40 Marathon Quotes to Help You Take the Next Step

Allow these marathon quotes to energize and motivate you as you race toward your goals in life!

A marathon is a 42.195-kilometer-long foot race. It’s a long race that’s physically demanding on both the body and the mind. While there are many physical benefits to running marathons, it goes way beyond just making your body fitter and stronger.

These types of long races challenge your determination and resolve. When every muscle of your body hurts with every step you take, it’s up to your mind to shake it off so you can continue to the finish line.

Marathon Quotes to Help You Take the Next Step

So, if you’re thinking about running a marathon, read these quotes first to get inspired and empowered. Indeed, it will shift your perspective about life and everything that comes with it!

Start reading here.

And don’t forget to check out these Robin Arzon quotes.

Best Marathon Quotes

1. “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

2. “It is difficult to train for a marathon, but it is even more difficult to not be able to train for a marathon.” – Aaron Douglas Trimble

3. “Marathoning is like cutting yourself unexpectedly. You dip into the pain so gradually that the damage is done before you are aware of it. Unfortunately, when the awareness comes, it is excruciating.” – John Farrington

4. “Of all the races, there is no better stage for heroism than a marathon.” – George Sheehan

5. “When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.” – Haile Gebrselassie

6. “The marathon is an opportunity for redemption. Opportunity, because the outcome is uncertain. Opportunity, because it is up to you, and only you, to make it happen.” – Dean Karnazes

7. “The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” – Fred Lebow

8. “There are no shortcuts in marathoning, so anyone who is a marathoner has worked hard.” – Jeffrey Horowitz

9. “You can run a sprint or you can run a marathon but you can’t sprint a marathon.” – Ryan Holmes

10. “Aiming for the marathon is a task of sorts which can include terrific highs and lows.” – Bill Rodgers

Marathon Quotes to Inspire Your Next Race

11. “Motivation remains key to the marathon: the motivation to begin; the motivation to continue; the motivation never to quit.” – Hal Higdon

12. “You can never be sure. That’s what makes the marathon both fearsome and fascinating. The deeper you go into the unknown, the more uncertain you become. But then you finish. And you wonder later, ‘How did I do that?’ This question compels you to keep making the journey from the usual to the magical.” – Joe Henderson

13. “The music of a marathon is a powerful strain, one of those tunes of glory. It asks us to forsake pleasures, to discipline the body, to find courage, to renew faith, and to become one’s own person, utterly and completely.” – George Sheehan

14. “Your legs will ache. Your mind will get fuzzy and you’ll just want the thing to be over. But, you must fight. You must keep going just like you did in training runs. Just get to the next mile marker and then the next and so on.” – Greg McMillan

15. “The marathon’s about being in contention over the last 10K. That’s when it’s about what you have in your core. You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what’s left inside you. To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon.” – Rob de Castella

16. “I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” – John Hanc

17. “Anyone can start a marathon. Only the strongest will finish it, even after they fall.” – Gena Showalter

18. “Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself, you can learn in 26.2 miles.” – Lori Culnane

19. “A marathon is like life with its ups and downs, but once you have done it, you feel that you can do anything.” – Anonymous

20. “Marathons are extraordinarily difficult, but if you’ve got the training under your belt, and if you can run smart, the races take care of themselves. When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring out how to excel.” – Deena Kastor

21. “There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.” – Steve Jobs

Also read: Inspirational Quotes, Encouraging Quotes

Marathon Quotes for Everyone Who Loves Running

22. “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.” – Emil Zatopek

23. “The reason people want to run the marathon is because the challenge, physically, is you. The distance—how you get there—is all up to you and how hard you work. That’s why people want to do it.” – Meb Keflezighi

24. “You should run your first marathon for the right reasons because you’ll never be the same person again. You must want to do it, not do it because your boss did it or your spouse did it.” – Bill Wenmark

25. “Why do people run the marathon? Most of us won’t perform on a stage. But whether a person is a world-class athlete or a four-hour runner, the marathon gives us a stage, where we perform and be proud, while millions of people applaud. In an unequal world, in this one endeavor, people of vastly different abilities share something in common: the act of going the distance.” – Fred Lebow

26. “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

27. “At the end of a marathon, it’s going to hurt whether you’re speeding up or slowing down. You may as well push.” – Summer Sanders

28. “Mental toughness doesn’t come from reading a book or listening to a motivational speaker, it’s earned just like your physical fitness. Every time you make that tough decision to go run, you are building mental toughness. In the marathon this is mandatory.” – Greg Meyer

29. “Long runs improve your endurance but shorter intervals improve your speed. They are mutually beneficial for a distance runner. If you do five-kilometer runs it will help your marathon.” – Eliud Kipchoge

30. “Even if you run a slower than expected time, you succeed in any marathon when you finish.” – Hal Higdon

Also read: Steve Prefontaine Quotes

Deep Marathon Quotes That Are Packed With Wisdom

31. “The marathon never ceases to be a race of joy, a race of wonder.” – Hal Higdon

32. “No marathon gets easier later. The halfway point only marks the end of the beginning.” – Joe Henderson

33. “There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.” – Anonymous

34. “You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.” – Frank Shorter

35. “If the marathon is a part-time interest, you will only get part-time results.” – Bill Rodgers

More Marathon Quotes That Will Make You Think

36. “Only after a marathon can I say I have given everything. Because of the enormity of the attempt, the cleansing of the pain, I can sit, even stiff and blistered, and know a kind of peace.” – Kenny Moore

37. “The marathon. How an average runner becomes more than average.” – Anonymous

38. “The marathon is like a bullfight. There are two ways to kill a bull, for instance. There is an easy way, for one. But all the great matadors end up either dead or mauled because for them killing the bull is not nearly as important as how they kill the bull. They always approach the bull at the greatest risk to themselves, and I admire that. In the marathon, likewise, there are two ways to win.” – Alberto Salazar

39. “The more you frame the marathon as a stressful experience, the more negative messages you’ll receive. But it’s just as easy to frame it as a positively challenging journey.” – Jeff Galloway

40. “Toeing the starting line of a marathon, regardless of the language you speak, the God you worship, or the color of your skin, we all stand as equal. Perhaps the world would be a better place if more people ran.” – Dean Karnazes

How Do You Feel About Running a Marathon?

A marathon is a long race, a competition, or an event that requires a significant amount of energy and commitment. Many people believe that they’ll never be able to complete a marathon. However, people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities can participate in this race.

With all the effort and pain you have to overcome, marathons are indeed an emotional rollercoaster. But, when you cross the finish line, you’ll feel like the strongest person in the world. It is, without a doubt, demanding and exhausting, but it is also exciting and enjoyable.

So, when someone in your area organizes a marathon, make sure you sign up and join in! Aside from training your body and mind, you’ll also meet many new friends who share the same mindset and goal as you. The next time you’re running long distances and think that you can’t take the next step, remember these quotes to get energized and inspired!

Which quotes are your favorites? Drop them in the comments section below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.