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10k Truth Quotes on Running
Welcome to 10k Truth Running Quotes!
Some believe that the next best thing to running, is talking about running. We're not like those guys. However, we do like the odd running quote such as those collected here.

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Running Quotes

"Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win."
Tom Fleming's Boston Marathon Training Motto

"In the '70's, I was a school teacher and trained at 5AM and 5PM. During wintertime, I never saw the sun."
Tom Fleming (one of the all time great American runners. Won the New York Marathon twice, took second at Boston two times.)

"Runners like to train 100 miles per week because it's a round number. But I think 88 is a lot rounder."
Don Kardong

"Who runs in circles never gets far."
Thornton W. Burgess, Bowser the Hound

"I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!"
Sasha Azevedo, Runner Athlete

"There ain't no shame looking at a good runner's back. Now, if the runner sucks, that's something else entirelyÖ"
The Rage, Training Tips "Comeback"

"There are actually people who cheat at race walks; they enter a race walk, then run to win. You know you've given up in life when you cheat at a race walk. You've decided that you're so pathetic the only way you can win is by cheating against people who aren't even competing."
Michael Logsdon

"The idea of losing the three at Hayward Field and the idea of losing my specialty to someone who wasnít running his specialty. Mostly, the idea of losing in front of my people.
They havenít forgotten about me."
Steve Prefontaine, when asked by a reporter how he managed to muster up enough strength on the last 200 to catch Frank Shorter by .6 of a second and establish a new American 3 mile record at 12:51.4.

"From now on, Iím going to be a dirty son of a bitch. Iím going to foul a lot of people. Iíll get thrown out of a few races, but it's time we Americans learned to run like the Europeans."
Steve Prefontaine in an interview with Bert Nelson of Track & Field News, following his courageous run at a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics, after being cut off twice by Mohamed Gamoudi of Tunisia in the 5000 meter final, who edged an exhausted Pre in the last five meters for the bronze medal.

"When you run like I do, top tens are hard to come by and it usually means a lot of good runners don't show up."
The Rage on Running in a Thin Field

"A good hill definitely levels the playing field for a lot of runners, which means more of us not only will run closer together, but we will get a quality workout that would not be the same otherwise."
The Rage on Beating Your Buddies

"...just like Charlie don't surf...trout don't run...they swim. Runners have slimey protective coatings too, after a few hard laps... but that's where it ends, baby...If trout ran...they would understand that pain is just a state of mind...they would not need a bunch of tree huggers to sympathize with their plight..."
The Rage on Wimpy Trout

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance."
Bruce Barton

"You only get to negatively affect your DNA."
Manciata's explanation for why some people can't run a marathon.

"(Scientific testing) can't determine how the mind will tolerate pain in a race. Sometimes, I say, 'Today I can die.'"
Gelindo Bordin

"rapid motion through space elates one"
James Joyce

"No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes."
Don Kardong

"There is no time to think about how much I hurt; there is only time to run."
Ben Logsdon

"I am in a world of pain, but I'm happy. I survived the water obstacle and I can't even swim."
Briton Mark Hawkins, finisher from Bristol, in the 2002 World Wife-Carrying Championships

"Even if you fall flat on your face∑at least you are moving forward."
Sue Luke

"Maybe I shouldn't have had breakfast at Denny's."
Jordan Kent (who vomited after running the 400 meters in the 2002 USA Junior National Championships held in Eugene, OR)

"My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: 'Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you'll win....Channel your energy. Focus.'"
Carl Lewis

"The longer the race, the shorter the champ."

"Roger Bannister studied the four-minute mile the way Jonas Salk studied polio—with a view to eradicating."
Jim Murray, LA Times

"No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable."
Sir Roger Bannister

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."
Sir Roger Bannister

"The mile has all the elements of a drama."
Sir Roger Bannister

"The trouble with a rat race is that even when you win, you're still a rat."
Lily Tomlin

"I don't believe in burnout. I believe in losing your appetite."
Pat Tyson

"Your shoes are only as good as the laces they're attached to."
Greg Sampson

"Some people endure pain better than others. All things considered, the ability to withstand—or even deny—pain would seem to be a valuable ally for the long distance runner in search of significant improvement. In truth, it is probably a double-edged sword, since medical experts tell us that pain is the body's warning signal to back off, and that to ignore such schedules is to roll the dice with both body and mind."
Mark Will-Weber, The Quotable Runner

"Top results are reached only through pain. But eventually you like this pain. You'll find the more difficulties you have on the way, the more you will enjoy your success."
Juha "the Cruel" Väätäinen

"Stadiums are for spectators. We runners have nature and that is much better."
Juha "the Cruel" Väätäinen

"I want to be alone now."
Some honest feedback from a runner reacting to some attempted encouragement by one of their van mates who made the mistake of running along side and offering too much positive support during the Jasper to Banff Relay. ( Runner's Tip: While perhaps not as polite, a simple hand gesture is not only more direct in terms of honest feedback, it is also more aerobically efficient).

