Steve Prefontaine was the poster on my wall from ages 14-20 and was my strength during mile repeats in high school when my strength was depleated.
Prefontaine was on his way to becoming the greatest long distance runner in American history before a fatal car crash at 24.
I read a biography on him during the time in my life when long distance was so my thing it stopped being a sport and started being my “lifestyle.” I don’t know, sometimes I wish I’d get the chance to go running with Pre or just hear him during an interview or have had the chance to watch him race. There’s something about him that I love.
My heart always starts racing when I read quotes from Prefontaine:
“Someone may beat me, but they’re going to have to bleed to do it”
“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.”
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
“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 say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”
“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.”