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Inspirational Running Quotations Page -

Below are a collection of famous quotations and sayings that somehow relate to us runners (blind or sighted), that you may find interesting, inspiring or just plain funny. I hope you enjoy them.


When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Theodore Roosevelt

The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do. Walter Bagehot

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." Muhammad Ali

"Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right." Henry Ford

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. Booker T. Washington

"Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage" George Patton

Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I run because it's so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can't. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you're capable of so much more than you thought." Arthur Blank

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

“A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”

“Life's battles don't always go to the strongest or fastest man, But sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can.”

"Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best." Michael Johnson

"pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity." Michael Johnson

"Run hard, be strong, think big!" Percy Cerutty

"If you start to feel good during an ultra, dont' worry you will get over it." Gene Thibeault

"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." Emil Zatopek

Pain is temporary, pride is forever!

Running is like mouthwash. if you can feel the burn, it's working. Brian Tackett

"Running takes balls. Other sports just play with them."

"Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles."

"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort." Jesse Owens

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John Bingham, running speaker and writer

"To win without risk is to triumph without glory." Pierre Cornielle

Attitude determines how well you do it. Lou Holtz

Other people may not have high expectations of me, but I have high expectations for myself. Shannon Miller

“Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

"rest" is the runners four letter word.

Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring. Jimmy Carter

Jogging is very beneficial. It's good for your legs and your feet. It's also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed. Charles Schulz Peanuts

The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. Erma Bombeck

To a runner, a side stich is like a car alarm. It signifies something is wrong, but you ignore it until it goes away. Author Unknown

I don't jog. If I die I want to be sick. Abe Lemmons

It's unnatural for people to run around the city streets unless they are thieves or victims. It makes people nervous to see someone running. I know that when I see someone running on my street, my instincts tell me to let the dog go after him. Mike Royko

Only think of two things - the gun and the tape. When you hear the first one, just run like hell until you break the other. Sam Mussabini

The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass. Martin Mull

Finland has produced so many brilliant distance runners because back home it costs $2.50 a gallon for gas. Esa Tikkannen, 1979

Blink and you miss a sprint. The 10,000 meters is lap after lap of waiting. Theatrically, the mile is just the right length - beginning, middle, end: a story unfolding. Sebastian Coe

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise. P.Z. Pearce

I believe that the Good Lord gave us a finite number of heartbeats and I'm damned if I'm going to use up mine running up and down a street. Neil Armstrong on jogging, in an interview with Walter Cronkite

I don't think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups. Rita Rudner

Runners just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first. Author Unknown

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

“Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

“You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.”

“If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”

Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,' and I just took off.

"A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways they’re capable of understanding."

"A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. Nobody is going to win a 5,000 meter race after running an easy 2 miles. Not with me. If I loose forcing the pace all the way, well, at least I can live with myself."

"Man imposes his own limitations, don't set any" Anthony Bailey

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Japanese Proverb

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.
It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle
when the sun comes up you'd better be running.
(But, unless you're a runner, you won't understand.)

Real athletes run others just play games

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character. T. Alan Armstrong

My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy. John Bryant

Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste death but once. Julius Ceaser

The nine inches right here; set it straight and you can beat anybody in the world. Sebastian Coe. (as he said this Coe held his fingers up to his head)

The great thing about athletics is that it's like poker, sometimes you know what's in your hand and it may be a load of rubbish, but you've got to keep up the front. Sebastian Coe

Tomorrow is another day, and there will be another battle! Sebastian Coe. (a few minutes after a 2nd place finish in the 800m Olympic Games final in Moscow 1980. He later won the 1500m . He had been favored to win the 800m)

All it takes is all you got. Marc Davis

Run like hell and get the agony over with. Clarence DeMar

The five S's of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit. But the greatest of these is Spirit. Ken Doherty

The only tactics I admire are, do or die. Herb Elliott

You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face. Gatorade

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers

You can fight without ever winning, but never ever, win without a fight. Rush (the Band)

"The thing about Pre is that he ran as hard as he could every race, and if you were going to beat him, you were going to have to run harder than he did." Bob Kennedy

Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can. Lowell Thomas

Good judgement is the result of experience, experience is the result of bad judgment. Mark Twain

Running is real and relatively simple, but it ain't easy. Mark Will-Weber

Once you're beat mentally, you might as well not even go to the starting line. Todd Williams

"The will to win is worthless, without the will to prepare."

