Happy Thanksgiving, Purpose2Play readers. As we express gratitude for all we have in our lives, we thought we’d reach out to some of the athletes we did stories on this year to find out what they’re most grateful for in 2017.

Without further ado, we’ll let them take it from here.

John Young, the first person with dwarfism to finish an Ironman

“I am grateful that I had another year of healthy living. I had no major injuries and was able to complete both my training and race schedules.”

Jaden Merrick, the 9-year-old half-marathon world record holder for his age group

“This year I am grateful for my family supporting me, our family friend, Jeff, who has coached me for the past five years, for Nate Canton, who is my current coach now that I am running for Iowa Speed Cross Country, and also for my teammates who are on my cross country team. I am grateful for all those people because they have brought me to where I’m at in my running career and where it will take me in the future!”

John Young feeling good out there on the course. Photo by Matthew Muise

I.K. Kim, LPGA Tour pro

“I live a very simple life and I am grateful for so many things, but I would have to say I am grateful for the freedom that we have.”

Kevin Saum, founder of Heads ‘N Tales and second impact syndrome survivor

“I am most grateful for living in a country that allows us the right to pursue our own happiness and have a voice in the world. Failure and setbacks are an inevitable part of life, but freedom provides the opportunity to write your own comeback story with unlimited possibilities.”

Brittany Charboneau (formerly Brittany Lee), marathon runner and comedian

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I’d argue that it also takes a village to be a runner. Being a marathoner can be a very lonesome sport at times, which is why I’m so thankful for my village of support! I’m thankful for my running coach, my mentors, my incredible family & friend cheer squad, my husband, my body and my mind (the chief of the village)!”

Scott Searle, ultrarunner and “Yo-Yo Man” who outruns alcoholism

“I am thankful that I finished the Hennepin Hundred (in October) in under 24 hours and 9 minutes. I am thankful for my friend Lori who has continued to help me accomplish my running goals. Last year she picked me up in Chicago from my run. This year she got me out and back from the Hennepin Hundred as well as crewed for me for a while. And, she’s picking me up in Milwaukee when I get done running from Chicago the day after Thanksgiving. I’m thankful that I am no longer looking up from a gutter and am so full of life due to running. Running has helped me forge so many good friends and social connections. Running is life!”