Running films

I am not really a film buff, but I do like to listen to the radio 5 film podcast each week (often we listen to it when we are cooking/ eating dinner on Friday night) and I do like going to the cinema or having a movie night at home.

I have a guest post for you today all about films:

Top 5 Films for Runners

If you’re an enthusiastic runner, with a love of pounding the pavements and clocking up the miles in your battered running shoes, it’s likely that something or someone inspired you to take up running as a hobby.

Maybe it was a friend, who preached the benefit of how much they enjoying running and the wonders it was doing for their health and fitness? Or perhaps it was just the sight of another runner, with that peaceful, content look on their face that only comes with long distance running.

Chances are though, your inspiration to take up running will have come from something you’ve seen in a film. Running is a powerful metaphor on screen and is often used to symbolise a character’s physical and mental enlightenment.

Check out these top 5 films for runners to see if the one that influenced you made the cut.


This 1970s classic inspired a generation of people to take up running and we can definitely thank Sylvester Stallone and the creators of Rocky for the canonical status of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on the runner’s iPod.

Rocky had such a massive impact on running culture that the location of the famous ‘running up the steps scene’, has turned into something of a runner’s mecca. The 72 stone steps to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art have become known as the ‘Rocky Steps’ and attract enthusiastic joggers and runners, keen to mimic this iconic scene.

The scene has even been recreated in other films, including the 2005 rom-com In Her Shoes (which was actually filmed in the same location) and the hit 1996 comedy The Nutty Professor, and symbolises a character reaching a state of mental and physical improvement. Definitely one to watch if you’re in need of inspiration!

Forrest Gump

“From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running!”

It’s got to be one of the most memorable running quotes in movie history and equally, one of the most touching representations of running as a source of comfort and a coping mechanism, when things in life get tough.

We follow Forrest as he makes his way across the United States of America (and back, because he ran out of land), inspiring and motivating people along his way, and even encouraging some to follow him on his journey.

And when asked why he’s undertaken his challenge, Tom Hanks’ lovable character responds with an answer that sums up why so many of us took up this pursuit: “I just felt like running.”

Run Fatboy Run

This is the film to watch if you’re starting out as runner and you’re feeling daunted by the fact that you’re, quite frankly, not very good at it.

Simon Pegg’s lovable underdog character is never going to come first in a marathon – even jogging is a bit of a struggle with his little pot belly – but you can’t help but root for him as proves himself worthy to the woman he loves.

Runaway Bride

We’ve all been in situations in life when we’ve just felt like running away. In this 1996 rom-com, Julia Roberts does just that; from a selection of weddings where she is the bride!

I’m not sure what the feminists would make of it and how it represents female sacrifice to male authority, but I’m always touched by the scene when Roberts surrenders her running shoes to Gere, as a symbol that she will not run away from their love.

Silver Linings Playbook

We’re definitely beginning to see a trend here, when it comes to the cinematic representation of running as a method of taking control of one’s life and coping with difficulty!

The 2012 hit movie Silver Linings Playbook has already been heralded as a modern day classic and was heavily praised at last year’s Oscar ceremony, with lead Jennifer Lawrence taking home the award for Best Actress.

It may be testament to how hot Bradley Cooper actually is, that he manages to pull off a bin bag better than most men would an Armani suit, but it’s worth bearing in mind that running in one of these can be on the dangerous side. That said, we wouldn’t advise running in a wedding dress either!

Friends – ‘The One Where Phoebe Runs’

Okay, it’s not actually a film – but when it comes to running on screen, Phoebe Buffay’s distinctive running style deserved a place in the top five.

We’ve all got a friend whose running style is bizarre and embarrassing enough, that you’ll push yourself even further on your run to put some distance between you and them! However, it’s an important reminder to any runner that it’s not about looking good when you’re clocking up the miles. It’s about putting passion into your running and enjoying yourself as you get fit!

The movies – and that one memorable piece of TV gold – may hammer home the message that we run to get away from things and to cope with life’s difficulties, but you have to remember that this is more down to artistic license. We’re going to go with Forrest’s conclusion and explain our passionate love for running on the basis that we just felt like running one day!

Today’s article is courtesy of Jack Collier, who is an avid writer and blogger of all things running related. His article was written on behalf of Millet Sports, a leading supplier of running shoes, clothing and accessories. 

I have only seen three of those films (and the Friends episode)- can you guess which ones? I want to add to that the How I Met Your Mother episode when Barney ran the New York marathon- I could totally sympathise with him in that!

What type of films/ TV shows do you find inspiring? I love watching things like the Eddie Izzard challenges, or when James Cracknell ran the Marathon des Sables.

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6 thoughts on “Running films”

  1. “How I met your mother” where Barney runs the NYC marathon!!! My best EVER.

    I have also watched “Spirit of the Marathon” which I found very inspirational.

    1. Me too- so funny!
      I think I have seen that- it rings a bell anyway! It is the one about some of the American marathons, that follows different people training? I have seen that one anyway.

  2. I love the Radio 5 film review. It’s hilarious. I listen to it every weekend long run. I love it.
    Forrest Gump is one of my favourite films. It’s just brilliant. You can watch it again and again as well.

  3. I saw this post yesterday and immediately had to YouTube all the running scenes you mentioned! I’ve never seen Rocky!
    I quite liked Fast Girls last year. It was a bit cheesy in places but nowhere near as cheesy as I thought it was going to be and it had a feel good soundtrack!
    Several people have mentioned Spirit of the Marathon lately which has really made me want to watch it.

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