On Wednesday, runners from all over the country came together in their own movie theatres to watch the one night only screening of ‘Spirit of the Marathon II”. If you haven’t watched the first one, you really missed out. Here’s the link to the full length movie. http://www.hulu.com/watch/85354
This movie followed 6 runners, some of them veterans, some not, on their journey to the Rome Marathon. The setting is breathtaking and these runners are from all over the world. One of the first things that stand out is that although they are all from very different backgrounds, ages, and expertise, the same fire and the same desire burns within them. One of the runners, Ylenia, owns a running store with her husband and after facing some challenges, decides to focus her energy on running her first marathon. There was something about this runner I liked. Maybe it was her balance, or her determination, or her solution to escaping from her problems. I think she started running for the same reason many of us do: to think about something else beside what is going on in our lives, whether good or bad. Julie, another marathoner, has planned to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise money for pancreatic research, as her father passed away due to the disease. There’s something contagious about her spunk, her spirit, her determination, her heart. I think we have all met a person like this in our lives, that inspired good change even though they have been through some dark times. Many of the other stories also talk about loss, and the quest to prove something to themselves.
It made me think about my own reasons for running. I’ve mentioned before that I never really excelled in sports, and one of the reasons I love running is because other runners accept those at different levels of experience and speed. Running is a welcoming sport and unlike most, it’s much more about the journey than it is about the end game. I also run because I want to be active, to lead a healthy lifestyle. I started this with going vegetarian 2 years ago, and it’s funny how many other choices have been affected by that change. I’ve become more intentional in life, doing things because i think it will better my spirit or my physical well being and saying no to the things that don’t. It’s given me the confidence to take risk in my life and to be vulnerable and always accept that there is someone out there faster and stronger than I am.
I loved Spirit of the Marathon 2, I actually liked the first one better. mostly because the store about Jerry and Rona was so touching. But as I sat there in the movie theatre surrounded by other runners cheering, laughing and groaning at the same things, I realized that the spirit of the marathon is really just the human spirit of perseverance and unity.
What’s your favorite running book or film?