Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spirit of the Marathon II, Review

In 2008, I saw Spirit of the Marathon and was SO pumped!  At the time, I had only run one marathon and was training for my second.

My relationship with running these days is mixed.  I have been in what I hope is just a "down" period, in which I've been running one or two times a week, tops, 3-5 miles.  When I do run, I still enjoy it, but long runs are fairly out of my interest at the moment, as if my body is following a "when the going gets tough, forget it" mantra.  Hmmm.

However, I keep hoping my "high" will come, maybe once I get used to being out of the home 13 hours a day commuting to work+working (though at least includes exactly 1 hr and 20 minutes to work out + shower + prep). 

I was able to view the sequel yesterday, courtesy of Fathom Events (thank you!!).  Even though getting to this movie on time required me to shorten my total workout + shower + prep time to about 1 hour flat, I ran just over 4 miles on the treadmill so that I wouldn't be attending a movie about running without having done said activity.


The movie started right on time (no previews, etc.), which was great, because I barely got there on time anyway.  The opening scene involved stunning shots of Rome right before their 2012 marathon was beginning -- the view of the Coliseum, seeing runners in the corrals, all the anxious running shoes shuffling on the ground... yeah, it apparently gave "The Ukrainian" a chill, reminding him of the "nervous excitement" he gets right before the start of a race.

Without giving too much away, this sequel covers the stories of some interesting people:

- an Italian pizzeria owner who is a seasoned marathon runner

- a 72-year-old marathoner, cousin of the pizzeria owner

- a first-time marathoner, mom, and co-owner of an Italian running store

- Julie Weiss, who ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks: I actually met her at an LA Marathon training run a few months ago... she's just as energetic in real life!

- a retired cross-country coach

- an elite female runner from Rwanda

- an elite Ukrainian(!) runner/Olympic hopeful

Like in the first movie, there are guest appearances by greats like Hal Higdon, Paula Radcliffe, Jeff Galloway, Bill Rodgers, etc.  There was some talk about the increase in women in marathoning, including how they broke into the sport, etc.  Those who saw the first movie will probably feel some deja vu, but luckily, it's brief.

The Rome Marathon seems really awesome (though really warm!!)!

You will definitely feel inspired to run after watching this movie, seeing people at different skill levels with different life circumstances come together for a really awesome athletic event.  There were different touching moments and a broader world-view that I feel makes this sequel surpass the original.

Trailing the movie was a 10-minute short called This Water is Beautiful, in which Josh Cox shared why he runs for team World Vision.  This definitely was a way to feed off of the inspiration of the main film and get people to run for a cause!

As for the effect the film had on me, well, I have already been working on getting back out there again, ever since National Running Day last week.  Plus, since I'm at a new job, everyone knows me as the marathoner -- so, as much as I can, I have to keep trying, right?!

For more information on the film, please visit:

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided passes to view Spirit of the Marathon II but was not otherwise compensated to write a positive review.

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