The Best Running Movies To Get Inspired (2023)
Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate a good running movie. Something is inspiring about watching someone push themselves to their limits and achieve something great.
When I’m training for the races on my marathon bucket list, I often turn to a movie for a mental break and an inspiration boost. Here are some of the best running movies that I can watch again and again.
Running is a Theme
When most people think of running and inspirational movies, they probably think of “Rocky” and “Chariots of Fire.” While these are both great movies, there are so many other options out there. Here are some that are centered around running.
McFarland, USA tells the true story of a cross-country coach who leads a group of underprivileged kids to victory. Kevin Costner stars as the coach.
Another movie I enjoy is If I Had Wings. It’s a great movie about a blind teenager who dreams of running for his high school’s cross-country team.
Finally, Brittany Runs a Marathon is a comedy-drama that follows a woman’s journey to running her first marathon.
For example, Run, Fat Boy, Run follows an out-of-shape man who decides to run a marathon to win back his ex-girlfriend. It’s a part cheesy and part heartwarming movie that shows that anyone can become a runner with a little bit of determination. It’s probably more cheesy than anything else, but still funny.
All of these movies are relatively recent releases and might not be as well-known as some of the classics, but they are definitely worth checking out.
movies that showcase Actual Professionals
These movies are dramas about real-life professionals. Their stories will inspire you.
On the other end of the spectrum, Without Limits tells the story of Steve Prefontaine, an Olympic runner who was known for his aggressive racing style and his tragic death at a young age. This movie is a great choice for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of running and the athletes who have pushed the sport to its limits. It stars Bily Crudup as Steve Prefontaine.
documentaries – My Favorite
While there are plenty of great narrative films about running, there are also some amazing documentaries out there. These are truly inspiring.
This movie is simply great. The Long Green Line follows legendary high school coach Joe Newton and the cross-country team of York High School as they try to get their 25th state title. 221 boys try out for the cross-country team each season knowing that 214 won’t get to travel to the meets. This is way more than a simple running documentary. Watch it.
One of my favorites is The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young. This documentary follows a group of runners as they attempt to complete one of the most grueling ultramarathons in the world, held in the hills of Tennessee. It’s a fascinating look at a race that few people know about, and it’s sure to leave you feeling inspired.
Another great documentary is “Spirit of the Marathon“, which follows six average people as they train to run the 2005 Chicago Marathon. If you’re training for a marathon, you’ll relate to their struggles and challenges.
Kipchoge: The Last Milestone follows Eliud Kipchoge’s quest to become the first person in history to run a marathon in under two hours. Seeing someone attempt the impossible is truly inspiring.
Roger Bannister accomplished what many people said was impossible – run a mile in under four minutes. Bannister: Everest on the Track is a documentary that details the incredible pressure he was under and the dedication it took to achieve this amazing feat.
If you’re looking for the best running movies out there, my advice is to look beyond the obvious choices, seek out movies that showcase different types of runners, and consider both narrative films and documentaries. There are so many great movies out there that can inspire you to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement.
If you’re interested in chatting more about running or triathlons, feel free to reach out to me. I’m always happy to talk about my favorite sport and share tips and advice with fellow runners.
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