Over four years ago on May 2, 2009, I was alone in a hotel room near Long Branch, New Jersey. It was the night before my second marathon and I was feeling anxious and lonely, since nobody could make the trip with me. I had heard about the Spirit of the Marathon movie, and decided to buy it to watch the night before the race for some extra motivation. I watched it as I ate spaghetti my dad had made for me in my hotel bed, and it helped me feel excited and to “run inspired” the next day. I was able to take more than 20 minutes off my first marathon time despite the pouring rain. Since that night I have watched the movie a few more times, and Kevin watched it before his first marathon too. It never fails to motivate me as I watch the runners’ stories unfold.
I was so excited to hear that Spirit of the Marathon 2 was coming out, focusing on runners preparing for and running the Rome Marathon. Kevin immediately bought us tickets and we asked our neighbor to babysit so we could attend the showing on June 12th.
When we arrived at the theater we weren’t sure how many other people would actually show up. There’s a pretty big running community in the DC area but I hadn’t really seen the movie advertised in a lot of places, so we didn’t know how many people would come. About 30 other people ended up being there. Together we watched all kinds of marathon and running trivia questions come onto the screen, which was a great way to pass the time before the movie began. That, and eating a massive tub of popcorn. I can’t go to the movies without eating this delicious, buttery, salty unhealthy stuff!
In my opinion, the movie definitely did not disappoint. I loved each of the runners and how it showed the marathon experience from their very different points of view. Here are the featured people and my thoughts on them.
I loved this woman for her positive attitude, strength, and because she was a working mom trying to balance it all. My favorite part was when she was finishing the race and her son was at the finish line crying. It made me cry too! It was so sweet.
I loved this guy’s story about how he just kind of fell into his first marathon when the two runners he was supposed to pace for the race couldn’t make it in time. I also thought it was great how he described what he felt like the next day. He was funny! I was disappointed for him when he didn’t make his country’s Olympic team, but he had an awesome positive attitude. Plus it was super sweet how he got married at the end of the movie 🙂
I will admit, in the beginning of the movie I wasn’t so sure about this woman and her super bubbli-ness (pretty sure I just made up that word) . Then I heard her story and immediately felt guilty for judging her. Her goal to run a marathon every week for a year to raise money for pancreatic cancer REALLY touched me and hit close to home, since that is what took my mom from me 9 years ago. She is super awesome for raising money and awareness for this cancer that doesn’t get much funding, and I am now her biggest fan!
LOVED this woman! She had such a genuine, good heart and was so proud to be running for her country. I loved seeing how she trained for the marathon in Rwanda and how she is helping the people who live there. I felt for her when she didn’t finish in the time she wanted to, but she still did awesome overall and came in 13th place!
I thought “Mimmo” and his cousin Domenico were the cutest Italian men ever. I love how they trained together and the way they interacted with each other. They were hilarious. It was interesting to see how they balanced their work in the Pizzeria with their running, and inspirational that they still run so much at the age that they are. Nothing was slowing Domenico down, who is 73 and has done 18 straight Rome Marathons! I felt really bad when Mimmo had to drop out of the race. I can’t imagine how that must have felt. I hope he comes back and is able to run another marathon soon.
This man’s story about his son was so sad to me. It was clear that he was running for a bigger reason, to help himself work through some of the feelings he had about his son’s overdose. I was really proud of him for finishing the marathon despite the obvious pain he was in toward the end. I remember that pain and the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. There is NOTHING like it once you realize what you just accomplished!
Following the journeys of these people as they trained for and completed their marathons really touched me. I left the theater feeling really motivated and excited to start my training in a couple weeks. Regardless of age, speed, or ability level, running is something that unites people, no matter how different they are or where they are from. That’s why I loved this movie. It highlighted the strength and positivity of the running community and what marathon running is all about. I definitely caught the ‘spirit of the marathon.’ I hope they make a part 3!