"There will come a point in the race, when you alone will need to decide. You will need to make a choice. Do you really want it? You will need to decide."
Rolf Arands

"Pain is weakness leaving the body."
Tom Sobal, World Snowshoe Racing Champion

"When the guy says go, you start to suffer -- or you might as well not be out there. It's a small piece of your life, make it hurt."
Aaron Cox, Winner of US Mountain Biking Championship

"Let's face it. Handicaps were made for golfers and bowlers. There's no reason to hold back and sandbag a 10k time. Despite press and media devoted to the contrary, running was never intended to feel good. Running is not a lifestyle choice. Simply put, It's a sport."
Manciata, after reading the latest issue of Runner's World

"I ran and ran every day, and I acquired a sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never, give up, no matter what else happened."
Wilma Rudolph, US track star (from Wilma).

"It's better to burn out than to fade away."
Tom Petty

"Road racing is rock 'n roll; track is Carnegie Hall."
Marty Liquori

"Sure you have to know your capabilities. An untested, out of shape person should walk if he or she is feeling exhausted in practice or in a race. But the pain felt racing is the temporal price one has to pay for the ephemeral experience of a race well run."
Manciata in "Say it Ain't So Rage"

"Itís probably the toughest distance race in the world to win. World class runners from 1500m to the marathon contest it and instead of just three runners from each country, like in the Olympics or World Championships, in the senior men's race there are nine."
Paul Tergat of Kenya, comments about the IAAF World Cross Country Championships

"The single biggest change in middle-distance running, from the 1500 metres to 10,000 metres, has been the track surface."
Herb Elliott

"The greatest stimulator of my running career was fear."
Herb Elliott

"Most mistakes in a race are made in the first two minutes, perhaps in the very first minute."
Jack Daniels, Exercise Physiologist and Coach

"When you see a guy go down, you smell blood in the water."
Anthony Famiglietti, American Steeplechaser's comment about 3,000 meter Steeplechase leader Tim Broe's fall at the final barrier during the 2001 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

"I was totally into football, totally into mainstream sports my whole life...The media has tried to categorize me, call me a hippie, call me alternative. I work hard. My social life and beliefs don't get in the way of my training."
Gabe Jennings, who gave up football his freshman year becoming one of America's best high school milers.

"I feel the earth and the wind and the trees. I feel its spirit. It puts me in the moment. I feel the rhythm of the race. It's like music. When the rhythm gets dissonant and chaotic, it is either a jazzy driving force behind me or demons inside me."
Gabriel Harmony Jennings, talking about winning the 1,500 meter

"It's an incredible feeling, 110,000 people -- energy at that level. What I realized from watching the first day of competition was that athletes that got excited and happy and got the fans into it and clapping, they did better. The athletes that took it too seriously, they didn't do as well as they'd hoped. "
Gabe Jennings, talking about his Olympic 1500-meter semifinal, in which he finished ninth not qualifying for the final.
"Inevitably, there's some official bellowing: "Come on! Run through the chute! Keep it movin'...Keep it movin'!" But you're bent over, gasping, admiring with salt-stung eyes the good, honest mud of battle, the trickle of blood from a spike wound, splattered on your still-quivering legs and too-old (but still lucky) racing shoes. What could be more beautiful?"
Description of the finish of a Cross Country Race from The Quotable Runner, Edited by Mark Will-Weber
"I ran for myself, not Finland."
Paavo Nurmi
"Most men take the straight and narrow. A few take the road less traveled. I chose to cut through the woods."
"At the end of the cross-country run he fell insensible after crossing the line, but sustained no serious injury."
From Lt. Col. Frederick S. Flotz's report to superiors on George S. Patton Jr.'s finish at the final event of the Stockholm Olympic's Military Pentathalon. By Patton's account he'd been given a shot of "hop" before the start by a trainer and at race's end lay unconscious for several hours.
"Why aren't you signed up for the 401K?
I'd never be able to run that far."
Scott Adams, Dilbert (4/2/01)
"Tell the truth and run."
Anonymous, Yugoslav Proverb
"Run like hell and get the agony over with."
Clarence DeMar
"Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat-tails."
Clarence S. Darrow
"The mile has a classic symmetry....It's a play in four acts."
John Landy
(See 10kTruth's advice on running the mile)
"Eleven stupid men."
Anonymous comment regarding a slow men's 1500 in Barcelona Olympics in which twelve made up the final
"There's nary an animal alive that can outrun a greased Scotsman."
Groundskeeper Willy, The Simpsons
"Real Running Real Runners. Extremism In Defense Of Real Running Is No Vice."
Headline from David Cavall's Stotan News

