I’m a bit late with this post, but I was very excited to get to see Spirit of the Marathon II last week. Thanks to a last minute change in plans for the evening, I quickly ordered tickets online and Ian and I hopped in the car and drove up to the Ballston Theater. I still remember watching the original Spirit of the Marathon in a packed theater with my friend Lindsay and have since watched it too many times to count on Netflix.
I was a little disappointed that the theater wasn’t packed like last time, but it also worked out well since we cut it pretty close to the start and probably wouldn’t have been able to find a seat otherwise. I absolutely loved the movie. It began at the start of the Rome marathon in Italy – talk about some great scenery to run to – and then told the story of seven runners competing in the marathon occasionally coming back to clips of the actual race as they progressed through the course. I loved the diversity of the runners. There were elite runners, a charity runner, first-timers and locals including one 73-year-old who began running late in his life, but had since run all 18 Rome marathons since its inception.
I read a lot of reviews saying they liked the original better, but I have to disagree. Full disclosure – I haven’t seen the original in a while, so maybe it’s just because this one is fresh. The original that focused on runners training for the Chicago marathon was no doubt amazing and inspirational and still one of my favorites. It focused more on the training aspect of getting ready for the marathon while this documentary looked more at the life stories of each person being portrayed and how the marathon was changing them/how it fit into their life. I already know all about the ups and downs of marathon training – learning about these people was really interesting and made for a great story. Ian – a non-runner – actually enjoyed the movie too and I’m not sure he would have liked the first one as much, so if you’re picking one to watch with a non-runner I’d go for this one!
There was also some great history of the marathon interlaced throughout the movie and interviews with some pretty amazing people in the world of running including Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Hal Higdon, Kathrine Switzer, Paula Radcliffe, Nina Kuscsik and more!
If you didn’t catch it’s one-night only appearance in theaters, this is definitely worth a watch (or two) once it comes to DVD/Netflix!
Did you see the movie? What did you think?
Also, it totally made me want to run an overseas marathon again. I’ve done Dublin and Greece. I don’t think it’s in the cards for awhile with everything else I have going on, but maybe someday. How about you – have you ever run a marathon overseas?