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The stars of the future aiming to fill the medal-winning shoes of Team GB’s Olympic heroes


The tide is turning in the running world, and with it comes a new wave of British stars ready to imprint their names into your memory over the next four years, starting at this summer’s IAAF World Athletics Championships in London.

With Sir Mo Farah due to step off the track and onto the road, these athletes are all ready to prove themselves as adequate replacements or rivals, as they try to become household names. Competing across a variety of disciplines, each runner is on a quest for glory.

Leading the way are two Scottish heavyweights hoping to convert their dazzling breakthroughs at the Rio Olympics into international hardware. Though Andy Butchart and Callum Hawkins will be taking on very different distances in the next few years, both have shown their potential to achieve greatness.

First there’s Butchart, who’s bronzed glow and infectious personality are more suited to a Hollywood star than a distance running workhorse. Yet that’s just what he is. In the last 18 months, Butchart has gone from being a relatively unknown crosscountry runner working part-time, to a Scottish record holder over both 3000 and 5000m, not to mention an altogether world-class distance runner. In Rio he finished sixth in the 5000m, and that’s just the beginning: “This year the plan is to stay fit, healthy and hungry,” he says. “I am looking forward to the home games and the home support especially. I will race the 5000m there (if selected) and I’ll try to improve on my sixth-placed finish from Rio 2016.”

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About Men's Running

While the calendar may be full of organised races and events, not everyone’s running life is dictated by competition. Goals come in many different shapes and sizes and so does the impetus to achieve them. If this issue has a theme it’s that reasons to run go way beyond simply wanting to be involved in a sport. Take for example the five blokes who used their unwanted weight-gain as a spur to getting out and reclaiming their lives (p55). Not only did they turn their health around they also found out things about themselves they never would have without running. You can also find #runspiration from your environment, whether that be the mountainous trails of Austria (p60) or the streets outside your own front door (p34). Hitting the books (and tablets, phones and laptops) is also a good way to find running inspiration. So we’ve curated our own Men’s Running library of essential reading and watching (p42), meaning you can gen up on training tips and courageous stories, while also keeping tabs on the amazing feats being performed by the professionals. Speaking of which, with athletic titans such as Mo Farah and Scott Overall entering the twilight of their careers, we look at the next generation of UK runners (p66) who’ll be inspiring people to lace up their trainers and find themselves through running. All this plus our usual mix of races, kit, recipes and training tips.