How a Little Recognition can make a Big Difference

Posted by martin.parnell |

On Sunday, I was excited to read the following headline, on the CBC website:

Eliud Kipchoge sets new world record in Berlin marathon win.

I continued reading: Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds. The 33-year-old broke the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by one minute and 18 seconds.

"I lack words to describe this day," Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2 hours and 2 minutes. "They say you miss two times but you can't miss the third time," he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.

As a marathon runner myself, I was awed by this man’s achievement. I know that there is always a team of people, behind the scenes, that are needed to help make results like this possible. Unfortunately, these people, rarely get a mention. I decided to find out who, in Eliud’s case, those people might be.

I read about Peter, a physiotherapist and life-long friend of Eliud’s who looks after his well-being, in Kenya. I read about his coach, Patrick Sang, who obviously deserves a great deal of credit for ensuring that Eliud is prepared for race day. Also, Kipchoge has diet plan which was in part developed by Andrew Jones professor of applied physiology at the University of Exeter.

I then turned to Eliud’s Facebook page and was delighted to see this entry:

Today the 16th of September 2018, I ran a world record in Berlin, it couldn’t happen without the support of the following: My gratitude and honor goes to:

1. My family: I thank my wife (Grace) and my kids (Lynne, Griffin and Jordon) for the overwhelming support they gave me for the last 4 months of training, you always inspire me and you are my ignition key.

2. Coaches: My coach Patrick Sang is my all-time coach and supporter, he is my life coach not forgetting his two assistants (Meto and Koech). You made this day realizable.

3. Global Sports Communication: This is a wonderful management, led by director Jos Hermens and Valentijn Trouw, and all entire team, you are such a wonderful management company.

4. Nike: Nike company led by Phil Knight and sports marketing Capriotti, not forgetting the innovation and design team. On the other hand the physiologists led by Brett Kirby, thank you for the support for over 15 years

5. NN Running Team: You are such a wonderful team and the spirit of bringing teammates to the sports is overwhelming.

6. My training mates: Kaptagat team, you are such a wonderful family, I like you all, I wish everybody all the best in the coming races. Cheers brothers and sisters, teamwork is the key.

7. Isuzu company: It’s a wonderful local and international car manufacturer, you gave me another leg to train on by providing all my transport. I will always be with you. Tuko Pamoja Safarini.

8. My fans: I totally respect all my fans across the globe, from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all social media. You always push me ahead.

In one word ‘Thank you’ all and God bless you all. 

This was very heartening to see that Eliud had taken the time, on this very special day, to recognise and thank those who support him. 

As someone who is frequently in the public eye, I understand the importance of giving credit to those people who may never be seen as part of what I do, but, nevertheless provide an essential support system that enables me to undertake my initiatives, follow my dreams and succeed in completing my goals. 

I always try and make sure I give them credit for their input, whether it be for a sporting activity, my coach, Malcolm Kent, my family doctor, Bill Hanlon, my physiotherapists, Serge Tessier, my chiropractor, Greg Long etc. or in my professional career as a speaker and author. I thank them at each opportunity. 

This is important. People invest time and effort to ensure we have every chance of success. It is essential that we recognise this and put it into practice, in the workplace. Whether you are working on a project, setting up new initiatives, planning an event or any action that requires the efforts of more than one person, no matter how small their contribution, they need to be recognised. A thank you goes a very long way to creating a positive atmosphere, a sense of well-being and will encourage continued support in the future. 

Let’s face it, there are not many people who work totally alone. Most of us receive support in one way or another. It may be from a colleague or team member, a partner, a parent or other family members. 

So, take the time to thank them, whenever you can.

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, is being released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality. Find out more about Martin at  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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