"It's the road signs, 'Beware of lions.'"
Kip Lagat, Kenyan distance runner, during the Sydney Olympics, explaining why his country produces so many great runners
"Coming off the last turn, my thoughts changed from 'One more try, one more try, one more try...' to 'I can win! Ican win! Ican win!'"
Billy Mills
"I haven't seen too many American distance men on the international scene willing to take risks. I saw some U.S. women in Barcelona willing to risk, more than men. The Kenyans risk. Steve Prefontaine risked. I risked--I went through the first half of the Tokyo race just a second off my best 5000 time."
Billy Mills, gold medal winner of the 10,000 at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics with a 46-second PR.
"Worry about him? I never even heard of him."
Ron Clarke, Australian distance runner, on Billy Mills 10,000 victory in the Tokyo Olympics, 1964.
"Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. Racing is where I get mine."
John Trautmann
"After I left the podium in Atlanta, I felt so fulfilled in my career that I lost my desire to compete at that level again."
Carl Lewis, after the Atlanta Olympics
"It is suicidal for other runners to copy my hill sessions without adequate background."
Pekka Vasala, Finnish Middle Distance Runner who outkicked Kip Keino at Munich Olympics in 1972 winning the 1500 meters in 3:36.3

"It was a very strange, disappointing race in that no one wanted to take it out. That's why I took the lead. I wanted some people to run the real distance and that was frustrating. So I took the pace around the second lap, which in some ways is suicidal...but I wanted the pace to be honest."
Marla Runyan commenting on the Women's 1500 meters at the Sydney Olympics in which she finished eighth.

"I wanted to run my race. I didn't want to sit there and play games and see who could kick the hardest. I wanted it to be a race."
Marla Runyan, Olympian

Tim Rhay, City of Eugene Oregon's Acting Park Operations Manager describing the likely cost of the HazMat team cleanup of more than 50 small piles of white powder believed to be flour found at the base of trees and light poles in Maurie Jacobs Park. According to a local news brief, Eugene City Officials speculated the substance may have marked the course of an unofficial run.
Eugene Hash House Harriers
"When the gun shoots, you got to go."
Ato Boldon
"The start of a World Cross Country event is like riding a horse in the middle of a buffalo stampede. It's a thrill if you keep up, but one slip and you're nothing but hoof prints."
Ed Eyestone
"When I was about 14 or 15, and running in a pretty muddy cross country race, one of my shoes stuck in the mud and came off. Boy, was I wild. To think that I had trained hard for this race and didn't do up my shoelace tightly enough! I really got aggressive with myself, and I found myself starting to pass a lot of runners. As it turned out, I improved something like twenty places in that one race. But I never did get my shoe back."
Rob de Castella
"If you can't win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record."
"I'm going to go and leave my blood all over the track."
Nick Rogers, Olympian (at the trials finished third in the 5,000 taking the race away from the kickers by grabbing the lead with a mile to go and forcing the pace). Met the Olympic "A" standard with a PR of 13:18:50 in his first European track race (14th fastest ever by an American runner).
"I made the school team, and when I won in a match against another school it was the greatest moment of my life--even greater than the European titles. In those school races, I always ran my legs off. There were girls watching and I wanted to impress them. I was foaming and vomiting, but I won."
Juha Väätäinen of Finland
"I don't understand why members of the media have to try so hard for stories. For real fans, the events speak for themselves as well as the performances and the corresponding drama. Excitement in Track and Field does not come from heartbreaking stories. It is in the competition and the buildup. My recurring message to you is to try to pick and choose the relevant and truthful media coverage of Track and Field. This Cris Collinsworth stuff has got to go!!!!!!"
John Schiefer
"I have been wearied by the misrepresentation of my sport by the national and local media.... It reminds me of a scene in the movie, Educating Rita, where the old mother half-cries during a rather mechanized group sing-a-long at a local pub, 'Doesn't anyone know another song?'"
Joan Nesbit
"For years people have been cheering for me as Joan Benoit-Samuelson."
Joan Nesbit
"Americans have not had the same successes because of the fact that most grow up in the lap of luxury. They don't tolerate the type of pain that distance running demands. You can pass your Physical Education classes in school by walking a mile maybe twice a year. It seems that the few Americans who do make it on the international level have a tremendous drive and tolerance for discomfort. I think the main reason Africans succeed in distance running is many have to and we don't. "
Ryan Wilson
"No one competes with the reckless abandon they should. What is a race? A race is a complete all out effort. With a few exceptions, runners run hard, (or think they are running hard) but the races are too controlled. When was the last time you saw an American distance runner finish a race and then collapse on the ground? Ten, fifteen years? I'd personally rather watch someone who runs his guts out, throws his breakfast up and passes out at the end of the race."
John Schiefer
"You make it all sound so simple. Run your guts out...collapse at the finish, throw up, that makes a good runner. Sounds like you regret not being more like Prefontaine....Everyone gripes to me that American marathoners are 'lazy-no-good-for-nothings'. My point is, many people have criticisms, but few have valid answers. I'd like to know what happened to the guys that kicked my ass in high school."
Keith Brantly, in response to John Shieffer's criticism of American distance runners
"A miler's kick does the trick...A miler's kick does the trick..."
Rod Dixon's mental refrain as he chased down and beat Geoff Smith in the last half mile of the 1983 New York City Marathon. Dixon won bronze in the 1500 at the Munich Olympics.

