I feel persistence is not often recognized especially in it's early stages although it is usually rewarded. Whether that is the CEO with 30+ years of long hours every week experience getting a huge paycheck or the Olympic champion crossing the finish line. We may view these things in the relatively small context of the daily, weekly, or yearly, but those two, and many others, are the result of years often decades of work. "Overnight success" like Psy's "Gangnam Style" is the result of decades of music videos on televisions and one of the most connected countries in the world.
In all of these stories there are hurdles and setbacks. Injuries and missed opportunities and delays that conspire to stop us instead of only a momentary pause. Bombs may explode in a big city, even at a marathon. That setback will provide at least somebody a reason to decide never to run a marathon. However, that person probably never ran in the first place because he or she did not want to get his or her knees replaced.
If we knew the results of the race before it started we wouldn't run it. If a marathon was 19 miles it wouldn't be nearly as interesting. Unexpected things happen. You can stop. You can give up the challenge and resign yourself to less. Or you can keep going.
I don't know how things I would like to do will pan out. I may fail miserably across the board. Yet the satisfaction of knowing that I held nothing back and adjusted to changes and overcame obstacles is more rewarding than living with the question of, "what if...?"