12 quotes about running a marathon (or watching one)

12 quotes about running a marathon (or watching one)
Photo by Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune

This weekend, my husband (the other half of the parenting team in this house) will run the Chicago Marathon. He and approximately 40,000 other runners will traverse 26.2 miles of pavement through 29 Chicago neighborhoods. My teen and I will be cheering him on, along with around 1.7 million other spectators, according to RedEye.

The Chicago Marathon is a huge event, both for each runner individually and for the city. In honor of the occasion, here are some great quotes about marathons.

"If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." - Emil Zatopek

"The marathon never ceases to be a race of joy, a race of wonder." - Hal Higdon

"Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles." - Lori Culnane

"The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is over. The pain in your legs within days, but the glory of your finish will last forever." - Unknown

"A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort, be it fast or slow.  It's all in conquering the challenge." - Mary R. Wittenberg, former president, New York Road Runners Club

“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.” - Tim Noakes, Lore of Running

“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

"I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought." - Arthur Blank

"The marathon is not really about the marathon, it’s about the shared struggle. And it’s not only the marathon, but the training." - Bill Buffum

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great." -  A League of Our Own (which yes, is about baseball, but the quote absolutely applies to marathons, too)

"Out on the roads, there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be." - George Sheehan

"If you are losing faith in humanity, go watch a marathon." - Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon

I have never been a runner, and I don't see that changing, but I am so inspired by all those who will run on Sunday. We'll be there cheering and celebrating the triumphs!


You May Also Like: Fun facts about the Chicago Marathon by the numbers

Prior Post: I've been missing a key piece of the kindness puzzle: kindness to self

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