Top 10 Steve Prefontaine Quotes

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By: Johanna Gretschel for MileSplit

In another world, today is Steve Prefontaine's 65th birthday.

The legend of "Pre," as the crowds cheered in 1970s Hayward Field, or "Rube," as University of Oregon coaches Bill Bowerman and Bill Dellinger addressed their young protegé, looms large in the public imagination.

Why does the world continue to love Steve Prefontaine?

One, because the world never got to see what he could do. He died in a car accident in 1975 at age 24.

In that brief lifetime, Pre won 119 of 151 outdoor track races including six NCAA titles and set 15 American records at every distance from two miles through 10K.

Two, because of his forthright personality. Pre was a champion of athletes' rights -- he fought the AAU for a better living wage at a time when Olympic hopefuls were not allowed to accept payment for racing -- and an outspoken competitor -- someone who never shied away from declaring his intent on running For The Win.

That outspokenness has granted Pre immortality.

His quotes live on on T-shirts, posters and countless social media channels as daily affirmations for inspiration towards athletic greatness. Scroll through the slideshow to see a few of our favorites.

Happy Birthday, Steve.



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

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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.

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To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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

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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 style. It's doing something better than everyone else. It's being creative.

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

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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 helluva race.

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A lot of people run a race to see who is the 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.

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It really gets grim until the competition begins. 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.

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I'll tell you one thing. I love every one of them. I've thought about the Olympic Games every day of my life since 1968, but there is a breaking point in each race when you wonder if all the sacrifice is really worth it. You think 'why should I do this? I don't have to run this hard.' But that's when I think about them. They keep me going.

Matthew Centrowitz Moving To D.C., Still With Nike Oregon Project

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Matthew Centrowitz announced on Instagram that he is still with the Nike Oregon Project, but has relocated back to the Washington, D.C. area. The 2016 Olympic champion in the 1500m attended Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Maryland. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Oregon and remained in Oregon for his professional career. 

All The Best Things That Happened In The NCAA This Weekend

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Three collegiate records highlighted NCAA action this weekend, as UTEP sophomore Michael Saruni, Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp, and Georgia senior Keturah Orji set standards in their respective events.

Keturah Orji Breaks American, Collegiate Indoor Record For Triple Jump

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Georgia's Keturah Orji broke her own American and NCAA indoor records in the triple jump on Saturday with a leap of 14.53m/47-8 at the Clemson Invitational.

Katelyn Tuohy Shatters Mary Cain's National High School Record For 5K

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North Rockland High School, New York, sophomore Katelyn Tuohy ran the fastest 5K ever for a high school girl — indoors or outdoors — today with her winning time of 15:37.12 at the VA Showcase in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener

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Today, in his first meet of the year, Christian Coleman set the bar for his season incredibly high and put the world on notice. 

Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

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Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp posted the fastest indoor collegiate mark of all time over 600 yards on Friday. Competing at the Texas Tech Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, Crisp ran 1:08.16 and held off TCU’s Derrick Mokaleng, who ran 1:08.18.

Michael Saruni Runs World-Best In Indoor 600m

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On Friday night, Michael Saruni continued his hot start to 2018. The UTEP sophomore ran a world-best time of 1:14.79 in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque.  

Austin, Texas, Chasing History With Olympic Trials Bid

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Austin, Texas, has hosted the NCAA track and field championships and currently stages one of the largest track meets of the calendar, the Texas Relays. The city has a robust road racing scene, bolstered by the presence of elite athletes and high-level training groups. But Austin has never hosted a USA track and field championship event — not for any distance on the roads, cross country or track and field. And certainly not the Olympic Trials. 

Justin Gatlin Switches Coaches After Investigation Uncovers Doping Scandal

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Justin Gatlin has officially begun his career after Dennis Mitchell. Reuters reported on Friday that Gatlin is being coached by Brooks Johnson in Orlando, Florida. Gatlin fired Mitchell in December after Mitchell was implicated in a doping sting facilitated by the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. 

Robert Kigen, Felix Kandie Headline Napoli City Half Marathon

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Nobert Kigen and Felix Kandie of Kenya headline a men’s pro field aiming for a sub-60 minute performance at the fifth Napoli City Half Marathon in Naples, Italy.