Movie Review: “Marathon Challenge”

13 Oct

Right before the race this past week, I watched the documentary “Marathon Challenge.” It was produced by the NOVA Network with PBS and is available as a disc only rental through Netflix. I think this is one of the most amazing marathon documentaries out there. NOVA decided to try an experiment: can anyone, no matter their age, weight, etc run a marathon?

The show took 12 ordinary people who were complete couch potatoes and trained them to run the Boston Marathon in 9 months. They had a woman who was 60, a man in his 40s who was HIV positive, a woman who was 70 lbs overweight, a man in his 50s who’d had a heart attack in his 40s, and a few young people. It was a very eclectic mixture, but the one thing they had in common is that none of them worked out. Some had previously been athletes, but no one was currently.

Boston Marathon champion Uta Pippig assisted with their coaching and gradually these 12 couch potatoes became marathoners. One had to drop out due to severe stress fractures in her shins, but was replaced. They all went through testing along the way to chart their fitness progress. The woman who was 70 lbs overweight ended up losing 40 lbs and becoming the fastest female the group. They were all running for different reasons and they were a solid team who supported each other throughout the journey.

Race day arrived and it was time to run the Boston Marathon. Every single person on the team completed the race. It was an amazing thing to watch on screen and still brings tears to my eyes when I watch it. You feel their sense of accomplishment and share in their excitement.

This is a great movie that will definitely inspire not only your running but your daily life. Seeing what these people accomplished in 9 months is phenomenal. Boston is considered one of the hardest courses in the country and to see 12 people who’d never run complete it was breathtaking.

3 Responses to “Movie Review: “Marathon Challenge””

  1. runningthriver October 15, 2011 at 5:18 PM #

    I added it to my list on netflix! Can’t wait to get it in the mail 🙂

  2. jsadora October 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM #

    hopefully this will comfort me as i get ready for the boston!


  1. obstacles don’t have to stop you « the girl who runs - October 27, 2011

    […] read a review on the documentary Marathon Challenge last week and decided I had to watch it for […]

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