Steve Prefontaine Bio

Team Prefo was named in honor of Steve Prefontaine.

 Steve Prefontaine

(January 25, 1951-May 30, 1975)Widely considered one of the greatest American runners of all time, Steve Prefontaine once held the U.S. record in every long-distance event from the 2,000 meters to the 10,000 meters.

 He attended Marshfield High School, where he set a national high school record in the two-mile  race and broke 19 national high school records in track.

Steve Prefontaine attended the University of Oregon where he trained under legendary coach Bill Bowerman. Pre, as he was called by his fans, won three Division I NCAA Cross Country  championships and four straight three-mile titles. It was while at U of O that Steve Prefontaine  earned a reputation for his aggressive front-running racing style, going out hard and not relinquishing the lead. He soon became a legend not only in his native Oregon, but nationwide, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 19.

 After narrowly missing a medal at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Steve Prefontaine returned to the University of Oregon to finish his collegiate career undefeated. He then set his sights on the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Tragically, he was killed in a car crash on May 30, 1975 at age 24.

Even after his death, Steve Prefontaine remained an icon in the running world. During his short career, he ran 153 races and won 120 of them. He is at least partially responsible for inspiring the running boom during the 1970s.


 Steve Prefontaine quotes:

 “Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make  something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”

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

 “A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who  can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”

 “I don’t just go out there and run. I like to give people watching something exciting.”

 “Something inside of me just said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,’ and I just took off.”

 “Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

 “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

 “How does a kid from Coos Bay, with one leg longer than the other win races? All my life people have been telling me, ‘You’re too small Pre’, ‘You’re not fast enough Pre’, ‘Give up your foolish dream Steve’. But they forgot something, I HAVE TO WIN.”



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