Top 5 Running Movies

With a special advanced viewing of the new Disney film McFarland, USA at the NCAA Championships Nov. 20, the Flotrack staff has each picked one of their favorite running movies and written a review.

McFarland, USA stars Kevin Costner as Jim White, a cross country coach at a predominantly Hispanic high school in California that led his teams to nine state titles during the 1990s. Check out the preview below:

Top Running Movie Picks:

Gordon's pick: Prefontaine
Prefontaine tells the story of Oregon standout Mr. Steve Prefontaine in a mockumentary film style. While critics say it is the lesser of the two Prefontaine movies, I beg to differ. I mean any movie with Academy Award winning 30 Seconds to Mars star, Jared Leto + Al Bundy from Married with Children + Sgt. Hartman from Full Metal Jacket is a winner in my book.

Lincoln's pick: Chariots of Fire
The iconic running film. Chariots of Fire tells the true story of Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, two runners who competed in the 1924 Olympics for Great Britain. Both men face their own difficulties while training for The Games, as Abrahams, a Jew, experiences anti-Semitism while a student at the University of Cambridge, and Liddell, a Christian, faces pressure from his sister to return to China to work as a missionary. The juxtaposition of the men’s training and their purpose for running gives the film depth. Even with significant criticism surrounding them, both men persevere by devoting themselves entirely to the dream of winning a gold medal. Liddell and Abrahams perfectly exemplify the obstacles that one must overcome to succeed in sport, and by the time they arrive in Paris, both men have already proven that they are champions.

Chariots of Fire won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Meg's pick: Without Limits
This dramatic telling of the life of Steve Prefontaine is a must see for all distance runners and fans of the sport. Set at the University of Oregon, Billy Crudup stars at Prefontaine, the legendary Duck who wanted nothing more than to be the best runner in the world. Donald Sutherland (Um, hello, President Snow in The Hunger Games) steals the show with his portrayal of Pre’s coach, Bill Bowerman, as he leads Pre to greatness and creates the world’s largest running empire, Nike. The film follows his career at Oregon, his fourth-place finish at the 1972 Olympics, and his tragic death at 24-years-old.

Chances are, you’ve watched this film with your high school team at a pre-meet pasta party.

James' pick: St. Ralph
The best running movie of all time is St. Ralph. The first time I saw this film was on the way to the west regional in Eugene back in the fall of 2010. St. Ralph is about a menacing boy who comes to the conclusion that winning the Boston Marathon would save his mother from a terminal illness. The highlight of this film was not the actual race itself (I'll let you watch it to see how it ends), but the badass workout he does to prepare. In the middle of the night, Ralph does an insane mile interval workout, hitting around 4:20's for like 20 miles. Though very unrealistic for a 13-year-old boy, the workout instills motivation and inspiration that every runner needs going into a big race. Oh, the movie is Canadian it's always fun to hear them say "aboot" and "soorrry."

Taylor's pick: Four Minutes
This ESPN production tells the inspiring true story of one of the most famous barriers in the history of sports, breaking the four-minute mark in the mile. The film is set in post-World War II England, where the country was in a state of post-war depression and in desperate need of a hero. Insert Roger Bannister, an Oxford medical student who was resistant to training but possessed a surprising talent. On May 6, 1954, in the rain and wind at Iffley Road Track, Bannister made history by breaking the once thought impossible barrier with a time of 3:59.4.

It’s a must-see for all runners and anyone who is looking to buff up on track history and cry a little.

Keturah Orji Breaks American, Collegiate Indoor Record For Triple Jump

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Georgia's Keturah Orji broke her own American and NCAA indoor records in the triple jump on Saturday with a leap of 14.53m/47-8 at the Clemson Invitational.

Katelyn Tuohy Shatters Mary Cain's National High School Record For 5K


North Rockland High School, New York, sophomore Katelyn Tuohy ran the fastest 5K ever for a high school girl — indoors or outdoors — today with her winning time of 15:37.12 at the VA Showcase in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener


Today, in his first meet of the year, Christian Coleman set the bar for his season incredibly high and put the world on notice. 

Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

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Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp posted the fastest indoor collegiate mark of all time over 600 yards on Friday. Competing at the Texas Tech Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, Crisp ran 1:08.16 and held off TCU’s Derrick Mokaleng, who ran 1:08.18.

Michael Saruni Runs World-Best In Indoor 600m

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On Friday night, Michael Saruni continued his hot start to 2018. The UTEP sophomore ran a world-best time of 1:14.79 in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque.  

Austin, Texas, Chasing History With Olympic Trials Bid


Austin, Texas, has hosted the NCAA track and field championships and currently stages one of the largest track meets of the calendar, the Texas Relays. The city has a robust road racing scene, bolstered by the presence of elite athletes and high-level training groups. But Austin has never hosted a USA track and field championship event — not for any distance on the roads, cross country or track and field. And certainly not the Olympic Trials. 

Justin Gatlin Switches Coaches After Investigation Uncovers Doping Scandal


Justin Gatlin has officially begun his career after Dennis Mitchell. Reuters reported on Friday that Gatlin is being coached by Brooks Johnson in Orlando, Florida. Gatlin fired Mitchell in December after Mitchell was implicated in a doping sting facilitated by the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. 

Robert Kigen, Felix Kandie Headline Napoli City Half Marathon


Nobert Kigen and Felix Kandie of Kenya headline a men’s pro field aiming for a sub-60 minute performance at the fifth Napoli City Half Marathon in Naples, Italy.

Olympians, Top Collegians Clash At Larry Wieczorek Invitational


The Larry Wieczorek Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the University of Iowa has it all: top professional athletes like Fred Kerley, Olympic champions and world record holders like Aries Merritt, and defending NCAA champions like Mikiah Brisco of LSU. 

Centro Passing On Indoors In 2018

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Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz is skipping the indoor season and instead will race outdoors in Australia.