REVIEW: Spirit of the Marathon

I’m a huge sucker for inspirational sports movies, no matter what the sport, however, I am disappointed with the lack of running movies out there! That’s why I was super excited to see four running documentaries highlighted in the August edition of Runner’s World. (As pictured below)

So, last night after finishing the third Harry Potter book (yes, I’m a nerd), I was bored and decided to watch Spirit of the Marathon, which is of course the first film before Spirit of the Marathon 2 shown in Runner’s World. Here’s my thoughts on the film:

The movie chronicles the training of six runner’s in their preparation for the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Four of them being regular people and two elites: Deena Kastor and Daniel Njenga. For some it was their first marathon, which was motivating to watch, however, I think I would have enjoyed seeing some more hardcore trainers who also have jobs!

Therefore, I honestly didn’t find their training to be overly exciting or inspirational and there wasn’t much on the training regimen of Kastor or Njenga, which was what I was hoping for. Luckily, the film made up for this in giving a very interesting history of marathons.

In the beginning of the film, they give a brief history of how the marathon began and evolved and became so popular and also spent a lot of time talking about the history of women and running. There was an interview with the women’s running pioneer who entered the Boston Marathon (when women weren’t allowed) as “K.V Switzer”, so officials would think she was a man. During the race, the official made an attempt to remove her, but she just kept going!

It’s crazy to think there was a time women were banned from racing for such ridiculous reasons, one being that they feared a women’s uterus might fall out. Come on, seriously? Overall, the film outlined women’s history in running very well and made me feel proud to be a female runner.

In the end, each athlete’s race in the Chicago Marathon was empowering, especially Deena Kastor, who won the Women’s race. All in all I enjoyed the film, despite some slight changes I would have liked to see, and would recommend to all runners!

I look forward to watching the rest of the running films and will keep you updated! Please let me know in the comments below if you’ve seen any running films worth watching!


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