30 Running Race Quotes For Extra Race Day Motivation

Running any distance race requires not only physical training but also mental fortitude.

If you’re having trouble with running a race, get inspired by these powerful, motivating running race quotes.

Many runners like repeating mantras or other brief inspiring phrases while they are running a long-distance race. Whether we’re training or racing, words can have a very significant impact on our minds.

In order to assist you to achieve your best possible time, it is essential to seek inspiration anywhere possible. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of some running race quotes to give you that extra race-day motivation. 

12 Best Running Race Quotes

Here are a few of the best running race quotes from runners, athletes, and philosophers. Inspiration can come from people from many different walks of life.


“Racing is the fun part; it’s the reward of all the hard work.”— Kara Goucher

Quote 1.1


“A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.” — Steve Prefontaine

Quote 1.2


“If you want to run, then run a mile. If you want to experience another life, run a marathon.” — Emil Zatopek

Quote 1.3


“It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you’re going. If you’re putting on your shoes and going out for a run, you are a runner, you are in that club.” — Kara Goucher

Quote 1.4


“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” — Fred Lebow

Quote 1.5


“For me there has always been a place to go and a terrible urgency to get there.” — Joan Benoit Samuelson 

Quote 1.6


“Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.” — Amby Burfoot

Quote 1.7


“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

Quote 1.8


“What I’ve learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you want to give up. Success is often just around the corner.” — James Dyson 

Quote 1.9


“Once you’ve raced, you never forget it… and you never get over it.” — Richard Childress

Quote 1.10


“Racing makes everything else look like a vague wish for something more or remotely adventurous.” — Peter Egan 

Quote 1.11


“Racing is what I live for, and it makes my world go around.” – Charlie Kimball

Quote 1.12

11 Quotes That Help Staying Focused While Running A Race

Running a race is both a mental and physical sport. To break your wall and achieve your target, you might require that extra mental push. 

Keep these quotes in mind, and you’ll be amazed at how far you can go.


“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” — Priscilla Welch

Quote 2.


“Don’t dream of winning, train for it!” — Mo Farah

Quote 2.2


“When anyone tells me I can’t do anything, I’m just not listening anymore.” — Florance Griffin

Quote 2.3


“All runners are tough. Everyone has to have a little fire in them, that even in tough times, can’t be turned off.” — Shalane Flanagan

Quote 2.4


“The ultimate is not to win, but to reach within the depths of your capabilities and to compete against yourself to the greatest extent possible. When you do that, you have dignity. You have the pride. You can walk about with character and pride no matter in what place you happen to finish.” — Billy Mills, U.S. Olympic gold medalist in 10,000m

Quote 2.5


“There is a moment in every race. A moment where you can either quit, fold, or say to yourself, ‘I can do this.” — Gatorade Ad

Quote 2.6


“To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month, or even one year, but for a lifetime.” — Bill Rogers, winner of four Boston Marathons

Quote 2.7


“When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring how to excel.” — Deena Kastor, silver medalist, 2004 Olympic women’s marathon

Quote 2.8


“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” — Juma Inkangaa

Quote 2.9


“The five S’s of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill, and Spirit; but the greatest of these is Spirit.” — Ken Doherty

Quote 2.10


“You can’t become a winner overnight, or even in a couple of years-it takes time…You will lose races and you will have to accept that, learn from it and believe that you’ll win the next one, knowing that you’ll probably lose that as well. All the time you have to keep believing that one day you will win.”  — Paula Radcliffe, women’s marathon world record holder

Quote 2.11

7 Most Inspirational Running Quotes

Running can be a very challenging, yet rewarding activity. Inspiring quotes can help us to remember why we started running. 

If you’re struggling to re-adjust after a long period without running, these running quotes can help give you motivation and push you to get back on track.


“Running allows me to set my mind free. Nothing seems impossible. Nothing unattainable.” — Kara Goucher

Quote 3.2


“I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” — Ronald Rook

30 Running Race Quotes For Extra Race Day Motivation 1


“Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.” — Gail W. Kislevitz

Quote 3.3


“The Hopis consider running a form of prayer; they offer every step as a sacrifice to a loved one, and in return ask the Great Spirit to match their strength with some of his own.” — Christopher McDougall

Quote 3.4


“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?” — Peter Maher

Quote 3.5


“If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy.” — Amby Burfoot

Quote 3.6


“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” — John Bingham

Quote 3.7

The Wrap Up!

Whether you’ve been running for years or you’re just getting started, there are likely to be moments when you’ll need to give yourself a little mental boost to obtain the edge you want.

We are humans. That means we sometimes become stuck in our heads. Perhaps the weather isn’t what you expected? Perhaps your work makes you anxious?

Whatever the situation, it’s all just noise. Hopefully, with the help of some inspirational running race quotes, you can weed it out. You’ll be astonished at how far a little inspiration may take you!

Still need more motivation; check out this article: Ultramarathon Motivation: 10 Tips For Staying Motivated In Training

Photo of author
Paul Smith recently completed his first 100 mile ultra, graduating to the field after discovering running in 2014 and getting hooked on 5k's and 10k's.

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