“Running With Courage” | guest post by Distance Runner, Carlie Pipe

Running shoes – check! Shorts or leggings – check! Motivation – here’s where many of us (myself included) can benefit from some inspiration to get up and get active, for our health and wellbeing. Distance runner, Carlie Pipe (in photo below) shares a page in her running story and encouragement to find daily motivation to take action, and run the race with grace, especially without applause and when no-one’s looking.

Barbados Advocate
The “first lady home with 21:38.64 minutes” at the Sagicor 2017 “Globeathon To End Women’s Cancers” and multiple marathon medal winner is a dedicated athlete and devoted family woman. Photo by Barbados Advocate. Click to read their article

She exemplifies balance and perseverance, as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, distance runner and career woman. Her name, Carlie Pipe. Her story is one of strides and movement, born from taking it one step at a time and having the courage to start and endurance to keep on keeping on.

A new report (“Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2016”) by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) states that 4 in 10 Barbadians are obese, and obesity affects more women than men. And so, we welcome motivation to get movin’ in today’s post.

Running With Courage

by: Carlie Pipe

Running Without Victory

Run with courage.
Run with determination.
Run with positivity.
Just don’t run with victory.


It sounds ludicrous I know. But Victory is proud, Victory is vain, Victory is a celebration of winning.

Not of running.

Franz Phillips
Focus. Determination. Photo by: Franz Phillip

Whether you’re a new runner or an old vet, whether you sign up for every 5k or run just for fun, you should celebrate the journey of running. Running with Victory alone spoils the beautiful nature of the sport. In a race, though we are competitors, we are all lovers to the same passion. Celebrating a Victory with overwhelmingly proud display is to succumb to arrogance and ego-ism, to believe the race centres around you and to forget to respect the sport as a whole. A sport is after all, the summation of all its players. You could never be a winner, unless someone else has become a loser. You owe your win to them. So respect them. Recall that the race doesn’t revolve around the single winner. It’s an evolution of everyone involved, from the front, to the back. Learn to celebrate the run…rather than the Victory.

When you run, you should do so with courage.

Don’t fear the “unknown” – Will I be able to make it to the end? Will I be able to go further than ever? Embrace it. Boldly leap into new spaces, and take new risks…you never know when there will be a big payoff!

Once, when running through hills and bush and backroads in St Andrew I was about to leave the road to enter the bush and a man standing on the corner yelled out to me:

Be careful! There’s a lion in there!

I said to him, Why would I fear a lion, when I am Tigress?

Be determined every time you run.

There is unprecedented power that grows from your hunger. When your soul is hungry, it’s more agile than you ever thought. The moments you spend waiting to start, having just put on your shoes, set your watch, planned your route, tuned your music, all the hesitation before you take the first step should just be nervous little butterflies that evaporate the moment you’re in motion. Let the only thought that controls your mind be fueled by your own determination to finish faster, to go further, or to just get out the door.

Your determination to wake up and get your workouts in is what will get you successfully to your fitness goals.

Not your raw talent, not your healthy body. But your mental determination to achieve.

Franz Phillips Hill Challenge
Hill Challenge runners. Photo by: Franz Phillips

Guess what…not every moment running feels good. There are many moments where you’re in agony because your body and mind are just ready to quit. It’s what happens when faced with those moments that determines if you’re positive or not.

When looking into the darkness and feeling the burn in your gut, are you crumbling and giving up? Or are you roaring with satisfaction because you knows how good it’s gonna feel to burst through the darkness into the light on the other side?

Selfie at Sagicor Globeathon
Carlie’s pic post-run

Smiling through the pain, and maintaining a positive voice will serve you well in those moments of vulnerability.

So get out there! Love your run! Run with courage! Determination! Positivity! Celebrate your whole run…not just your victories. In every race, only one person will be the “winner”. But everyone can celebrate being a runner.

Carlie was the 1st local female (and 6th female overall) to successfully complete Run Barbados 2017. 

Carlie Pipe is a Barbadian writer and distance runner. She holds the National Record for Half Marathon and has represented Barbados in regionally and internationally. Follow her running exploits @carlieester on IG.


Thanks, Carlie! What an honour to re-meet someone I’ve known for years and introduce her to you. Vivid memories of her early morning runs regardless of mood or most weather is motivation to get moving, especially at a time where challenges with women’s health and stress levels are fast growing challenges. I’m also reminded to not take anyone for granted. There’s always something more to recognize, appreciate, cherish and celebrate in the sisters we meet along the way. So celebrate a sister today, and jog onto Carlie’s website here.

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