Movie Review: Spirit of The Marathon



Spirit of the Marathon is described as “the first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed dvd-cover-smallon four continents, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.”


Inspirational, educational and emotional are the words I would use to describe the film. One of the runners in the film talked about her motivation for tackling a marathon, “I felt the need.” That is how I feel about the marathon. While I do not have a marathon on my calendar at the time, I know that it is one of those things I will have to cross off my list one day. I have completed 4 half marathons, a triathlon, and a 100 mile bike race. Those 26.2 miles are out there waiting for me.


The film is beautifully shot and the flow and transitions create an entertaining documentary. Spirit illustrates the community aspect of marathon running. Marathoners are bonded by a feeling and accomplishment that is only shared by fellow marathoners. I liked that the film took a look at all types of runners, showing that running is really for everyone – from 12 minute/mile runners to world record holders and Olympic medalists.


Training groups as well as individual runners were featured in the movie and it got me thinking – if (when) I train for a marathon, will I be able to do it on my own? For my Olympic distance triathlon and my 100-mile bike ride I trained with Team in Training, but trained for all my half marathons on my own. I enjoyed my long 10 mile runs by myself, but am not sure if I could handle 20 miles solo.


The topic of injury came up in the film and it really showed the devastation endurance athletes feel when injured. During training, your sport really becomes your life and if that goes away, you don’t quite know what to do with yourself. That is one of my fears about taking on a marathon – I do not want to get 3/4 of the way through training, get injured and then not be able to participate. I guess all you can do is just take the best care of yourself you can and treat your body right.


Some great take aways I got from the film are:
– What you learn during training is just as important as what you learn during the race.
– Finishing a marathon is about celebrating the triumph and possibility in your life.
– Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most define us.


I’m inspired – maybe 2010 will be my marathon year!


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4 thoughts on “Movie Review: Spirit of The Marathon

  1. allijag says:

    I JUST watched that yesterday! I got goosebumps and teary eyed at multiple points throughout the film! I really thought they did a great job – I’m glad you liked it as well!

  2. I love that doc! I’m hoping to run the Chicago Marathon in 2010.

    • modernation says:

      I loved it so much! Good luck in 2010. I am going to start researching what I want to be my first full marathon. Any suggestions?

  3. Bridgette says:

    So funny that you put this up because I just watched this last week on Netflix because I was lacking motivation! If this doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will!

    P.S. Deena Kastor isn’t human.

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