The Quotable Runner: Great Moments of Running Wisdom, Inspiration, Wrongheadedness, and Humor. I first bought this book in 1998, and it was written/compiled by Mark Will-Weber. He was one of of the few coaches to actively try to recruit me when I was interviewing at schools.

The Quotable Runner : Great Moments of Running Wisdom, Inspiration, Wrongheadedness, and Humor There are almost 300 pages of quotes divided into 21 different sections ranging from beginning to run to marathons to training. It is a quick read, as everything in it is bite-sized. It can be picked up and glanced through, or it can be read cover to cover in an afternoon or less.

The book is like a small history lesson, talking about great figures in the sport’s history, complete with a bio on everybody who is quoted or talked about in the back of the book.

I have frequently quoted people that were in the book during races. In at least half of my marathons, I have repeated Frank Shorter’s remark to Kenny Moore at the 16 mile mark:

Why couldn’t Pheidippides have died here?

Each section includes a short introduction and then 10 to 20 pages of quotes. The book comes in a nice small square package that stands out on a bookshelf. One of the few complaints that I have is that not everything in the book is something I would want to repeat to somebody that I was coaching or training with. There are some quotes that are a bit long winded, or which describe a person but do not really lend themselves to anything worthwhile other than to say you know a little more about the person being quoted and the person being quoted on. It is still enjoyable to read, though. I will leave it on my nightstand if I have nothing else to look at in the evening, so that I can have something to go through for 10 or 15 minutes before turning in.