Spirit of the Marathon is what marathon runners have been waiting for. It’s a feel-good documentary that follows the lives and training plans of 6 runners and ultimately culminates with their running of the Chicago Marathon. It includes elite runners Daniel Njenga and Deena Kastor along with 4 other runners of varying backgrounds and performance levels.
I really enjoyed the insight to the various training philosophies and motivating factors of each of these runners. Getting that open and honest glimpse of what it takes to train for and run 26.2 miles from a diverse group was awe-inspiring. The movie allowed you to get to know the runners as they shared their lives and 4 months of training. From a single-parent trying to get her life back on track to a 70-year-old marathon veteran…this movie inspires everyone as we all can relate to some of their hurdles, feelings, and challenges as they prepare for and run the marathon.
In addition to having great content, the movie was also very well produced. It had an excellent mix of commentary by experts in the field such as Dick Beardsley, Amby Burfoot, Alberto Salazar, Paul Tergat, Bill Rogers, Frank Shorter, Hal Higdon and many more. It was like getting the bonus video edition of Runners World that was all about the Marathon!
This movie is more than a documentary about distance running, it’s a well-woven tapestry of inspiring stories with motivational music and athlete background clips that has you literally cheering for the athletes in their ultimate marathon race. Despite knowing the outcome of the race (2005 Chicago Marathon), I still found myself on the edge of my seat cheering for Deena & Daniel as they kicked in that last 0.2!
For anyone that’s run a marathon, considering a marathon, or wants to understand the marathoner in their life…watch Spirit of the Marathon. Watching the training, injuries, personal triumph, and successes of these runners will have runners and non-runners, alike, thinking about signing up for the next marathon.