Inspirational Quotes About Cross Country Running

Cross country runners are a special breed of racers. They don't simply circle a level asphalt or cinder track while being cheered by the spectators. Not only do they race the other competitors to the finish line, they do so over varied terrain that often includes hills, and on surfaces from pavement to gravel or even rough trails. In the worst-case scenario, they can even get lost before finding the finish line.

You can get inspired and motivated for cross country running with these quotes from famous, infamous, and anonymous runners. You may go far in this distance running sport.

Ed Eyestone
Olympic Marathoner and Long Distance Runner

"The start of a World Cross Country event is like riding a horse in the middle of a buffalo stampede. It's a thrill if you keep up, but one slip and you're nothing but hoof prints."

Lynn Jennings
World Cross Country Champion

"The freedom of Cross Country is so primitive. It's woman vs. nature."

"The footing was really atrocious. I loved it. I really like cross country; you're one with the mud."

Nelson Mandela
Former President of South Africa, Anti-apartheid Activist

"Running taught me valuable lessons. In cross-country competition, training counted more than intrinsic ability, and I could compensate for a lack of natural aptitude with diligence and discipline. I applied this in everything I did."

Adam Goucher
NCAA Cross Country Division 1 Individual Champion 1998

"For something to hurt that bad, and feel so good, it's just inexplicable."

"I love controlling a race, chewing up an opponent. Let's get down and dirty. Let's fight it out. It's raw, animalistic, with no one to rely on but yourself. There's no better feeling than that."

Rollie Geiger
North Carolina State Cross Country Coach

"Cross Country is like poker. You have to be holding five good cards all the time."

John McDonnell
Arkansas Cross Country Coach

"We told our guys to hold on for 30 minutes of agony for 12 months of glory."

Pat Tyson
Track and Cross Country Coach

"Number one is just to gain a passion for running. To love the morning, to love the trail, to love the pace on the track. And if some kid gets really good at it, that's cool too."


"For a sprinter the thrill is going fast, but for a distance runner it is the journey in between the start and the end."

Ben Logsdon

"There is no time to think about how much I hurt; there is only time to run."


"Embrace the mud. The dirt. The grit."

T-shirt Slogans

"Cross Country: No half times, no time outs, no substitutions. It must be the only true sport."

"No half-times, no time-outs, no substitutions, no excuses. Run!"

"Over the river and through the woods...and hills and more woods, and another river, and more hills."

"My sport is your sport's punishment."

"If cross country was easy, it would be called track."

"The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."

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