"A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts"
Many times I have heard coaches or friends say that a cross country race can be broken down into three parts. You run the first with your legs, the second with your mind and the third with your heart. I think they left out though that if you don't have enough guts you're not going to get anywhere. When your legs are over-worked and on fire, it's your guts that say, "C'mon, you can go faster than this." When your mind is telling you that maybe you should slow down a bit so your body can actually get enough oxygen, it's your guts that are yelling "Oxygen?" You'll get a break when the race is over."
When Steve Prefontaine said "A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts" he knew what it took to win a race. He knew that in order to beat his opponents he had to run faster than his body wanted him to. He had to run purely on his guts.
This quote is one that doesn't just apply to running, but rather has a much more universal context. Those who live life to see who has the most guts, give everything their best effort and never give up, just like runners pushing themselves during a race.
As a captain of the cross-country team I watched many of my teammates race and grow throughout the season. Some of the greatest moments for me, were watching when one of them realized that when they listened to their gut, they reached goals they never dreamed of. They may not have been the fastest that day, but they did have the most guts.
Although not many people's race times are near Prefontaine's, it is still important to run with determination, just like he did. You show that you have guts when you pick up your pace even when you're already in pain, when you listen to that voice of Prefontaine in your head that says "Just one more. Just one more mile."