How do you show the world your passion for running? We asked runners to submit their photos and stories of tattoos that are inspired by their running, and we heard back from people all over the world. Thank you for the responses from those of you whose love for the sport is more than skin deep! Check out some of our favorites here, and maybe you'll be inspired to tell your running story with some ink.
"I got this tattoo done two years ago after 16 years of running—I wanted to make sure I keep going until the end. The mantra is what I repeat to myself every run and race. The visual is a play off of my last name, which means 'wing' in some dialects of German."
—Kurt Fliegel, Chicago
"Convinced I would NEVER do a full marathon, I promised myself that if I did I'd get a tattoo of Hermes' winged shoes on my ankle. I finished the 2016 New York City Marathon in memory of my mom (and raising money for breast cancer research with Fred's Team), who passed away from breast cancer in 2006... so I thought, let's do this! After the marathon, I went to visit friends in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I told them about the idea and how I was going to get the tattoo when I got back to NYC, but they convinced me to get it while I was there. It's probably the best souvenir that I've ever brought back from a vacation!"
—Alexandra Kawecki, NYC
"I recently had this tattoo done of my first (and third, and soon to be seventh) marathon! I ran with Team for Kids and the course through this adopted city of mine will always hold a special place for me. When the tattoo artist saw it he commented that the fun part is that it will only be seen by people running behind as it's on the back of my leg."
—James Gray King, NYC
"NYC 2015 was my second marathon. I'd run my first in Perth, Western Australia (where I live), in an injury-plagued time of 4:57. When a friend brought to my attention that a lottery existed for the New York City Marathon, I thought 'what the heck' and threw my name into the hat. To my great surprise, my name was drawn. At the time I didn't know how lucky I'd been to be drawn on my first try. My wife and I made the trek around the globe after a pretty good training buildup. I was planning to run sub-4, though this being my second-ever marathon I still had no idea what I was doing. The wheels started to fall off on 5th Avenue, but I finished with a 45-minute PB.
I returned to Perth and had the ink done locally—my first, and still only, tattoo. In 2016, my wife managed to win a lottery entry, so I bought an entry from an ITP and returned to earn sub-4 hour redemption, crossing the finish line in 3:57."
—Jeff Hansen, Perth, Australia
Liysa (above right): "I got my safety pins tattoo with my friend Amanda, one of my favorite people to run with. We got it together as a celebration of the New York running community and all that running has given us. I love the way pins come bundled in race packets, and it's a great metaphor for how running ties us all together. After more than 50 races, I still get a thrill pinning on a bib. Placing the pins always feels like the beginning of something big. The thrill of getting to the starting line with so much hard work behind me is one of the best feelings in the world, and the only thing I love more than a starting line is the finish (with a strong kick!)."
Amanda (above left): "Out of my seven tattoos, this is easily one of my favorites. Liysa convinced me to get it (I was nervous to get it on my thigh but she is persuasive!), and to this day it's the one people ask about the most—probably because they have no clue what it means. It represents the four pins every runner receives in their drop bag when they pick up their bib for a race. To me, it's a simple and beautiful homage to running, and one of the few things that connects all runners that has nothing to do with speed or tenure in the sport; putting a bib on is something we all get to experience. And I love knowing that there are only two other people on this earth (that I know of) that have this tat, and they are both badass, inspiring runners."