Friday, March 29, 2013

Best Athletic Quotes Ever

a good friend asked me what i think the best running quotes are. She found a good one from Oprah, but then she realized it was, well, from Oprah. Not exactly an experienced runner.

So I got to thinking....

Some of these are off the top of my head: I've spent way too much time committing trivia to long-term memory. There might be some rough paraphrasing here...just sayin.'

Here goes:

Frank Shorter (upon winning the 1972 Olympic Gold Medal in the marathon): "I wasn't elated as much as relieved, thinking that I finally got one right."

Kenny Moore (as a college sophmore, running a two mile race against the reigning NCAA XC Champion Dale Story. Moore went out slow, with a 10 second deficit halfway, then picked it up). "(In the last turn) Story looked back, his shoulders tightened, and for the first time I felt the full savagery of my competitive heart."  Moore went on the win the race in a 27 second PR, and ran in the Olympics two years later.

Bob Schul, 5000m Gold Medalist in the 1964 Olympics, who ran a 38.7 second final 300m on a wet cinder track in the rain 49 years ago: "(entering the last 100m and pulling up to fading race leader Michael Jazy)...for the first time in the race my legs are heavy but it doesn't matter now." Schul crossed the finish line laughing.

Bill Rodgers, many-time winner of the NYC and Boston Marathons and prodigious junk food eater (mayo straight from the jar): "I don't know if I run this much so I can eat like this, or if I eat like this so I have to run so much."

Emil Zatopek, multiple gold medalist 1948-1952, and Runner's World Magazine's Best Runner Ever: "If you want to win something, run the 100m. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." His training regimen included 40 x 400m in army boots.

Bill Bowerman, Nike co-founder and longtime head coach at the University of Oregon: "No one wins a mile race by winning the first lap."

Frank Shorter to a complaining Steve Prefonaine while training at altitude in a New Mexico snowstorm: "Steve, right now, there's no one in the world training as hard as us."  One of the few times anyone shut Pre up.

Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist, in a dogfight with C.Y. Chang during the final event. "All that got me through that race was knowing I'll never have to run another 1500m race. Ever." Rafer did not like distance running at all.

Dean Karnazes, legendary ultramarathoner: “Some seek the comfort of their therapist's office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.” 

Adidas ad: "It is impolite to count people as you pass them. Out loud."

John Stephen Akhwari, Tanzanian Olympic Marathoner: Early in the 1968 race, he collided with another runner and fell, dislocating his knee. He kept plodding along, completing the race an hour after the winner. When asked why he continued running, he said, "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish."

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