Spirit of the Marathon II – Movie Review

It has been a really long time since I’ve gone to the movies by myself.   However, when I saw Spirit of the Marathon II was being released in theatres I simply had to see it on the big screen.  I asked my wife and she opted out.   In all fairness though, she let me opt out of seeing Les Miserables.  Sorry, but Russell Crowe singing is not my idea of entertainment.  But I digress.  I’m not a good movie reviewer but I’ll attempt it.

The movie was shown at the local AMC last night.  One show, one night only.   I figured this movie would either be packed or empty.   There were only about 20 people in the theatre but I’m sure it was hindered locally by the Blackhawks playing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.  

For anyone who has run a marathon, there is complete exhilaration when you cross the finish line.  We all have our reasons for running one.  Those reasons are as unique as the runners who have them.   The movie excels in bringing those passions, desires and hopes to a personal level.  To quote the movie “It’s the journey that is most significant…”    The marathon is not just a one day race.   It’s a  commitment that will change your life even if you only run once.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/lYDiAnNlHPQ?rel=0

The movie follows seven runners from four countries preparing for the Rome Marathon.  Running to end disease, making the Olympics, social change, and running for highly personal reasons are all covered.   It has a more international flavor than the first movie which was American in focus so it should be more popular worldwide than the original SOTM.  The backdrops of Rwanda, Italy and Rome are stunningly captured.   It follows elite runners and first timers.   Each and every one of them inspiring.  More importantly the stories can be related to any runner.

You also see interviews from Bill Rodgers, Paula Radcliffe, Jeff Galloway, Hal Higdon, Frank Shorter, Kathryn Switzer, Mary Wittenberg, and past marathon champions.   Some historical content is given as well.  It was a little less emotional for me than the first movie but I think that is because the original was built around the Chicago marathon. Since I live in Chicago so I connected more with that. 

I am sure the movie will be shown or available for sale at fall marathon expos everywhere. 

Notes: 
A portion of the movie proceeds will benefit The One Fund Boston
The end credits list the movie crews’ best marathon times. 
There will be 632 marathon in the US this year.
The movie claims that an average recreational runner will run 880 miles in preparation for a marathon but I’m not sure over what time period.

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