"Running is a mental sport...and we're all insane!"

Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder.

"If you want to win a race, you have to go a little berserk."

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars. Les Brown

"No one ever drowned in sweat."

"Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard to find alloy called guts." Dan Gable

"It's rude to count people as you pass them. Out loud." Adidas ad

"Some people don't have the guts for distance racing. The polite term for them is sprinters."

"Cross Country philosophy...the faster you run the faster you're done."

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement." Steve Prefontaine

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that." Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it." Oprah Winfrey

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about." PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, "Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?" Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

"We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, "You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that." The human spirit is indomitable. Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub 4 minute mile

Ask yourself "Can I give more?". The answer is usually: Yes. Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner

"You also need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you, but especially at those who don't run and never will, those who run but don't race, those who started training for a race but didn't carry through, those who got to the starting line but didn't get to the finish line, those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You're still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you've outlasted." Joe Henderson

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself." William Faulkner

"Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run." Monte Davis

"I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards." Alberto Salazar, three-time winner of the NYC marathon

"What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the day gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate." John Bingham, running writer and speaker

"We may train or peak for a certain race, but running is a lifetime sport." Alberto Salazar

"Spend at least some of your training time, and other parts of your day, concentrating on what you are doing in training and visualizing your success." Grete Waitz

"Anybody can be a runner. We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It's the easiest sport." Bill Rodgers

"Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body." Lynn Jennings

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people." Bill Bowerman

"If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it." Priscilla Welch

"To get to the finish line, you'll have to try lots of different paths." Amby Burfoot

"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." Edward Stanley

"Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get." Joe Catalano

"Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow." Henry David Thoreau

"Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective about the relative seriousness of things. Running is play, for even if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares." Jim Fixx

"If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion." Robert Pirsig

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." John Bingham

"To know you are one with what you are doing, to know that you are a complete athlete, begins with believing you are a runner." George Sheehan

"Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too." Richard O'Brien

"I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it." Steve Prefontaine


The following have been seen on signs/billboards around marathon courses.

"There's beer at the finish line."

"Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit."

"Your feet won't fail you now!"

"This is your moment. Celebrate the pain."

"One foot in front of the other. That's all."

"Trust your training."

"If you walk, you'll still be hurting."

"In our minds, you're all Kenyans."

"Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much butt!"

"Your legs will forgive you...eventually."

"Don't stop -- people are watching."

"That's not sweat, it's your fat cells crying."

"If it was easy, I would do it."

"Run like you stole something."

"This is easier than labor and delivery."

"You're not slow. You're just enjoying the course."

"Don't worry, toenails are overrated."

"Run like someone's chasing you."

"It'll feel better when it stops hurting."

"Mortuary ahead....look alive!"

"If I ran it, by God, you can, too."

"You can throw in the towel or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face."
from Gatorade

"This mile marker is farther than most people will ever reach."
Can be posted anywhere beyond mile 1.

"Forget everything you've done. It's just a Sunday 10k left to do!"
Seen at mile 20 of the London Marathon

"All walls have doors."
Seen at mile 22 of a marathon (when some runners hit the "wall")

"Your place in history is almost secure."
Adidas sign at mile 23 of the Boston Marathon

"You are no longer a runner, YOU are a marathoner."
Seen at Mile 25 of the San Antonio marathon

Seen at the end of every marathon

I hope you enjoyed the sayings above. Feel free to email me with any others.

Cheers. Mike

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