Steve Prefontaine Quotes

Here are the best quotes from Steve Prefontaine for all people who love running.


A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame someone else. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

What I want is to be number one.
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What I want is to be number one. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Running gives me confidence. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

No one will ever win a 5,000-meter by running an easy two miles. Not against me. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

A race is a work of art. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

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Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

I run to see who has the most guts. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Don’t let fatigue make a coward out of you. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

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.

No matter how hard you train, Somebody will train harder. No matter how hard you run, Somebody will run harder. No matter how hard you want it, Somebody will want it more, I am Somebody. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

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. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

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The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

What I like most about track is the feeling I get after a good run. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

What kind of crazy nut would spend two or three hours a day just running? ~ Steve Prefontaine.

If you can’t win your race, make sure the guy ahead of you breaks the record. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

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

You said I was weak. You said I couldn’t do it. Thank you. You gave me everything I needed to prove you wrong. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

I can endure more pain than anyone you’ve met. That’s why I win, because I can endure more pain. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Every once in a while I think, ‘What am I doing out here running, busting myself up? Life could be so much easier. The other guys are out having fun, doing other things, why not me?’ ~ Steve Prefontaine.

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.

Something inside of me just said ‘Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,’ and I just took off. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

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I don’t just go out there and run. I like to give people watching something exciting. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Nobody likes tainted victories. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Kids made fun of me because I was a slow learner, because I was hyperactive, because of a lot of things. Running gave me confidence. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

I’ve been in international competition, and now I know what the big boys can do. You don’t go out and just run. There’s an offense and a defense. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

My philosophy is that I’m an artist. I perform an art not with a paint brush or a camera. I perform with bodily movement. Instead of exhibiting my art in a museum or a book or on canvas, I exhibit my art in front of the multitudes. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

How does a kid from Coos Bay, with one leg longer than the other win races? ~ Steve Prefontaine.

The idea of losing the three at Hayward Field and the idea of losing my specialty to someone who wasn’t running his specialty. Mostly, the idea of losing in front of my people. They haven’t forgotten about me. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

Having a true faith is the most difficult thing in the world. Many will try to take it from you. ~ Steve Prefontaine.

As far as being a coach, it’s always fascinated me. It’s a greater responsibility than most people give it credit for because you’re dealing with people. ~ Steve Prefontaine.


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