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Spirit of the Marathon (2007)

The first ever feature-length film to capture the essence, drama and unique spectacle of the famed 26.2-mile race, the production features five runners - three amateurs and two elites - as ... See full summary »


Jon Dunham

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Credited cast:
Dick Beardsley Dick Beardsley ... Dick Beardsley
Ryan Bradley Ryan Bradley ... Ryan Bradley
Leah Caille Leah Caille ... Leah Caille
Deena Kastor Deena Kastor ... Deena Kastor
Jerry Meyers Jerry Meyers ... Jerry Meyers
Daniel Njenga Daniel Njenga ... Daniel Njenga
Lori O'Connor Lori O'Connor ... Lori O'Connor
Paula Radcliffe Paula Radcliffe ... Paula Radcliffe
Bill Rodgers Bill Rodgers ... Himself
Frank Shorter Frank Shorter ... Frank Shorter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kathrine Switzer Kathrine Switzer ... Herself


The first ever feature-length film to capture the essence, drama and unique spectacle of the famed 26.2-mile race, the production features five runners - three amateurs and two elites - as they train for and ultimately run the Chicago Marathon. Written by Melissa Leggett

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When You Cross the Finish Line It Will Change Your Life Forever


Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements and language, and brief incidental smoking | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Website





Release Date:

24 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Land of the Gods: The Legend of the Marathon See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Calico 1880 See more »
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Technical Specs


Color (35 mm version)
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Disappointing, uninspiring, won't motivate non-marathoners
20 February 2008 | by imdb-15877See all my reviews

I saw this movie with a friend who ran a marathon with me, and we both had the same feeling about it: it wasn't terribly motivating, and didn't even broach the idea of what a training schedule would look like, so that non-marathoners could have an idea of what it would take for them to train and run one. In fact there was almost zero technical information at all. I didn't expect this to be a tech-heavy instructional video, but when that info was near zero then the film just wasn't balanced, and wasn't particularly useful to non-marathoners contemplating their first run.

There were other problems. Some of the very first images were people collapsing near death while trying to run a race. Yeah, real inspiring. The timing was also hard to follow, because it was semi chronological, but the filmmakers rarely gave you any good clues as to what point in time you were looking at. And they withheld information. You see that Kantor has an injury, and you just assume it's from all her training, but then several scenes later they finally clue you in that it's because she tripped over a pine cone in her yard.

Some parts were very good, though, like the bit about a woman defying race officials who wanted the run to be men-only, and the coverage of a Chicago race where two of the runners portrayed earlier were vying for first place.

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of other chronological documentaries, like Supersize Me, and Grass, where you always know where you are, and you feel like they told you everything you wanted to know.

In short, it wouldn't have been hard to make a better marathon film, and as it stands I can't recommend this to non-marathoners to educate and motivate them to try one, because I don't think it will have that effect.

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