Marathon Running Quotes

marathon runners

Running or watching a marathon is incredibly inspiring and moving, and it’s tough to put the feelings you experience into words. Here are some of the best quotes about running marathons.

1. “Running 26 miles is a feat that truly stretches a human being. At the 20-mile mark, someone has said, the race is half over. Almost anyone can run 20 miles, but the last six are the equivalent of 20 more. Here the runner finds himself pushed to the absolute limit. And therefore needs to call on those hidden reserves, to use all the fidelity and courage and endurance he has.”
-George Sheehan, best-selling running author

2. “The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.”
-Fred Lebow, co-founder of the New York City Marathon

3. “Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go.”

4. “You should run your first marathon for the right reasons, because you’ll never be the same person again. You must want to do it, not do it because your boss did it or your spouse did it.”
-Bill Wenmark, running coach

5. “At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realized I had become too tough to kill.”

6. “The key to running a good marathon is to not listen to anyone’s advice the last week before the race. That’s when people tend to do stupid things that disrupt all the input and training of the previous months.”
-Don Kardong

7. “If you feel bad at 10 miles, you’re in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you’re normal. If you don’t feel bad at 26 miles, you’re abnormal.”
-Rob de Castella, winner 1983 World Marathon Championships

8. “The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is over. The pain in your legs within days, but the glory of your finish will last forever.”

9. “A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort, be it fast or slow.  It’s all in conquering the challenge.”
-Mary R. Wittenberg, former president, New York Road Runners Club

10. “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”
-Kathrine Switzer, women’s marathoning pioneer

11. “There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”

12. “Like the marathon, life can sometimes be difficult, challenging and present obstacles, however if you believe in your dreams and never ever give up, things will turn out for the best.”
-Meb Keflezighi, U.S. Olympic marathoner

13. “There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, Why am I doing this? But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.”
-Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

14. “There are no shortcuts in marathoning, so anyone who is a marathoner has worked hard.”
-Jeffrey Horowitz

15. “That day remains very special to me and if I had one day to live over in my lifetime, it would be my first marathon.”
-Dick Traum, first amputee to run the New York City Marathon

16. “You can never be sure. That’s what makes the marathon both fearsome and fascinating. The deeper you go into the unknown, the more uncertain you become. But then you finish. And you wonder later, ‘How did I do that?’ This question compels you to keep making the journey from the usual to the magical.”
-Joe Henderson, running coach and writer


2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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