The 26.2 Movie Marathon – The Best Running Movies (1st Half)

Every other week of this year, Half Horse Half Man will be watching greatest running movies of all time – total of 26 + 2 documentaries. Please join us in this Half Horse Half Man 26.2 Movie Marathon!
Here is the first 13.1 Half, sorted by production year from the newest to oldest (2015 – 1999). The 2nd half of the list can be found here- The 2nd Half of the 26.2 Movie Marathon

1. Boston Strong (2015)

Boston Strong (2015)
Boston Strong (2015)

The movie is an adaption of the book Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy written by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge. Veteran journalists have written the definitive inside look at the Boston Marathon bombings with a unique, Boston-based account of the events that riveted the world. From the Tsarnaev brothers’ years leading up to the act of terror to the bomb scene itself (which both authors witnessed first-hand within minutes of the blast), from the terrifying police shootout with the suspects to the ultimate capture of the younger brother, Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy reports all the facts—and so much more. Based on months of intensive interviews, this is the first book to tell the entire story through the eyes of those who experienced it. From the cop first on the scene, to the detectives assigned to the manhunt, the authors provide a behind-the-scenes look at the investigation. More than a true-crime book, Boston Strong also tells the tragic but ultimately life-affirming story of the victims and their recoveries and gives voice to those who lost loved ones. With their extensive reporting, writing experience, and deep ties to the Boston area, Sherman and Wedge create the perfect match of story, place, and authors.


2. McFarland USA (2015)

McFarland USA (2015)
McFarland USA (2015)

Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominantly Latino high-school in California’s Central Valley. Coach White and his new students find that they have much to learn about one another, but things begin to change when White realizes the boys’ exceptional running ability. More than just physical prowess drives the teens to succeed; their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team all play a factor in forging these novice runners into champions.


3. Unbroken (2014)

Unbroken (2014)
Unbroken (2014)

As a boy, Louis “Louie” Zamperini is always in trouble, but with the help of his older brother, he turns his life around and channels his energy into running, later qualifying for the 1936 Olympics. When World War II breaks out, Louie enlists in the military. After his plane crashes in the Pacific, he survives an incredible 47 days adrift in a raft, until his capture by the Japanese navy. Sent to a POW camp, Louie becomes the favorite target of a particularly cruel prison commander.


4. 4 Minute Mile (2014)

4 Minute Mile (2014)
4 Minute Mile (2014)

A former track coach decides to train a student with natural athletic talent. Tragedy strikes right before the biggest race of his life, forcing him to confront everything that has been holding him back.


5. Transcend (2014)

Transcend (2014)
Transcend (2014)

Long-distance running allowed Wesley Korir to escape the grinding poverty of Kenya. But after winning multiple American marathons, including taking running’s most cherished prize – the Boston Marathon, he risks it all and returns home to help his fellow Kenyans create better lives for themselves. In what promises to be the most challenging race of his career, Wesley takes on a well-financed, big-party candidate to run for a seat in Kenyan parliament. attempting to balance the frenzy of campaigning with the demands of marathon training.


6. Unbreakable: The Western States 100 (2011)

Unbreakable: The Western States 100 (2011)
Unbreakable: The Western States 100 (2011)

In 2010, four of the greatest undefeated mountain runners on earth toed the starting line at the Western States 100-mile endurance run, the oldest and most prestigious 100-mile foot race in the world. ‘Unbreakable: The Western States 100’ follows the four lead men on this amazing journey. While their lives may be quite different, the goal is the same: win the Western States 100-mile run. A win will require breaking the course record and running the fastest time in the history of the race. An epic showdown ensues, from Squaw Valley, CA in Lake Tahoe, up though the high snow covered Sierra Nevada Mountains, down through the extreme heat of the American River Canyons and finishing in Auburn, CA.
Though all four are undefeated, three must break and only one can remain Unbreakable.


7. Running America (2010)

Running America (2010)
Running America (2010)

Follows ultrarunning veterans Marshall Ulrich and Charlie Engle as they attempt to set a new speed record for crossing the country on foot in 2008.


8. Run For Your Life (2008)

Run For Your Life (2008)
Run For Your Life (2008)

Blending archival and contemporary footage with recollections from past champions, recreational participants, volunteers and local politicians, this documentary looks at the life and passion of Fred Lebow, founder of the New York City Marathon. From extremely humble beginnings — in 1970, less than 100 people participated in the inaugural 26.2 mile race through the five boroughs — the race evolves into a global happening, drawing competitors and spectators from all over the world.


9. The Long Green Line (2008)

The Long Green Line (2008)
The Long Green Line (2008)

Coach Joe Newton has used the sport of Cross Country Running to teach simple but important lessons to high school boys for the last 50 years. “Always do your best”, “be on time” and “it’s nice to be great but far greater to be nice” are mantras, which have turned the Boys Cross Country team at the public York High School in Elmhurst Illinois into the most winning high school team in any sport in America. Along with mastery of their sport, Newton turns boys into men, who carry his teaching and his love for each of them throughout their lives. The Long Green Line documents the York Duke’s 2005 Cross Country season as the runners seek their record 25th state title in 50 years. In the sport of Cross Country only the top 5 athletes per team score points and only seven are included in competition. The York team has 221 athletes participating under the tutelage of Coach Newton. Though 214 boys know they will have no influence on the season’s scores, they are moved to participate just to be in the presence of Coach Newton. Such a large team is a blessing and curse.


10. Run, Fatboy, Run (2007)

Run, Fatboy, Run (2007)
Run, Fatboy, Run (2007)

Five years earlier, nervous bridegroom Dennis (Simon Pegg) leaves his pregnant girlfriend, Libby (Thandie Newton), at the altar. Now he realizes he made a big mistake and wants to win her back. Unfortunately, Libby is involved with a handsome, attentive and fit financier (Hank Azaria), who plans to run in a charity marathon. Out-of-shape Dennis enters the race — hoping to impress Libby — even though he only has three weeks to prepare.


11. Saint Ralph (2004)

Saint Ralph (2004)
Saint Ralph (2004)

The year 1954 finds teen outcast Ralph Walker (Adam Butcher) getting in trouble at the Catholic school he attends in Ontario, Canada. When the headmaster (Gordon Pinsent) catches Ralph smoking, he puts the boy on the school’s cross-county team to force him to put his time to better use. When Ralph discovers that his hospitalized mother has slipped into a coma, he decides to run in the Boston Marathon, hoping that, if he wins, God will grant him a miracle and make his mother well again.


12. Running on the Sun (2000)

Running on the Sun (2000)
Running on the Sun (2000)

Filmmaker Mel Stuart chronicles marathon participants on a 135-mile race through Death Valley and up Mount Whitney.


13. Endurance (1999)

Endurance (1999)
Endurance (1999)

This docudrama focuses on the life and accomplishments of Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. The revered athlete appears as himself, as do his parents, though scenes of his early years are dramatized and depict the aspiring young runner (Yonas Zergaw) learning how to channel his talent in rural Ethiopia. Most notably, however, the film presents footage of Gebrselassie’s exciting Olympic win in the 10,000-meter category.


.1 Spirit of the Marathon (2007)

Spirit of the Marathon (2007)
Spirit of the Marathon (2007)

Spirit of the Marathon is a 2007 documentary film directed by Jon Dunham. The film chronicles the journey six marathon runners experience while training and competing in the 2005 Chicago Marathon. It was screened at the Chicago International Film Festival on October 5, 2007 and received a limited release in the United States on January 24, 2008.

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