On Running -- Favorite Quotes

"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, the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes.

"Jeppers. I want to run till I'm 100. I'll never stop. People ask me about my philosophy of life all the time. I just put one foot in front of the other and keep going."
John A. Kelley

"Running is the classical road to self-consciousness, self-awareness and self-reliance. Independence is the outstanding characteristic of the runner. He learns the harsh reality of the physical and mental limitations when he runs. He learns that personal commitment, sacrifice and determination are his only means to betterment. Runners only get promoted through self-conquest."
Noel Carroll

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

"Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run."
Jumbo Elliott

"Why dost thou run so many mile about?"
William Shakespeare

"In general, any form of exercise, if pursued continuously, will help to train us in perseverance. Long-distance running is particularly good training in perseverance."
Mao Tse-Tung

"Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast.'"
Emil Zatopek

"It is not gymnastics or ice skating, you know."
Emil Zatopek, when asked about his tortured expression during races

"Sex before the race? Fine, it will do you no harm. But try not to distract the starter."
Roger Robinson

"And if any of you want some tips on running, don't be in a hurry, and never let any of the other runners know you are in a hurry even if you are. You can always overtake on long-distance running without letting others smell the hurry in you."
Colin Smith, in "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runnner"

"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming."
Frank Shorter

"I'm too tired even to be happy..."
Gelindo Bordin, immediately after winning the Olympic Marathon in Seoul, 1988

"I don't know about psychology. I'm a runner."
Steve Jones

"On Saturday night, I said to myself, 'Are you ready to deal with victory?' I decided I was."
Joan Benoit on her thoughts prior to the 1984 Olympic marathon

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift."
Steve Prefontaine

"At least in a race you have mile markers and know how long you have to go. Labor is like running as hard as you can without knowing where the finish line is."
Lorraine Moller Olympic marathon bronze in 1992

"Think of the marathon as a 20 mile warm-up to a 10K race."
Greg Hales (semi-apocryphal)

"Some people write their stories with ink and a ball-point pen But I'll use the rubber on my shoes till streets and rivers end"
Chris Volpe, "Shoes"