Whether you need a little inspiration or something to do on a rest day you’ve come to the right place. You know the feeling when you see someone else running and you have to rush home to put some miles in? These movies will make you feel the same way.
We’ve compiled a list of movies to ignite your running spirit. Just think about it as visualization training!
- Forrest Gump: Don’t even argue with us about this first entry. Every time we watch this one, we’re reminded that running can be our escape, our “happy place,” a door opener, a bridge builder, our space for self discovery, and so much more. After 20 years, that message still hits home.
- Brittany Runs a Marathon: This one makes our number 2 spot thanks to its approachable and relatable characters, its celebration of running community, and the camaraderie that comes with the shared experience of the marathon. Sure the title gives away the ending, but it’s Brittany’s personal journey to the start (and finish) that make this worth a watch.
- The Barkley Marathons: Never heard of the Barkleys? Not many outside the fringe ultra community had, until a few years back when this documentary landed. If you’ve ever considered what it might be like to start a race you’d likely never finish, this one’s for you. Stay clear if FOMO is your albatross.
- Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner: As a young person and young runner, we were taken by Stilitoe’s rather dark short story which inspired the film. As the British say, this “brilliant” piece of work that explores the “us versus them” theme of youth and authority, and the simple freedom of running.
- Running the Sahara: This 2007 documentary features the chronicles of Ray Zahab, Kevin Lin, and North Carolinian Charlie Engle as they attempt to run across the entire Sahara Desert to reach the Red Sea. We had the chance to talk to these fellas after their trip. Epic, to say the least.
- The Jericho Mile: There are lots of movies about a prisoner’s self discovery behind bars. In this one, Larry “Rain” Murphy becomes an unlikely Olympic contender when he discovers running as a virtual escape from his incarceration at Folsom Prison. A hardcore underdog story.
- Cool Runnings: OK, so not really a “running” movie, but it’s the last John Candy film— and we’re a fan. Yes, the John Candy classic about the Jamaican bobsled team. Campy as heck, but worth seeing Candy lead these Olympic underdogs to their destiny with nuggets like this; “A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.” Gold, for sure.
- Unbroken: “If you can take it, you can make it!” This movie follows the true story of Italian American Olympian, Louis Zamperini during WWII. From high schooler, to Olympic qualifier, to bomber in the military, to POW this movie shows the strength and determination of Louis and runners in general. It’ll make you proud to be a part of the sport!
Let us know some of your favorites in the comments below so we can add them to the list!