Here are our top ten favorite Pinterest quotes for ultra runners. The quotes tend to be obscure, strange, hardcore, or some combination of the above—much like those of us who are attracted to this often peculiar, always grueling sport.
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”
We’re all afraid at some point of the enormity of the goals we’ve set—some of us more often than others—but that’s part of the thrill.
“I’m not training to be skinny. I’m training to be badass.”
Transitioning to ultra running enabled me to transition from seeing running as a means of staying thin, to seeing running as a mode of transportation into my soul. How deep can I go? I’m willing to bet I’m not alone.
“Because we’re loving every wonderful, horrible minute of this.”
At any given moment in an ultra race (or when training for one) there are many handfuls of things to complain about for every one thing to be thankful about. But the good things are enough to keep us going. Every time.
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
Dr. Seuss probably meant this line as a metaphor, but if taken literally it’s clearly intended for ultra runners.
“The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die.”
Some may argue that ultra runners most certainly aren’t running fast enough (even the winners) to be considered ‘suicide pace,’ since the speaker of this quote, Steve Prefontaine, ran the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter races and was most likely directly referring to himself. However, anyone who’s read and learned about Steve Prefontaine knows that his attitude and approach toward running (and life) was very much that of an ultra runner. Had Prefontaine lived to be an old man, I have no doubt he would have at least dabbled in ultra running and, very likely, he would have dominated it.
“Run when you can; walk when you have to; crawl when you must; just never give up.”
Ultra running great Dean Karnazes wrote this in his book Ultra Marathon Man in reference to one of his races where he was reduced to actually crawling. He finished that race. Some didn’t. No one is going to call you weak for crawling at mile 96 in a 100 mile race, because you’re still moving forward; you’re still on your way to finishing!
“Respect the distance or the distance won’t respect you! It will eat you up, spit you out, and make you beg for mercy.”
There’s nothing to get cocky about with ultra distances; even the best end up crawling sometimes (see above).
“I never ran a thousand miles. I could never do that. I ran one mile a thousand times.”
Don’t think of the entire distance—neither how much you have covered nor how much you have left. Think only of your next short goal—the bend in the trail, the hill in the distance, the next aid station. Don’t let your mind wander farther than your eyes can see.
“I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.”
Very well said David Goggins.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Although T.S. Eliot was likely not thinking of running when he wrote these words, he couldn’t have better captured the essence of why ultra runners do what they do. We’re all searching for something within ourselves; most of us want to know just how deep our well is.