Last night I joined thousands of other people across the nation to see Spirit of the Marathon in theaters. Entering the movie, I expected it to be about the history of the marathon and some of it's epic moments and the training and hard work that goes into one. It did capture much of this but essentially the movie was a documentary revealing the personal highs and lows of running a marathon. It followed 5 people, 1 elite (Deena Kastor), and 4 other age groupers. A few were first timers and one was a regular marathoner shooting for Boston.
Without going into too many details, the movie did an incredible job of showing the emotions before, during, and after a marathon. As a runner I kept thinking "So true, so true." There were laughs from the audience that only a running crowd would give. One of my favorite scenes was a moment we've all been through: when you tell someone you're going to run a marathon and they ask you, "Do you think you're going to win?"
It's a beautiful movie to a runner and a motivational movie for a non-runner. It spans everything from the agony of injury to the exhilaration of completion. I had the sense that everyone around me in the theater and those in the film understood what I feel about running. It's often hard to explain to others why you do what you do, why you put yourself through the early morning runs just to torture yourself for 26.2 miles. This movie helps answer those questions. It will be my answer to those who think I'm crazy. I'll simply hand them a copy of the movie and say, "Watch this, you'll understand."
Spirit of the Marathon is screening at select theaters throughout 2008 and will be on DVD sometime after that. Below is the trailer.