To prepare for his role, Michael Douglas had to get fit. First, Douglas started running twenty minutes a day building it up to 50-60 miles a week. Douglas gave up smoking two packets of cigarettes a day and lost 12 lbs in weight. He would start running at 6.30 am each day in the Beverly Hills canyons.
Around the time of its theatrical release, Michael Douglas once said of running for this film: "Nirvana does not come every morning but its a good way to lose weight. I sleep better, except when I over-do it, then I have a restless sleep. But I haven't been in such good shape since high-school. I've a better disposition - you must have noticed that! More energy, more stamina and my mind is much sharper."
The result of the 1976 Montreal Olympics Marathon in this Canadian film shows that Canada wins the Gold Medal, the Canadian flag being hoisted in the central position during the medal ceremony. However, it is well known that Canada did not win their first Gold Medal at a home Olympics until the Vancouver Canada 2010 Winter Olympics. The real winner of the 1976 Montreal Olympics Marathon was Waldemar Cierpinski from East Germany.
Michael Douglas once said of this film: "First couple of times I read the script, I just burst into tears. It has some great moments - 'kvells', I call them. It's a good story, well constructed, well written, clean and simple, healthy and wholesome and kinda sweet. A classic, old-fashioned love story, too, I think, and I'm a soft touch for emotion. I like to see people who aren't afraid to show emotion, which is the antithesis of the Hollywood hard-ass character."