Thursday, April 24, 2008
Spirit of the Marathon
Always searching for athletic inspiration, an email from the Running Room announced the one evening only screening of the Spirit of the Marathon. db and I went and I did find inspiration from it.
The film gives a brief historical overview of the marathon and its origins, how it has changed over the years, and the runners who stand out in the history of the marathon. Interspersed with this historical context are interviews with runners past and present and of all levels, from the novice to the champion, each telling her or his story of why they run and what they hope to achieve. The race central to the film is the Chicago marathon so we the audience also have a goal in watching each person set out on their run with the goal of finishing that race.
The stories move the documentary forward and do capture what it is like to train, face injury, overcome obstacles and the excitement of race day. Being a runner I connected to the film and understood the determination of each person. I’m not sure this film would hold everyone’s attention for its full length and I did find that it may have lost its thread somewhere in the middle, but overall it was a worthwhile film to watch.
Personally, I find it very moving to watch people achieve such goals that require physical and mental strength to push through to the end. There is something very unique about that experience. Even when I watch the Boston Marathon or any running event, I feel so moved watching the runners break through that finish line because at that moment in her or his life it is only about that moment and all the hard work that went into reaching that goal can be seen in their facial expression or some sign of relief at the finish line.