I’m a sucker for watching movies that are both inspirational and involve sports. Look in our DVD bin and you will find far more sports movies than rom coms. True my husband also is a fan, but like he really bought any of them. From Field of Dreams to Remember the Titans to The Mighty Ducks they have been watched many times and seem not to lose there inspirational impact. The Ducks..err Geese are one of the reasons I’ve always loved the story of the geese so much that I use it in my classroom at the start of the school year every year.
When it comes to running movies they are rarely as popularized as other. One of my favorites is Dean Karnazes’ story of running 50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 Days. Another favorite, Running the Sahara, documents three runners and their 111 day journey across the Sahara desert. What prompted this post in the first place was me reading last week that a sequel to my favorite running documentary is due out this year-Spirit of the Marathon II. I actually might have squealed; that’s how exciting this news was to me. So why so exciting?
Well, first of all, the original came out as I was training for my second marathon. Watching it captures all of the emotions that go into running a marathon. If you’ve ever stood at the starting line of a marathon or ran your own race, then I swear you’ve felt the emotions in the runners around you. First timers are nervous, excited, and anxious. Veterans are excited, perhaps uncertain about a PR, and hopeful for a good race. Charity runners are carrying thoughts of people they are running for and their own race-pride, hope, and worry. Elites are chasing for that win or top performance. There is happiness, pride, fear, anxiety, uncertaintly, and excitement all at once.
For those who have ran a marathon watching this movie will bring back all those emotions of your first race. For those who have always wondered why someone would ever want to run that far, this movie offers a glimpse into those reasons and the complex emotions runners feel as they travel 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon. It also gives you perspective of first timers yet to complete the distance, seasoned runners, and elites. You hear from marathon greats like Frank Shorter, Paula Radcliffe, Deena Kastor, and Katherine Switzer.
Part of my pre-marathon routine is to watch this movie a week or two before my race to really get the emotions and excitement going. If you’ve ever wanted to relive the emotions or try to understand the emotions of a marathon, check out the preview of the original below. It is six minutes, but so worth it. I got goosebumps as I watched it again last night. I won’t give away any endings other than I always tear up. What can I say? I don’t cry in real life about a lot of things, but play a running movie and I ball.
The sequel, Spirit of the Marathon II, will come out later this fall!! In a similar format, it will follow runners as they train and run the Rome Marathon while also focusing on the impacts running marathons has on people and societies. The documentary looks at reasons why people run marathons from overcoming cancer, to breaking social norms, to seeing how far the human body can go. You can bet I signed up for the update emails AND I’ll be buying it as soon as it comes out. I know Ry just can’t wait (cue sarcasm). Click below to watch a preview.
If either of these videos doesn’t have you out the door to run or signing up for your next race, then maybe it is time to lace up anyway and get some fresh air to your brain.