Now that the UK lockdown is continuing for a few more weeks at least, I thought I would discuss inspirational films you can watch. I’ve compiled a shortlist of the best documentaries and films available to watch on various streaming services.
You might be surprised to see that not all of them are about incredible runners, but their stories are truly inspiring. Apart from the two films about professional athletes, the rest are ordinary people fulfilling their dreams.
So make yourself a cup of tea, choose your film, sit back and relax. Maybe a film will ignite a new fire in you or give you ideas for a challenge!
Finding Traction follows ultramarathon runner Nikki Kimball’s quest to become the fastest person to run the 273-mile Long Trail. This was the first sporting documentary I watched about three years ago during my long injury period. Something about Nikki just spoke to me, and I love her and this film. I watched it again this week and and Nikki is just epic –and her fuelling choices are so up my street.
Brittany Runs A Marathon
Brittany Runs A Marathon is a comedy about Brittany who is overweight and lacks confidence who decides to train for the New York Marathon. I think most of us can relate to Brittany at times during the film. Either with her running struggles or in her personal life. It is loosely based on a previous roommate of the writer.
Skid Row Marathon
Skid Row Marathon is about a high-court judge in LA. He set up a running club for people who are living on the streets or in shelters, and he trains them to run a marathon. In this moving film, running is a powerful undercurrent to the stories of the individuals looking to improve their circumstances.
Losing Sight of the Shore
This documentary follows a team of women as they set out to row across the Pacific Ocean from America to Australia. The team changes on various legs of the journey, which had it advantages and disadvantages. You will watch it and say many times, ‘What else could go wrong?’
The Dawn Wall
The Dawn Wall is like a watching a a gripping movie – it’s just so tense! The film follows free climber Tommy Caldwell and his attempt at achieving his life-long dream of climbing the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
The film starts with Tommy being kidnapped and facing a life or death choice, and then follows years of preparation. I’m not good at heights so I couldn’t climb anything or sleep hanging there in mid air.
Under An Arctic Sky
Under An Arctic Sky is not about runners, but cold water surfers looking for the perfect wave. I love this short film because of the dedication these guys have for their sport. Plus the photography is stunning especially at the end. I’m in awe of people being in freezing cold water for fun.
The Barkley Marathons
I think most of us have heard about the world’s craziest and hardest race – The Barkley Marathons. I watched it thinking, ‘Why would anyone wish to take part in this race that takes people out?’ Yet the runners love it and go back year after year to try and do better. The best part of this race is its weird entry fee that isn’t money.
Tim Don – The Man With The Halo
This short documentary follows an incredible Ironman athlete called Tim, and his journey of recovery from a broken neck. What he managed to do training wise while wearing the halo would put most of us to shame.
These are just a handful of sporting documentaries and films that are out there to watch. These are the ones I have viewed and enjoyed.
A few others that you might be interested in are: Pedal the World and Lorena The Light Footed Woman on Netflix; and Running For Good, Andy Murray Resurfacing and Usain Bolt on Amazon Prime.
Let us know in the comments below or on social media which film was your favourite. Or let us know if you’ve been inspired to achieve your dream, or if you’ve set yourself a new goal.