Spirit of the Marathon

February 22, 2008

Last night, some or our jolly gang ventured to the movies to see the encore presentation of The Spirit Of The Marathon.
Back in January when this movie was shown as a one time presentation, it got great reviews and was sold out across the country, so naturally, they did an encore presentation. It’s a look at 6 people getting ready to run the Chicago marathon, from first timer’s to world class elite runners.

Ah, where to start…To get in the right frame of mind, three of us met for pizza and beer. I know all my friends from Seattle will never speak to me again, but we drank Bud Light. I can’t even remember if it had any flavor, but at $5 a pitcher, I guess the price was right. On a side note, one thing that makes me laugh every time I go out I ask what’s on tap. The response I get is always some mass produced beer spoken of reverently, like it’s the best in the world. I’m sorry, but 95% of the time, it the choices just don’t make the grade and I end up getting a diet Coke. Anyway, we hung out for an hour talking about running and other stuff. Roman had just run the Myrtle Beach marathon the weekend before, so we spoke of that. If it fits into the calendar next year, I think I’ll have to do it. (I’ll let him post is race report to give the reasons why.)

After rushing over to the theater, we met up with the other 2 members of our group and proceeded to the theater. A couple girls were handing out some Team In Training brochures. Cool, but some coupons for Active.com or something would have been great, since we walked into an Active commercial playing. Our noble leader led us to the nose bleed seats and we settled in. The theater wasn’t more than 1/2 full and no one else was too close to us.

The movie itself was good. Better than other marathon documentaries that I’ve seen and a full gambit of emotions came through. I’ve seen other reviews where people got choked up during certain scenes, but I never did. But that could be because we were having too much fun with our own running commentary. Sitting with a group of runners, we’ve all been through everything they’ve shown, so we felt free to inject appropriate comments as needed.

The race coverage was good, including some great shots of the start.

After the credits, they showed some extras (that I suppose will be on the DVD). Most of the people had left, so we had the place mostly to ourself. Without ruining anything, we now know Deena Kastor’s secret ingredient for avocado enchiladas. (Deena, just to let you you, it’s not a secret anymore. Sorry.)

The “rock throwing” deleted scene was great, possibly one of the best parts of the movie in my opinion.

Overall, I’d say to go see this movie in a theater where you have a mass of people around you to get into the mood. Or if you rent it, be sure to invite your friends over to watch it so you can talk and enjoy it together.