Inspiring Movies For Spring Race Season

A couple of times over the past year, I have posted on here about some running movies or documentaries that I found inspiring. In those posts, I recommended some movies that were more well-known or at least ones that I had seen in the past.

Well, this time I went almost solely with recommendations that came as a result of those previous two posts – Movies and Books That Inspire and Running Documentaries to Watch.

I might be a little late to the game with some or all of these, but if you haven’t seen them you should definitely check them out.

The Source – Courtney Dauwalter

Just do a search for “Courtney Dauwalter” on YouTube and you will find a lot of videos. She’s known for her long shorts, her love of candy and always smiling.

The Source follows her running of the 2018 Tahoe 200, a 205-mile trail race in California, in which she attempted to finish in under 48 hours. As inspiring as this specific race and documentary is, the rest of her accomplishments are equally as inspiring.

Most impressive among her accomplishments (and there are a lot) to me at least, is finishing first overall with a course record at the 2017 Moab 240 – a 240-mile trail race in Moab, Utah. She only went and finished that race over 10 hours before the 2nd place finisher!

Her attitude and determination throughout is very inspiring and I can only hope to have a similar approach to running.

To be honest, the idea of running more than a 50-mile race has never really entered my mind and doesn’t really appeal to me, but I feel like I can improve a lot by approaching running and racing like Courtney.

Unbreakable: The Western States 100

This is a race that I’ve always heard about, but didn’t really know too much about.

Well, here’s just a little history.

It’s a 100-mile trail race through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California that started almost 50 years ago in 1974. The race also features a 30-hour time limit and over 18,000 feet (5,500m) of elevation gain.

In this documentary, you get to know the four lead runners in the 2010 edition of the race. This race had one of the best fields ever to take part in the race at that time. So good that both of the top two finishers broke the course record. As you might expect, that record has been broken multiple times since. But it was fun to watch the leaders of this race battle it out over the last 40 miles of the race.

Chariots of Fire

This film is based on the true story of British athletes Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams and the things they overcame to get to, and win medals in, the 1924 Paris Olympics. To me, it kind of takes you back to a time when winning a race was more possible by sheer will and determination.

This one is a classic. If you haven’t seen it, then you have almost definitely heard the song from it. I saw it a long time ago, but recently I re-watched it and understood more of it and because of that was definitely more inspired by it!

Even though I had forgotten some things about the movie itself though, the song is still something that I will never forget!

The Alpinist

Ok, let’s get this out of the way – this isn’t a running documentary. Even though the documentary is about mountain climbing, I still think that there are many similarities in the approach to each.

This documentary is about Marc-Andre Leclerc and his joy and love of climbing. Marc-Andre completed many different free solo climbs, which means he did them without any ropes, harnesses or other climbing equipment! Many of his climbs were ones that he was the first to do – including Free Solo Winter Ascents or First Ascents.

One of the correlations that I found between climbing and running was that solo climbing is preferred by many climbers because of the pure freedom involved in it. This is something that I can definitely relate to.

Another correlation between climbing and running was that if it wasn’t difficult, then surviving it wouldn’t mean as much. Obviously, I know there is much more danger involved in climbing (especially with no equipment!) than there is in running, but the sentiment that nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy definitely resonates with me.

If you have seen and/or enjoyed any of these, let me know in the comments! Also, let me know if you have any other recommendations!


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