 11 years since — two full marathons and many half-marathons included."—Victoria
Courtesy of Victoria Hess

"I started running in high school because my mom said I needed to have a sport to put on my college applications. I hated her at the time and still don't like that that was the reason she made me do it, but I couldn't be more grateful she did. I ended up running 12 seasons of cross-country and track, and I haven't stopped running for more than a couple days at a time in the 11 years since — two full marathons and many half-marathons included."

—Victoria

To set themselves free.

Instagram: @hi_vasha

"Running has become my worship. It is the one time where I can scream, cry, yell, and make all types of ugly faces without a care in the world. It's my boyfriend and my therapist, both free of charge. As a creative person, I've turned my mind into my office and often ideate during long runs. Anything is possible when the body is set in motion."

—Vasha

To support the ones they love.

"I started running when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I'd spent my lifetime eating my feelings, but that somehow seemed the complete opposite of what I should do at that moment. And since my dad was a lifelong runner, I started hitting the pavement in his honor. Alternating running and walking for a mile quickly turned into running six miles. My favorite memory is running a half-marathon beside my (cancer-free) dad in 2014."—Rachel
Courtesy of Rachel Meyer

"I started running when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I'd spent my lifetime eating my feelings, but that somehow seemed the complete opposite of what I should do at that moment. And since my dad was a lifelong runner, I started hitting the pavement in his honor. Alternating running and walking for a mile quickly turned into running six miles. My favorite memory is running a half-marathon beside my (cancer-free) dad in 2014."

—Rachel

To champion their friends through bad break-ups.

"I started running with my best friend after we both went through tough break-ups. I started with one mile on the treadmill and eventually signed up for a 5K in San Francisco. That first 5K has lead to five-plus half-marathons and a full marathon over the past three years!"—Courtney
Courtesy of Courtney Muniz

"I started running with my best friend after we both went through tough break-ups. I started with one mile on the treadmill and eventually signed up for a 5K in San Francisco. That first 5K has lead to five-plus half-marathons and a full marathon over the past three years!"

—Courtney

To conquer an injury that has always held them back.

"I was never a runner because I had bad knees. I'd run a mile here or a mile there, but then one day I thought I'd try to go a little farther. The more I ran, the stronger my knees got. I now have three marathons (including Boston!) under my belt, and am planning a fourth this year. My knees don't often thank me, but I'm so grateful that pushing my limits got me to where I am today."—Erica
Courtesy of Erica Mobley

"I was never a runner because I had bad knees. I'd run a mile here or a mile there, but then one day I thought I'd try to go a little farther. The more I ran, the stronger my knees got. I now have three marathons (including Boston!) under my belt, and am planning a fourth this year. My knees don't often thank me, but I'm so grateful that pushing my limits got me to where I am today."

—Erica

To combat life's worries.

"I started running during a particularly difficult time in my life. Through running, I realized that getting out at sunrise gave me time to get lost in my thoughts and to put literal and figurative distance between myself and my worries. I learned that running is therapeutic, that big changes can start from small beginnings, and that you are so much stronger than you think."—Becky
Courtesy of Becky Christensen

"I started running during a particularly difficult time in my life. Through running, I realized that getting out at sunrise gave me time to get lost in my thoughts and to put literal and figurative distance between myself and my worries. I learned that running is therapeutic, that big changes can start from small beginnings, and that you are so much stronger than you think."

—Becky

To reconnect with loved ones who are far away.

"After going away to college, I took up running to connect with my dad. Even though we were three hours apart, we emailed regularly about how much it helped him physically feel better — and also how his mental and spiritual health were improving, too. So I started logging the miles myself, hoping to improve health-wise, but also to keep the dialogue open with my dad. We started to "split" marathons — dad taking on the first half and me finishing up the second half. Then we would go out to eat together post-race."—Katie
Courtesy of Katie Horning

"After going away to college, I took up running to connect with my dad. Even though we were three hours apart, we emailed regularly about how much it helped him physically feel better — and also how his mental and spiritual health were improving, too. So I started logging the miles myself, hoping to improve health-wise, but also to keep the dialogue open with my dad. We started to "split" marathons — dad taking on the first half and me finishing up the second half. Then we would go out to eat together post-race."

—Katie

To escape uncertainty.

"I started running to escape the heartache of a break-up, the frustration of feeling uninspired, and the stress of not knowing if life after college could live up to my own expectations. Running gave me a chance to clear my head, blast my break-up tunes, and think about the steps I needed to take to achieve the future I wanted. The added benefit of daily endorphins and a more toned physique? Well, that was just icing on the cake!"—Céline
Courtesy of Céline van Riemsdijk

"I started running to escape the heartache of a break-up, the frustration of feeling uninspired, and the stress of not knowing if life after college could live up to my own expectations. Running gave me a chance to clear my head, blast my break-up tunes, and think about the steps I needed to take to achieve the future I wanted. The added benefit of daily endorphins and a more toned physique? Well, that was just icing on the cake!"

—Céline

To spend time with friends.

"Running for me has evolved over the years, but what has remained true is that I enjoy running because I get to spend time with friends. Today, I am far less competitive and run with a good friend of mine who I can literally talk with nonstop on an 8-mile run. The only races I run these days are those with a group of friends registered too. And we always finish together."—Trish
Courtesy of Trish Strauch

"Running for me has evolved over the years, but what has remained true is that I enjoy running because I get to spend time with friends. Today, I am far less competitive and run with a good friend of mine who I can literally talk with nonstop on an 8-mile run. The only races I run these days are those with a group of friends registered too. And we always finish together."

—Trish

Whether you're looking for a reason to start running or you found one years ago, the UltraBOOST X by adidas will get you ready for whatever comes your way.