75 Best Cross Country Quotes For Runners

Joan Agie
Dec 12, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Mar 04, 2021
Athletics is one of the best sports for pushing against the odds.

Cross-country running requires individuals or teams to run on open-air courses.

They are required to pass through natural terrains like dirt or grass. A cross country runner is also sometimes known as a harrier.

Cross country courses include grasslands, hilly terrains, woodlands, or open country lands. Sometimes, they also include gravel roads and much more.

Cross country running tournaments usually take place during autumn and winter. It is different from road running or long-distance track running due to the varied terrain it covers. Races can be any length required, but traditionally men race for between five and six miles, and women between three and four miles.

In this list, you will find quotes by Rollie Geiger, Bill Squires, Lynn Jennings, Lou Holtz, Steve Prefontaine, and many more. For more sporty quotes, check out these marathon quotes and outdoor quotes too.

The Best Cross Country Running Quotes

Here are some of the best cross-country runner quotes that are useful for runners all over the world. There is something so special about a cross-country race. Sit back and reflect on these awesome quotes, with an inspiring quote to be found for every day

1. “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.”

–Nelson Mandela.

2. “Cross country is like poker. You have to be holding five good cards all the time.”

–Rollie Geiger.

3. “I love controlling a race, chewing up an opponent... It’s raw, animalistic, with no one to rely on but yourself. There’s no better feeling than that.”

–Adam Goucher.

4. “For something to hurt that bad, and feel so good, it’s just inexplicable.”

–Adam Goucher.

5. “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.”

–Ed Eyestone.

6. "Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run."

—Jumbo Elliot.

7. “The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat.”

-Bill Squires.

8. “One run can change your day, many runs can change your life.”


9. “The five S’s of sports training are Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill, and Spirit; but the greatest of these is Spirit.”

-Ken Doherty.

10. “My whole feeling in terms of racing is that you have to be very bold.”

-Bill Rodgers.

Cross Country Motivational Quotes For Runners

Some motivational cross-country quotes are given below. These cross-country motivational quotes can also be used for writing on t-shirts that you wear every day along with your team names.

11. "The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."

-Roger Bannister.

12. “Somewhere in the world, someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.”

-Tom Fleming.

13. “Sport is about adapting to the unexpected and being able to modify plans at the last minute – Sport, like all life, is about taking risks.”

-Sir Roger Bannister.

14. "Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running."

—Julie Isphording.

15. “When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

-Paul Brown.

16. “I hated every minute of training, but I said 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”

-Muhammad Ali.

17. “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”  

-Haruki Murakami.

18. “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”  

-Dan Gable.

19. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”


20. "Don't dream of winning, train for it!"

—Mo Farah.

21. "All it takes is all you got."

-Marc Davis.

22. “Don't bother just to be better than others. Try to be better than yourself.”

-William Faulkner.

23. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

-Jesse Owens.

24. “The greatest pleasure in life is doing the things people say we cannot do.”

-Walter Bagehot.

Inspirational Cross Country Running Quotes

Some inspirational cross-country sayings are given below. These inspirational running quotes are great for inspiring runners and instilling toughness every day.

Running gives you the energy to accomplish everything you set your mind to.

25. "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."

-Juma Ikangaa.

26. "What I want is to be number one."

-Steve Prefontaine.

27. “Don't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”

-Michael Phelps.

28. “Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. Racing is where I get mine.”

-John Trautmann.

29. "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it"

- Lou Holtz.

30. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

-John Bingham.

31. "No marathon gets easier later. The halfway point only marks the end of the beginning."

—Joe Henderson.

32. “Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste death but once.”

-Julius Caesar.

33. “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far... There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”

-John Bingham.

34. “If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”

-Priscilla Welch.

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

-Steve Prefontaine.

36. “All great achievements require time.”

-Maya Angelou.

The Latest Cross Country Running Quotes And Slogans

Some of the latest cross-country sayings to make you feel like running are given below. These include meaningful running quotes as well as some funny cross-country quotes.

37. "Just shut up and run."

-Kenrick Sealy.

38. “Different people have different reasons for racing, but one is simply the incentive to get out and run, increase mileage and feel good.”

-Hal Higdon.

39. “Runners just do it – they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first.”


40. “Running is my meditation, mind flush, cosmic telephone, mood elevator and spiritual communion.”

-Lorraine Moller.

41. “One of the first lessons running teaches us about success in athletics and in life is that there is no one else. No one else can do your workouts for you.”

-Adam Goucher.

42. “Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.”

–Michael Johnson.

43. “It started to become what I looked forward to most; it was the only time I got to be in my own head.”

-Rob Riggle.

44. “Cross Country — Finally a practical use for golf courses.”


45. “Running is the basis of all the training that I do… it’s like an escape.”

-Ellie Goulding.

46. “It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect. It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise.”


Famous Cross Country Running Quotes

Discover famous cross-country sayings that might make you feel like running. These cross-country sayings are great for all people interested in running. Pick your favorite quote.

Running is something that fuels the body and mind.

47. “A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.”

-Steve Prefontaine.

48. “A good laugh and a long run are the two best cures for anything.”


49. “The footing was really atrocious. I loved it. I really like cross country; you’re one with the mud.”

–Lynn Jennings.

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

-Chuck Norris.

51. “One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.”

-Bob Kennedy.

52. “Good things come slow, especially in distance running.”

-Bill Dellinger.

53. “I've always felt that long, slow distance produces long, slow runners.”

-Sebastian Coe.

54. “Go in any direction... seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

-Paula Radcliffe.

55. “To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind.”

-Jerome Drayton.

56. “The freedom of Cross Country is so primitive. It’s woman vs. nature.”

-Lynn Jennings.

57. “Just stick with it. What seems hard now will one day be your warm-up.”


58. “Exercise is so amazing from the inside out. I feel so alive and have so much energy.”

-Vanessa Hudgens.

59. “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”

-Oprah Winfrey.

Popular Cross Country Running Quotes

Here are some more popular cross-country sayings. Find your favorite sport quote from the ones below.

60. “You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.”

-Steve Prefontaine.

61. "When you have the running spirit, you look forward to life. I firmly believe that I wouldn't have lived as long or as happily as I have without running."

-Max Popper.

62. "There is magic in misery. Just ask any runner."

-Dean Karnazes.

63. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle,

when the sun comes up you’d better be running.”

-Abe Gubegna.

64. “It is true that speed kills. In distance running, it kills anyone who does not have it.”

-Brooks Johnson.

65. “We are designed to run and we increase our chance of daily happiness when we do so.”

-Jeff Galloway.

66. “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

-George Bernard Shaw.

67. “What I’ve learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you want to give up. Success is often just around the corner.”

-James Dyson.

68. “Running cross country is the closest man will ever get to flying.”

-Joseph VanderStel.

69. “The purpose of running isn’t to win the race, it’s to test the limits of the human heart.”

-Bill Bowerman.

70. “Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.”

-Gail W. Kislevitz.

71. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

-Will Rogers.

72. "I love running cross country... on a track I feel like a hamster."

- Robin Williams.

73. “Fast running isn’t forced. You have to relax and let the run come out of you.”

-Desiree Linden.

74. “School cross country runs started because the rugby pitches were flooded. There was an alternative: extra studying. This meant there were plenty of runners on sports afternoons."

-Gordon Pirie.

75. “I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.”

-Ronald Rook.

At Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of family-friendly quotes for everyone! If you liked this article with the best cross country quotes, why not check out these [hiking quotes] or walking quotes for more sports slogans?

*Do you know where this quote originated? Please email us to let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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