Watched The Spirit of the Marathon over the weekend and was impressed. It's a film biography on a number of runners that prepared and ran the 2005 Chicago Marathon. The theme that the director followed was to give us a glimpse of how the favorites as well as the 6 hour plus runners prepared for the 26.2 miles.
I believe that the director (Jon Dunham) having run marathon gave him insight into the toll of what marathon training does to all runners of the marathon. After a quick introduction of all the runners that he's spotlighting, he walks us through the first long runs and the time and dedication that each of the runners go through. He follows each of these runners from the training through each of the miles of the marathon. It's a great insight that gives aspiring runners that are thinking of running the marathon, a video diary of what training will be expected to prepare for the marathon.
If I had any criticism of the film at all, it was the little bits and pieces of insight that we got of some of running greats. Their contributions about marathoning were insightful but left me wanting more. I mean how often do you get to tap the minds of Amby Burfoot, Dick Beardsley, Grete Waitz, Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, etc.? Of course, I can appreciate that Dunham wanted to focus on all runner's viewpoints equally, but I think he could have accomplished it with more interviews with these greats and still gave us this story.
If you have any interest in running a marathon, or want to remember what it's like to train for one, I highly recommend this film. Overall, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars for a running movie.