Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spirit of the Marathon 2- Review

I saw 'Spirit of the Marathon'  in April, while I was vacationing in Florida. I remember that it followed 5 or 6 people, from the ordinary to professional athlete, as they prepared for and participated in the Chicago marathon. The stories were touching and compelling.  Although I don't remember the specifics of their stories now,  I remember feeling a gamut of emotions, and although never having run a marathon, there were times I found myself nodding at the similarity of my own emotions and thoughts that becoming a runner has evoked in me, and those that flowed as the undercurrent of the movie.

I received an email from the founder of one of the running blogger groups that I'm a member of about possibly being eligible for a pass into the next movie in the series: 'Spirit of the Marathon 2', that debuted on Wednesday the 12th in limited locations. I was put in touch with someone affiliated with the movie, and several emails later, I was able to procure a pass based on the agreement that I would write a review.

This time, the movie was set in Rome - running those 26.2 miles through that city. Again, as before, the ordinary to professional athlete were the stars here. Four of the six runners highlighted were from countries other than the United States, so most of the movie was subtitled. What was different about the tenor of this movie was the location. It could have been the fact that I was watching it on the big screen instead of my iPad. But - no. Rome is just simply magnificent. The allure of this movie, for me, was the backdrop for it.  I found myself wondering how it would feel to run among the ruins, running through this ancient city with people who did not speak my language. But then, it seems that the sport of running, or any sport really -  more often than not transcends the need for the spoken word. Regardless of nationality, age, sex - there are tenets that all runners share, or anyone part of a specific community or culture. In running, the same physiologic changes that we experience during training or a race, create a cascade of feelings and thoughts that all of us share in one way or another, at the same time dealing with them as uniquely as we are different.

As in the previous movie, this movie explored the reasons why people run, what the run does for them, and how the human spirit always triumphs. 
The personal stories kept me interested and I found myself caring about each of the runners. As well as thought provoking scenes, there were quite a few funny moments as well - what transpires during group training runs, or situations we've experienced during a race. I remember one thing that stood out for me was watching two of the highlighted runners, Italian men ages 60+ and 72 coming out of the expo holding their bags of swag, with big smiles on their faces. You can just feel the excitement they felt.  How I related at that moment!

I learned later on after I got home, that there were outtakes and interviews that didn't make it into the movie that were shown after the credits. I'm sorry that I did not stay long enough to see it.

The theater was not filled. Far from it. I was one of the last people to walk into the theater, and I had my pick of seats. I would say perhaps 30 people scattered throughout. But we all laughed in the same places, applauded together, and those watching accompanied by friends or family, mumbled softly to each other during the touching and heartbreaking moments.

Despite the fact that I'm still recovering from what the doc thinks is a soleus tear, after watching this movie I wanted to run a marathon! I'll have to settle, however for being a good girl and sticking to my recovery for now so I could perhaps run the half I have scheduled in October. I would love nothing more than to run it the whole way.


  1. Oh, I would love to see it! What theater did you watch it in? Rome is the second best city in the world! Although, I can't imagine running 26.2 miles on that cobblestone.

  2. It was showing at the Farmingdale Multiplex. I think you can watch it through Netflix in the near future. Yes, some of those streets are really rough! Did you see the first movie?

    1. No, I didn't see the first one, but I'd like to. I'll try to get it at the library. We just bought the Hood to Coast documentary which I loved!

    2. I saw Hood to Coast too. I immediately needed to run a relay, despite being totally unprepared to do it. Inspirational movies tend to do that to me. On my bucket list for sure..


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