Movies About Running

Movies about running

There are so many movies about running. Sometimes when I’m lacking motivation, I like to watch movies about running.  There is nothing like watching someone else achieve their goals that help you find your own motivation.

Movies about running

So what movies about running exist?

Documentaries and Inspiring Movies:

Many movies about running can be watched through Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu. They can be great to watch before your next race (which hopefully races come back soon) or whenever you need some relaxation.

Spirit of the Marathon: 

Spirit of the Marathon is one of the best movies about running out there. It follows 6 runners as they train for the Chicago Marathon. Some aren’t sure they can do it. Some are professionals. It *almost* makes me want to train for a marathon.

Chariots of Fire:

This is one of those classic movies about running. It won an Oscar for best picture. It follows two runners that are very different, but both share a love for running.

The Race (2016):

This movie about running follows Jesse Owens’ quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history. At the 1936 Olympics, he faces racism.


This movie about running is about marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie. It follows him through his childhood and adulthood and his most defining moments. What makes this movie about running unique is that Haile and his family are doing the acting themselves!

Hood To Coast:

You’ve probably heard of the Hood to Coast Relay, but this movie about running follows for teams and their quest to complete the race.

I am Bolt:

This documentary about running follows the fastest man in history, Usain Bolt.

Ultramarathon Man:

Anyone in the running world knows Dean Karnazes. This movie about running follows him on his 50 Marathons – 50 States – 50 Days. He raised money for obese awareness and to bring more people to be more active.


One of my favorite movies about running, Prefontaine, follows the running legend, Steve Prefontaine. I appreciate it shares his personality, loss at the 1972 games, and just the competitiveness of distance running in the early 70s. 

Fast Women:

Fast woman is a movie that follows four female runners chasing after their dreams. It was even a winner of best documentary at the 2010 Mammoth Film Festival.

Run For Your Life:

This movie about running follows Fred Lebow and how the New York City Marathon came about. If you love the NYCM or have ever run, I highly suggest watching it. It really makes you appreciate the NYCM even more.

De Marathon:

This movie about running starts when four men find they have a tax debt of forty thousand euros. They train for a marathon to pay the debt.

There is No Finish Line:

This movie about running follows the iconic Joan Benoit Samuelson is a favorite among runners. Joan set world records in several different race lengths and multiple age groups. Her love for running is contagious and wholesome.

Into The Wind:

Into the Wind follows Terry Fox, the Canadian amputee. Terry made it his goal to run the coast of Canada to raise funds for cancer research. I won’t spoil it, but there were some tears shed during the movie.

Marathon Challenge:

If you’ve ever wanted to run a marathon but don’t think you can, the Marathon Challenge will inspire you. It trains several people for the Boston Marathon who never thought they would ever toe the line.

Four Minutes:

Four Minutes follows Rodger Bannister, who was the first man to break four minutes in the mile. This shows how incredible the feet were and how he almost gave up.

The Runner:

This movie about running shares how UltraRunner David Horton attempts to set the speed record of the 2700 PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). I’ve run partially on the PCT, and I was in awe!

Town of Runners:

I found this interesting as it follows 3 runners from Ethiopia as they train for the Olympics.

The 41st Day:

This movie about running follows Ryan Hall, America’s best marathoner, and how he turned to God to coach him.

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young:

This movie is about one of the hardest ultra running races. You’ll be fascinated and captivated by how people complete it.

Fictional Movies about Running:

Personal Best:

This movie about running follows Chris Cahill is a young track-and-field athlete who competes unsuccessfully in the 1976 U.S. Olympic trials. Later she meets Tory Skinner, and their friendship evolves into a romantic relationship


Jim White moves his family after losing his last job as a football coach. He starts working at a new school he turns seven students into one of the best cross-country teams in the area.

Fast Girls:

If you like mindless teenage drama and angst, this movie about running is for you. It follows the fictional drama of a struggling relay team approaching a world championship race.

Brittany Runs a Marathon:

This movie about running can be related to so many of us. Brittany, who isn’t a runner, decides to make positive changes in her life by training for the New York City Marathon. I think a lot of people started running due to needing a life change.

Running The Sahara:

This follows 3 people as they run across the Sahara Desert. It stars Matt Damon, and while it’s about running, it’s inspiring for anyone runner or not.


If you love Alexi Pappas, you’ll love her movie Tracktown. (Even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy this movie). Tracktown is a story from the perspective young female athlete struggling to find balance.

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Questions for you:

What are your favorite movies about running?

What movies have you watched recently?


    1. Oh wow, thank you! I’ll need to check it out. Maybe find a VHS player too.

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