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Steve Prefontaine Quotes

Get Inspired With These Running Quotes from a Running Legend


Updated May 21, 2014

Steve Prefontaine

Steve Prefontaine runs in the 5000 meter event at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

American runner Steve "Pre" Prefontaine helped inspire the running boom of the 1970s. Before he died in a car accident at the age of 24, the running legend held the American record in seven distance track events from the 2000 meters to the 10,000 meters. Here are some inspiring Steve Prefontaine quotes:

  • "Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run like that before.' It's more than just a race, it's a style. It's doing something better than anyone else. It's being creative."
  • "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
  • "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."
  • "I don't just go out there and run. I like to give people watching something exciting."
  • "Something inside of me just said, 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,' and I just took off."
  • "Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started."
  • "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great."
  • "How does a kid from Coos Bay, with one leg longer than the other win races? All my life people have been telling me, 'You're too small Pre', 'You're not fast enough Pre', 'Give up your foolish dream Steve'. But they forgot something, I HAVE TO WIN."
  • "What I want is to be number one."
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