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop."
Lewis Carroll, from Alice in Wonderland
"Long slow distance makes long slow runners."
Jim Bush, coach at UCLA
"The only tatics I admire are do-or-die."
Herb Elliott
"First is first, and second is nowhere."
Ian Stewart
"Thank God, it's over."
Neil Cusack, 1974 marathon winner
"It is simply that we can all be good boys and wear our letter sweaters around and get our little degrees and find some nice girl to settle, you know, down with...Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere! We can scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God's own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race black Satan himself till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straightaway....They'll speak our names in hushed tones, 'those guys are animals' they'll say! We can lay it on the line, bust a gut, show them a clean pair of heels. We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel the winter leave our feet! We can, by God, let our demons loose and just wail on!"
Quentin Cassidy, fictional miler in running cult classic, Once a Runner by John Parker
"In the big city, if the man next door happens to be a slum landlord, a Mafia bag man, or a long distance runner, what does it matter, as long as he puts his garbage out on Tuesdays?"
Hal Higdon, "On the Run from Dogs and People"

The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals.
Hal Higdon, "On the Run from Dogs and People"

"My legs aching, my chest aching, my heart thumping and banging away, the only things to look forward to, the only things that kept me going, the drinks of water; but only when he offered them, I'd never ask for them, no matter how I felt, any more than I'd stop till the old bastard said I could stop. Except twice to be sick, while he just stood watching me while it all came heaving out, not saying anything; just standing, waiting for me to go on, while I thought Christ I'll die, I'm going to die, my guts are coming out, I'll die."
Ike Low, miler in "The Olympian"

"Mind is everything: muscle--pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind."
Paavo Nurmi

"Hills are speedwork in disguise."
Frank Shorter

"You're really Frank Shorter, eh?...What happened to you at Montreal?"
A Charleston cab driver upon learning he was driving Frank Shorter who won Olympic gold in Munich in 1972 and silver in Montreal in 1976.

"If the hill has its own name, then it's probably a pretty tough hill."
Marty Stern

"I felt my throat start to close up, and I didn't think I was getting enough oxygen. I was scared, and I thought about quitting. But you don't want to quit when you've trained so hard and long for one race."
Deena Drossin describing the effects of having been stung by a bee in the back of the throat 100 meters after the start of the World Cross-Country Championships in Portugal. Despite blacking out and falling during the 8k race she finished in 12th place.

"Get back in the van. I can't even look at you right now."
Manclark to Logan, Hood to Coast Relay after a subpar effort by Logan

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

"I love controlling a race, chewing up an opponent. Let's get down and dirty. Let's fight it out. It's raw, animalistic, with no one to rely on but yourself. There's no better feeling than that."
Adam Goucher, Winner 1999 US Nationals 5000 title

"While a man is racing he must hate himself and his competitors."
Percy Cerutty

"Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer."
Percy Cerutty

"If it hurts, make it hurt more."
Percy Cerutty

"When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less."
Paul Brown


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   Date and time page last updated: 10/28/2005 7:02 AM