The Best Running Movies To Get Inspired (2023)

The Best Running Movies

Who doesn’t love inspirational running movies? It’s the next best thing to watching an exciting race where the underdog beats the favored athlete.

When I’m deep in training for the races on my marathon bucket list, I use these movies for a mental break and an inspiration boost. This is my list of my favorite movies.

Running Movies are Inspirational

When most people think of running and inspirational movies, they probably think of “Rocky” and “Chariots of Fire.” While these are both great movies, I left them off this list and listed some other options.

Let me know what you think.

IMDB: 7.4
Best Running Movies - McFarland, USA

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.

IMDB: 7.0
Best Running Movies - If I Had Wings

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.

IMDB: 6.8
Best Running Movies - Brittany Runs a Marathon

Finally, Brittany Runs a Marathon is a comedy-drama that follows a woman’s journey to running her first marathon.

IMDB: 6.5
Best Running Movies - Run, Fat Boy, Run

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.

IMDB: 7.2
Best Running Movies - Without Limits

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.

IMDB: 6.3
Best Running Movies - Endurance

Another movie I’d recommend is Endurance, which is the story of Haile Gebrselassie’s life. From his meager roots in Ethiopia to winning the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. It’s not a documentary, but rather a dramatic reenactment of his life.

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.

IMDB: 7.8
Best Running Movies - The Long Green Line

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.

IMDB: 7.7
Best Running Movies - The Barkley Marathons

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.

IMDB: 7.5
Best Running Movies - Spirit of the Marathon

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.

IMDB: 7.4
Best Running Movies - Kipchoge: The Last Milestone

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.

IMDB: 7.6
Best Running Movies - Bannister: Everest on the Track

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.


Hopefully, you’ll agree with me and love these movies.

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.


Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase the product. This site is not intended to provide medical advice and you should always consult with a physician before beginning any physical activity.

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