25 Don Kardong Quotes From The Popular Runner and Author

If you’re a fan of running, check out these Don Kardong quotes from the Olympic runner and father of Bloomsday.

Donald Franklin Kardong is a former American long-distance runner who is known for his achievements in marathons and road racing.

Kardong was born on December 22, 1948, and started running in the fall of 1964, during his sophomore year of high school.

Kardong finished fourth in the 1976 Olympic Marathon in Montreal.

He should have won the bronze medal that day in Montreal as winner Waldemar Cierpinski is widely believed to have doped under the state-controlled East German system.

In 1977, he founded the Lilac Bloomsday Run, one of the largest timed road races in the United States.

As a journalist and author, Kardong has worked for various running magazines, including Runners World and The Runner.

He’s also served as president of the Road Runners Club of America and executive director of the Children’s Museum of Spokane.

Take a look at these Don Kardong quotes to learn more about the famed runner.

The Best Don Kardong Quotes About Running and Life

1. “Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.” ― Don Kardong

2. “Runners like to train 100 miles a week because it’s a round number, but I think 88 is a lot rounder.” ― Don Kardong

3. “Every story of success, in athletics and elsewhere, includes times of profound failure. Getting past those is the key.” ― Don Kardong

4. “Running gives good health, a balance to my life, the opportunity to share time with running partners, a chance to greet the sunrise, and a connection to life on planet Earth.” ― Don Kardong

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5. “Work matters. If you want to improve, you need to work at it.” ― Don Kardong

6. “Improvement in running takes time. So does success at almost everything else.” ― Don Kardong

7. “If you don’t believe in yourself, nothing is possible.” ― Don Kardong

8. “A good teammate is someone willing to get outside of personal thoughts and emotions, a friend who tries to understand, appreciate, and encourage other members of the team.” ― Don Kardong

9. “Be the best you can be at whatever stage you’re in. If you’re in high school, be the best high school runner you can be.” ― Don Kardong

10. “Teamwork helps. Whether it’s an official team, a group of friends, or just people supportive of what you’re doing, social support helps.” ― Don Kardong

Don Kardong Quotes About Runners and Athletes

11. “Clearly, there are things a runner does, intentionally or not, that disrupt team cohesion. And there are also things a runner doesn’t do that can cause problems: not trying, showing up late, skipping team-building activities, and ignoring the coach’s instructions.” ― Don Kardong

12. “I know runners who have suffered a tick bite and ended up with Lyme disease. I’ll take an angry moose any day.” ― Don Kardong

13. “Support the athlete, encourage the team, help the coach. That’s what good track parents do.” ― Don Kardong

14. “If an athlete takes a shortcut – literally, for example, by running a street that shortens the marathon route by a quarter mile – he or she doesn’t have an insurmountable advantage. But it’s an unfair advantage, and in a field of equally matched athletes, it’s more than enough to make a difference.” ― Don Kardong

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15. “When I started running, a gadget was a wristwatch with a secondhand on it.” ― Don Kardong

16. “Beginning runners come in all shapes, sizes and pre-existing conditions, so there’s no magic formula for determining exactly how much basic running is needed before you start speedwork. Most experts, though, recommend three or four months of preparation.” ― Don Kardong

17. “Even for runners who never make the transition to more sophisticated workouts, easing into speedwork will lead to more enjoyable running.” ― Don Kardong

18. “In those long, lonely miles you put in during the off-season, and in those knife-in-the-gut track repetitions and hill repeats that buckle your knees – at that moment in almost every race when you ask yourself how much you’re willing to hurt to catch one more runner – you can draw strength and inspiration from your running mates.” ― Don Kardong

19. “Running at night used to frighten me. Part of it was simply safety, the question of whether level ground would truly appear under each tentative footstep, and whether the temporary but complete blindness suffered while running toward headlights was, in fact, concealing death.” ― Don Kardong

20. “When I went to the starting line of the 1976 Olympic marathon in Montreal, it was with the unsettling conviction that some of my competitors were cheaters.” ― Don Kardong

Other Don Kardong Quotes That Will Make Your Day

21. “Avoid any diet that discourages the use of hot fudge.” ― Don Kardong

22. “The key to running a good marathon is to not listen to anyone’s advice the last week before the race. That’s when people tend to do stupid things that disrupt all the input and training of the previous months.” ― Don Kardong

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23. “If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want – Why? Because (a) you’ll burn all the calories you consume, (b) you deserve it, and (c) you’ll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway.” ― Don Kardong

24. “There’s no such thing as a bad carbohydrate.” ― Don Kardong

25. “No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes.” ― Don Kardong

What Did You Learn From These Don Kardong Quotes?

Kardong has had a profound influence over American road racing as director of the famed Bloomsday race in his hometown, Spokane, WA.

His life and career teach us the importance of perseverance, community involvement, and the ability to create a positive impact that extends beyond our own achievements.

Hopefully, his words have inspired you to create a positive impact in your own community.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Don Kardong quotes?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

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