Running Films: Free to Run


Last night after one of my mutts decided to give me a fright by making me think someone was attempting to break into the RV (he decided a midnight snack was in order, the mutt that is) I decided to take advantage of the free Hulu trial that is coming to an end tomorrow by watching Free to Run (amazon affiliate link) a documentary by Pierre Morath.

I’d first become aware of the film from an article in a free French newspaper while we were traveling there last autumn and thought it had something a wee bit different about it. That could have been down to my painstakingly slow French translation though! The documentary was more than a little disjointed but it was still engaging.  Because it is about distance running it focused mostly on the marathon distance but there was the matter of the narrator referring to it as 26.4 miles, not once but 3 times throughout that I caught–perhaps that could be a drinking game, having a shot whenever it was referred to as 26.4 rather than 26.2!

What was great was how the women’s movement was portrayed in the fight to even get the right to run an organized marathon event and Bobbi Gibb was acknowledged as the first woman to run Boston albeit as a bandit. Made me proud of my womanhood and being a runner and thanks to them I have the option to register for any race longer than 1500 meters!

I’m also a little in love with Noël Tamini and wish I could read some of the issues of Spiridon the running magazine he helped create.  His fight to open up the international racing scene to all including women is something that needs its own documentary.  If there are any please send me the information, I would love to view them.

There are several other luminaries of running profiled and interviewed–Fred LeBow, Frank Shorter, Pre (Steve Prefontaine), Joan Benoit Samuelson, etc but the parts above were my favorites.  As I first mentioned it was a little disjointed and a NY Times Review referred to it as idiosyncratic, which I do concur with.

Worth a watch, you betcha. Just be prepared for the overwhelming urge to lace up your shoes and go for a run immediately after.


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