Need a bit of inspiration with your running. Here’s a list of the top running movies of all time as selected by the experts. The selection of running movies presented below have been chosen by Runners World and its readers, and the folks at LetsRun.com.
Have a long weekend coming up? There’s nothing better than running, and then spending the day at leasure and enjoying these inspiring running movies. Without further ado, here we go:
Running Movies – The Ultimate Collection
- Chariots of Fire (1981)
The inspiring true story of British athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson head a sterling cast of newcomers and veterans.
- Without Limits (1998)
The film follows the life of famous 1970s runner Steve Prefontaine from his youth days in Oregon to Oregon University where he worked with the legendary coach Bill Bowerman, later to Olympics in Munich and his early death at 24 in a car crash.
- Saint Ralph (2004)
An inspiring story about the unlikely story of Ralph Walker, a ninth grader who outran everyone’s expectations except his own in his bold quest of trying to win the 1954 Boston Marathon.
- Prefontaine (1997)
True-life story of legendary track star Steve Prefontaine, the exciting and sometimes controversial “James Dean of Track,” whose spirit captured the heart of the nation!
- Run for Your Life (2008)
The story of how one immigrants determination & sweat created the most significant running event in the world. This documents the life of fred lebow & the history of the new york city marathon.
- Spirit of the Marathon (2007)
Spirit of the Marathon is the first film to capture the passion, drama and essence of the famed 26.2-mile Chicago Marathon. Intimate, fascinating portraits of six runners from all walks of life unfold as the film follows seasoned athletes and amateurs alike in their preparation for the big race.
- Forrest Gump (1994)
Unlikely story of a slow-witted but good-hearted man somehow at the center of the pivotal events of the 20th century is a funny and heartwarming epic.
- Fire On The Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story (1995)
Documentary on Steve Prefontaine, America’s top distance runner in the 1970, who held every American record from 2,000m to 10,000m at one time, and narrowly missed an Olympic medal in 1972. Prefontaine died at a very young age in a car crash.
- Running Brave (1983)
The inspiring story of Billy Mills the American Indian that overcame adversity to go on to win the 10,000 meter long distance race in the Tokyo Olympics.
- Endurance (1999)
This film about Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrsellasie, who won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and is considered one of the greatest runners of all time, is a dramatization that often appears to be a documentary.
- Jericho Mile (1979)
Movie about man serving life sentence in prison who finds hope in running. Rain Murphy is a man sentenced to life in prison, choosing to do his time in near-isolation, and engages in distance running when given the opportunity for free-time.
- Jim Ryun: America’s Greatest Miler (1999)
Documentary on the life of runner Jim Ryun and his record setting 3:58.3 mile run.
- Loneliness of a Long-Distance Runner (1962)
Story of a rebellious social misfit and petty thief who is picked to run on the track team at a reform school for boys. He finds he must balance his spirit and desire to win with his anger and frustration at the life he has led.
- On the Edge (1985)
A once-promising runner who was unfairly banned from amateur competition twenty years ago sets out to recapture his lost glory and begins to train for one of the toughest races in America, the Cielo Sea.
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Some other recent movies worth mentioning:
- ChiRunning (2007)
A revolutionary approach to effortless, injury-free running.
- Running On The Sun (2000)
The Road to Hell is 135 Miles Long – story of the Badwater 135 mile run, where the finishers under 48 hours are given a “belt buckle”.
My favorite running movies are all the Prefontaine movies above, there’s really something about the Pre movies which really touches your heart, probably the tragic end which forces you to think what might have been.
So, this was my selection of the top picks, whats yours? Anything which really inspired you and is missing from this selection?