Best Inspiring Steve Prefontaine Quotes

If you’re looking for some inspiration and motivation, you need look no further than Steve Prefontaine quotes. This legendary runner was known for his dedication and passion for the sport, and his quotes will help you to achieve your goals and be the best that you can be. So get inspired and get moving!

steve prefontaine quotes

Steve Prefontaine is considered one of the greatest runners of all time. He was known for his perseverance and determination, which led him to become one of the most successful runners in history. Prefontaine was born on January 25, 1951, in Coos Bay, Oregon. He began running in junior high school and quickly rose to the top of his class. 

In high school, Prefontaine was a three-time state champion in track and field. He continued his success in college, where he competed for the University of Oregon. Prefontaine was a five-time All-American and set numerous records.

He was also the first runner to break the four-minute mile. tragically, Prefontaine died in a car accident in 1975, at the age of 24. However, his legacy lives on. Prefontaine is considered a pioneer in the sport of running and has inspired many athletes, both young and old.

Here are some of our favorite Steve Prefontaine quotes to get you moving.

46 Steve Prefontaine Quotes

  1. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good for the great.”

 2. “You said I was weak. You said I couldn’t do it. Thank you. You gave me everything I needed to prove you wrong.”

3. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

4. “Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”

5. “What I want is to be number one.” 

6. “I have a positive mental attitude, and I think I’m divine, but I also think it takes a heck of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.” 

7. “People often cheat themselves by giving less than their best. Talent will only take you so far, and by not providing a sincere effort, you are not taking advantage of the gift.”

8. “I’m the one who has made all the sacrifices. Those are my American records, not the country’s.”

9. “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.”

10. “Success is not how far you’ve got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

prefontaine to give anything less

Inspirational Steve Prefontaine Quotes

11. “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.” 

12. “If anybody wants to beat me, let them run a world record.”

13. “I guess you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.”

14. “Something inside of me just said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,’ and I just took off.”

15. “If you can make money with your talents, why not?”

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

17. “I don’t care about being on television.”

18. “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”

19. “The best way to live is when you are pushing yourself to the max.”

20. “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.”

famous steve prefontaine quotes

Famous Steve Prefontaine Quotes

21. “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” 

22. “It doesn’t feel that good when you’re ahead the whole way.”

23. “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.”

24. “I knew I had to show everybody that I could excel at something, but I didn’t know what.”

25. “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.”

26. “No one will ever win a 5,000-meter by running an easy two miles. Not against me.”

27. “No matter what you do, there is always more to it. You could be running, driving a bus, or answering phone calls, and there can still be a deeper meaning for why it matters. When you dig deep and find that meaning, it adds depth to your life.”

28. “Did you ever run behind a slow pack? You get a trailing wind and a lot of body odor.”

29. “People say I should be running for a gold medal for the old red, white, and blue, and all that bull, but it’s not gonna be that way.”

30. “When things get tough, you have to remember why you started putting in work in the first place.”

Motivational Steve Prefontaine Quotes

31. “I don’t want to win unless I know I’ve done my best, and the only way I know to do that is to run out front, flat out, until I have nothing left. Winning any other way is chicken shit.”

32. “You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.”

33. “There are big odds against me. Nobody under 25 has ever won the Olympic Five. But if everything goes right, whoever wins will know he has been in one hell of a race.”

34. “Why shouldn’t I do what I want to do? I’m an American citizen.”

35. “What I like most about the track is the feeling I get inside after a good run.”

36. “When people go to a track meet, they’re looking for something, a world record, something that hasn’t been done before. You get all this magnetic energy, people focusing on one thing at the same time. I really get excited about it. It makes me want to compete even more. It makes it all worthwhile, all the hours of hard work.”

37. “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.” 

Steve Prefontaine Best Quotes

38. “Having a true faith is the most difficult thing in the world. Many will try to take it from you.”

39. “If I want to go to Europe and get thrashed by the Europeans, that’s my business. Every race I lose, I learn from and get tougher.”

40. “I don’t just go out there and run. I like to give people watching something exciting.”

41. “It’s hard to run a mile when you’re not a miler and to kick when you’ve led all the way.”

42. “Don’t let fatigue make a coward of you.”

43. “Running gives me confidence.”

44. “I decided that if I was going to continue in track, that I didn’t want to lose—that I wasn’t going to lose.”

45. “You have to give yourself more reasons to keep going than you could ever come up with to stop. In the end, the feeling of satisfaction that you will have will be worth it.”

46. “The marathon? Well, a former Oregon runner Ken Moore told me, ‘A runner isn’t a man until he runs it.’ So, I guess I won’t be a man for quite a while.”

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