My wife and I went and watched "The Spirit of the Marathon" on Thursday night. It was our first "date" in a while.. so that was nice all by itself. But, as for the movie... It was as inspiring as it was gut-wrenching. Watching others go what I went through really struck a nerve with me.
All 6 runners were entertaining in their own way. Daniel Njenga was great through all the scenes in his homeland (Kenya). There was one really hilarious scene where he was throwing rocks at hippos and he kept repeating, "We should go, this is dangerous". It was also great to get into the mind of an elite athlete.
Then, there was a host of "average" runners. I hesitate to say average, because I know what it takes to run a marathon... and average doesn't really cut it. Leah Caille was a single, recently divorced, mom running to get her life back. Lori O'Connor is a PHD student who is running for a personal cause. Ryan Bradley was running for the ever elusive BQ (Boston Qualifying time). And finally, Jerry Meyers was the comic relief. He ran his first marathon at 65 and is training with his daughter (at 70 years old) for her first and his fifth.
Then, the most exciting part of the movie for me was Deena Kastor. Watching her train and effortlessly glide in the race was amazing. Since I was not following running back in 2005, I had no idea of what the outcome of the Chicago Marathon was. So... it was exciting to the last minute. Her training regimen was crazy and watching her battle through injury was equally inspiring. She gained yet another fan in me after watching this movie.
Overall, there were parts of the movie that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. And, it was heart breaking and uplifting all at the same time to watch people cross the finish line. I would've thought breaking into tears at the finish line was ridiculous before I ran the marathon. Now, I totally understand. Great movie!!