5 Movies Every Runner Should Watch
I’ll admit, all of these movies are documentaries. But what is better for inspiration than real people and real events? All of these movies inspired me to not only become a better runner, but a better human being. So grab your whole family, boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, etc. for a movie night! Make sure you have a run planned for the next morning because you are gonna feel inspired!
5. From Fat to Finish Line
This documentary is about 12 people who went through dramatic weight loss journeys and found each other to compete in a Ragnar relay. The movie follows the team on the 200 mile race down the coast of Florida. One by one, the team members are introduced and we learn about their struggles with weight-loss. The majority of them struggled with their weight for most of their lives and they weren’t able to lose weight for good until they started running. Running is what changed their lives for the better so they all have a strong passion for it and you can see it in the movie. I believe that many Americans can relate to the 12 people in this movie whether they are struggling with weight loss themselves, or if they know someone who is. Their stories moved me because they all discovered running as a way to learn to love themselves. If anything, this movie will make you want to run a Ragnar race.
4. Unbreakable: The Western States 100
One of my coworkers who is a Western States veteran recommended this movie to me. The historical 100 mile race that takes place in northern California attracts runners from all over the world. The film documents the 2010 Western States where 4 undefeated ultra runners showed up to earn the title of Western States Champion. But of course only one could be “unbreakable”. The never before captured footage of the race is riveting. The race drags through the hot valleys and jets up into the Sierra Nevada mountains. It may be a long race, but it feels like you are watching a sprint to the finish. You begin to sympathize with the runners as they encounter different struggles. Each athlete wants it so badly that you begin to feel inspired by their pure determination and strength. A must-see to understand the extremes humans will go to when they really want something.
3. Inside the Superhuman World of the Iceman
Wim Hof is the Dutch Iceman. He’s run marathons in the snow with nothing but shorts on. He can swim in ice water for hours. He’s done all sorts of crazy feats to prove the science world what he is capable of. Wim claims that everyone (with adequate training) can tap into that “superhuman” source of power and strength. This short documentary covers his story and his message. Seeing how he pushes the body with his accomplishments and how they are backed by science makes you believe that you can push yourself further. It might also make you want to start taking cold showers everyday!
2. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
The Barkley Marathon was started by a slightly twisted man. He decided that he wanted to create the toughest ultra marathon race to complete, and he succeeded. Ultra runners come to Tennessee from all over the world for the alleged ultimate ultra marathon challenge. From the registration process, which takes some detective work to even begin, to the course markings (there are none), the race is unlike any race you’ve ever heard of. It consists of five 20 mile loops in the mountains of Tennessee. The course is so challenging that typically only 1 or 2 of the 35 entrants that start the race even finish it. If you were to complete the entire course, the elevation gain would total the equivalent of climbing mount Everest twice. The documentary goes into the history of this culty race and into the lives of some of the runners brave enough to do it. The stories are so rich that you become immersed in the movie and start to feel a connection with the runners. The desire to challenge themselves is what makes the runners so inspiring. You start to think about how you can challenge yourself or even signing up for the Barkley Marathons (if you can figure out how to)!
Transcend will move you in more than one way. It is about running for more than yourself and for being more than just a sport. The documentary tells the story of Wesley Korir, a marathoner from Kenya. He ran his way through college, and won the Boston Marathon to help his country. Any money he made from running went to his community back home in Kenya. There is no doubt that Wesley loves running, but it has never been “fun” for him. Running has always been a way for him to “transcend” his physical body, and pull strength from another place in order to serve a cause bigger than himself. Seeing how he devoted himself and more to his country made me think about where I get my strength from. It made me think about why I run. His story inspired me to dig deeper, even when I think I have no strength left, because you never know what you’ll find.