Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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September 12, 2010 , , , , , ,

We run, because every time we cross the finish line after 26.2 grueling and trying miles, we feel like if we completed a marathon, we will find a way to do anything else in life.

Spirit of the marathon, is the first documentary that encapsulates the experience and feeling that I share with millions other everyday long distance runners. Runners who do not compete or win races but take part to live the human experience and connect to their body and mind.

Runners who prevail over their exhausted mind and fatigued body and know for a fact that they have pushed boundaries and hence have become better people. They spread this infectious feeling and motivate more people to run and spark a chain reaction which results in more first time marathoners.

The film follows the journey of two first time marathoners, two repeat marathoners and two competitive marathoners as they prepare and run the Chicago marathon.  Deena Kastor a professional runner for more than a decade is yet to win her first marathon and Daniel Njenga, a Kenyan runner who says his job is to run marathons, hopes to win the Chicago marathon. His personal best before the film was 2hrs 6min and 16 secs. Mind boggling! This movie is a treat if you are a runner.

I have run five marathons so far, my last one was the Dallas White Rock Marathon in 2007. I have not run or trained for one after that. As, I am re-motivating myself and preparing for the ritualistic weekend long runs, week day hill routines and speed work outs, I need help. I saw the Spirit of the Marathon again. Felt very good.

I also happened upon another film,Marathon Challenge, that is a bit more educational, clinical and descriptive about the marathon. You know the kind of film that should be shown to first time marathon runners or to people who are thinking about it.

NOVA’s Marathon Challenge, explores what it takes, physically and mentally, for novice runners to make it through a classic test of endurance. Can anyone run a marathon? In summer of 2006, 12 very individuals were selected to form a running team and were trained to run the Boston Marathon. What was the outcome? Watch Marathon Challenge in the link below to find out.


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The PBS NOVA documentary is quite interesting and I consider that a MUST watch for every rookie who aspires to run a marathon.. Having spent three years as a team leader and after running 4 marathons, I think the documentary addresses many of the important things that I and my team of runners experienced. Even after all these years of running, I still feel this documentary opened my eyes to a lot of technical things that I didn’t know before. I wish this was available back when I started running marathons. Thanks for sharing these great resources!


September 12, 2010

COMMENT RECEIVED VIA EMAIL from BALAJI( a Chennai based Runner.
Finally got a chance to view the movie ‘Marathon Challenge’!
Sensationalism – the key word that drives most movies and of course, the reality shows. A movie on ‘Running a marathon’ can take either of those routes to make it a super hit. Marathon Challenge surprisingly does not take either of those two routes. It was simple, precise, knowledgeable and most importantly, sticks to the subject of the story. Every marathon runner has a story to tell – some articulate it so well to make it to the levels of the Pulitzer prize while most others, at best, can think of posting it to a mailing group (like Chennai Runners :)! Most readers would tend to think great about stories of the former while ignoring the latter. I personally like those simple stories as it is more easy to relate the experience to that of my own.
Not every runner would have an injury at the 34th Kilometer and drags his feet for a ‘Gladiator-style’ finish. Not every runner feels like breaking into tears at the finish line. It is not always that one can make up a ‘rags to riches’ or something like that type experience to make it look great. At best, it is always about the simple pleasures like the free fruit juice offered to you by someone whom you don’t know, funny incidents, nice comradeship from fellow runners, some randomly irritating person at the water booth (who throws the bottle for you to catch!) and not to miss out those ‘strange looks’ from the by-passers!
Most runners in the movie features runners who finishes the run in 6 hours+, don’t look anything special like a star athlete and does not create an aura around themselves. It might be looked at as a ‘bland’ movie but that does not take the charm out of the movie. I would consider it as a must watch for most runners! Since available free, give it a shot! At 52 minutes, it is shorter than most debates about the CWG on the TV 🙂


September 28, 2010

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