Running Quotes About the Boston Marathon

Runners in Boston Marathon
Getty Images

As the oldest consecutively run a marathon and one of the most prestigious road races in the world, the Boston Marathon is a goal for many marathon runners. Here are some quotes about this epic race from Hopinkton to the streets of Boston:

  • “Every serious marathoner should do Boston, to experience the close to a million spectators, the three generations of families out cheering, the little kids handing you water or orange slices. The whole city really appreciates the runners.” 
    -Neil Weygandt, who finished 45 consecutive Boston Marathons
  • “I was motivated to win the Boston Marathon not only for myself but for the Portuguese people of Boston. They were with me all the way and made winning the race the nicest moment of my life.”  
    -Roa Mota, three-time winner of Boston Marathon and Olympic gold medalist
  • “The Boston Marathon has had more to do with liberating and promoting women’s marathoning than any other race in the world.”  
    -Joe Henderson, running writer
  • "Wicked fast runnah" 
    -seen at the Boston Marathon expo
  • “It was so thick with spectators you couldn’t even see how the hills went up. It was just this mass of humanity, people hanging out of trees or whatever.” 
    - Dick Beardsley, runner-up in the 1982 Boston Marathon, on the Boston Marathon crowds
  • "Get going. Get up and walk if you have to, but finish the damned race."
    -Ron Hill to Jerome Drayton during the 1970 Boston Marathon
  • "The marathon can humble you."  
    -​ Bill Rodgers, winner of four Boston Marathons
  • “I thought about how many preconceived notions would crumble when I trotted along for 26 miles.” 
    -Bobbi Gibb, first woman to finish the Boston Marathon, 1966
  • "You start as a runner. You finish as a Boston Marathoner."
    -sign seen at the Boston Marathon expo
  • "Give it hell down the hills!  Give it hell down the hills!"
    - Jock Semple to Amby Burfoot, en route to his 1968 win
  • “I've run the Boston Marathon 6 times before. I think the best aspects of the marathon are the beautiful changes of the scenery along the route and the warmth of the people's support. I feel happier every time I enter this marathon.“   
    -Haruki Murakami, author of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
  • “When I go to the Boston Marathon now, I have wet shoulders – women fall into my arms crying. They’re weeping for joy because running has changed their lives. They feel they can do anything.”
    –Kathrine Switzer, first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon in 1967
  • "I saw the Prudential Center Tower from about two miles out, but for quite a while I thought it was a mirage. I kept seeing it and I thought I'd never get there." 
    - Neil Cusack, Ireland, 1974 Boston Marathon winner
  • “Somewhere in the world, someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.”  
    -sign on Tom Fleming’s wall when he was training for the Boston Marathon
  • “I actually had people running up next to me offering me shots. All this crazy stuff. And no, I didn’t take any of it.”    
    -Will Ferrell, on running the Boston Marathon
  • 'If this race is for 'men only,' why doesn't it say 'men only' on the entry blank?"
    -Nina Kuscsik (in 1969), first woman to officially win the Boston Marathon in 1972

  • "I'm not prejudiced against women; they just can't run in my race!"
    -Jock Semple, Boston Athletic Association official on why he tried to prevent Kathrine Switzer from running the Boston Marathon

  • "It's time to keep enjoying the best day in running history." 
    -Amby Burfoot

Also see:


Was this page helpful?