Last night, I finally had the opportunity to see the film “Spirit of the Marathon” at Point Cinema. I had wanted to see the much-hyped film on January 24, for its nationwide debut. However, when we got to the theater, tickets were already sold out. This time we were a little smarter and purchased tickets ahead of time for the “encore screening,” which showed at 250 theaters across the country last night. The screening at Point was again sold out, packed with Madison athletes and supporters. Following is a brief synopsis of the film.
“The first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepared 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."
I loved the film. It totally captures the spirit and emotion of the marathon, and appeals to runners of all ages and abilities. I found myself with tears in my eyes several times throughout the screening as professional athletes and beginners alike shared their stories of struggle and triumph. I also enjoyed learning more about the origins and history of the marathon, from the story of Pheidippides, the hero of Ancient Greece who inspired the modern sporting event, to Katherine Switzer, the first female to run the Boston Marathon with a race number in 1967. (The race director at the time, Jock Semple, who was known for his violent temper, attempted to rip her off the course and screamed “Get the hell out of my race and give me that race number.” That was until her 235-pound boyfriend gave him a slug, which sent him flying through the air. Ha.)
If you have the opportunity to see this film, I would definitely recommend it. It was a well-researched and very inspirational piece that brought together so many wonderful stories from the marathon community into a cohesive and entertaining film.