I have yet to see Unbroken or McFarland, USA or the much-anticipated Born to Run movie that just recently began filming. However, here is the list of my top five favorite running movies as they stand currently.
Chariots of Fire – This movie is still at the top of my list. If nothing else, the current generation has heard the soundtrack. Complex and filled with the historical narrative of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, the movie has viewers cheering. Perhaps, my favorite running quote ever comes from here. “I believe that. God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Without Limits – Represented in this movie are the themes of individualism, determination and perseverance. The movie follows the life of running legend Steve Prefontaine, from his childhood growing up in Oregon to running at the University of Oregon and then finally making it to the Olympics before his tragic death in a car wreck at age 24. This movie illustrates many of the qualities that drew people to and away from Steve Prefontaine and is a film that should be on every runner’s list.
Forrest Gump – This may not be viewed by most as a running film, but it is one that presents the idea of using running as a form of therapy. Forrest helps us understand how running can serve as an outlet or escape in daily life.
On the Edge – With a balance of angst and athleticism, this movie will keep you engaged and rooting for Wes Holman, a runner unfairly banned from amateur competition that sets out to run one of the toughest races in the country. The film parallels running and life and proves that there is much more than running when it comes to winning a race.
Spirit of the Marathon – This documentary follows six individuals as they set out to run the Chicago Marathon. The film does a fantastic job of representing runners at different levels, from the amateur marathoner to an elite runner attempting to win the Chicago Marathon. Whether you are a runner or not, this film is sure to inspire.