Do you like watching running documentaries or films about running? I have selected some of the best running movies to be inspired in life. If you are hungry for more motivation or just keen on watching running films do check out these movies to give you inspiration on why you should run.

If you have not checked my previous article about 10 Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run do check the link here and have a read. 

I do love watching running films especially documentaries not only because I can relate to them very much but because I like how they convey the message about the positivity of running and how runners express themselves whether it’s about their day-to-day struggles or about their faith.

Running is not an easy sport at first because not only it’s tiring, but it requires a lot of discipline and humility, to begin with. It’s a kind of sport that you can do alone at your own convenient time.

I hope you like these movies and documentaries that I have selected and if you have your own personal favorite do share it in the comment section below.

running movies to be inspired in life
Running Movies To Be Inspired In Life

Running Movies To Be Inspired In Life

Limitless ( 2017)

The movie is about the Eight inspirational stories of real women runners from across India this movie promotes to motivate more women to follow their passion and take up running.

The film shares different stories of eight women runners from different parts of India. A sport which somehow is not considered to be for women these Eight women shared their experiences while out on the road running from receiving catcalls and other things that somehow it is difficult for them to run alone.

Running has helped them to pick up themselves and gain confidence from what they are dealing with. They want to encourage more women to pick up running as a hobby because of the good effects running has taught them.

If you are thinking of picking up running this documentary is a good film to watch and be inspired by these women. The film is available on Netflix.

Quotable movie lines

  • Running can really do something to change your life, it’s not just about weight loss.
  • The beauty of running gives you more confidence to get out of your own skin.
  • Running teaches us that you can handle anything, you just learn to face challenges so much more positively because you’re thinking changes a lot.
  • I look forward to waking up. I look forward to getting ready and going for my run.
  • I run to feel the wind’s warm caress on summer morns….
  • I run because it gives me happiness in my life and has time for myself.
  • I run to value every moment in my life. I run because I feel fulfilled and complete.
  • I run for my inner self to surface and unfetter.
  • I run to value every moment of my life and live it better.
  • Running can help to take care of yourself and delay the process of aging.
  • When I see children getting inspired, I get more inspired and I work harder for them so that I can be an example and they can be an example for me.
  • You have to do it to experience it.
  • It’s okay to be different, you need to be different. You don’t have to fit into that box.
  • That completion certificate and finisher’s medal is one of the most precious ones. It’s a mind over body kind of thing.

Homerun (2003)

The film is adapted from an Iranian film Children of Heaven. It is about two siblings who secretly shared a pair of shoes to avoid trouble with their parents. The film was set in 1965, the same year when Singapore separated from Malaysia and gained independence. It also depicts the social class of the rich and poor.

The struggle of two siblings in their daily lives and their status in life. Kun ran the cross country race to win the shoes so he could give them to his sister. Their positivity and love for each other despite being poor and having to share the same shoes is what bonded them as siblings.

Also, the kind of friendship that Kun has with his classmates has been presented as well. Their bonding is exceptional being there for a friend in need and being loyal. The film is available on Netflix.

Quotable movie lines

  • It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. The important thing is to complete the run and not give up halfway.
  • Without our shoes, we could see our problems clearly.
  • I didn’t understand what it feels like without shoes.
  • Third prize is a pair of shoes. When I win them you can have them.

Barkley Marathon (2014)

The Barkley Marathon is an ultramarathon trail run being held in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. It is a 100 miles ultra marathon that needs to be completed within 60 hours.

The course was designed by Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell, the idea of this race is inspired by the escape of  James Earl Ray the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. Imagine running 5 loops in the forest with just a map and a compass.

It is an interesting documentary that I have also seen on Netflix. Joining the race requires proper planning and endurance. The race consists of five loops in which you have to complete each loop first before proceeding or running again another loop. It is really inspiring because you cannot use any GPS watch but create a copy of the map provided.

The race entry fee may be super cheap but getting in is not easy as it doesn’t have an official website and you also may have to write a very nice letter to Lazarus lake to get in. For first-timers, they are asked to bring a licensed plate from their state or country.

There are books placed along the course at each loop and competitors must find them and tear the page corresponding to the runner’s bib number. If you are unable to tear that specific page of the book it means that you have not completed the loop. The film is available on Netflix/Amazon Prime.

Quotable movie lines

  • If you’re going to face a challenge it has to be a real challenge you can’t accomplish anything without a possibility of failure.
  • I think that people who go through this are better for it. They’re better for what they’ve asked of themselves.

Lorena, Light Footed Woman (2019)

A story of a long distance runner from Mexico. She lives in the Tarahumara mountains  in Chihuahua Mexico.

I included this in the list of running movies to be inspired in life because although it may seem a very simple Netflix documentary this is a real story of a simple woman living in the mountains who runs along the mountains taking care of their animals. The simplicity of Lorena and her shyness and humility can be seen throughout the short film.

As a runner, it is necessary to wear comfortable running clothes and must be breathable. But Lorena is different; she runs in sandals and long skirts. She said she won’t be Lorena if she is not wearing a skirt while running.

Unlike other documentaries, this is a unique film that presents the reality of a life of the raramuri especially of the women who are not able to go to school as they need to take care of the animals. His brother has to do a five-hour walk in order for him to reach the school. 

If you have read the book Born to run by Christopher McDougall then you will be able to recall the story of the raramuri or Tarahumara’s running in their sandals. The film is available on Netflix.

Quotable movie lines

  • I don’t think about anything. It feels good to strive towards a goal.
  • I always push myself to make it to the goal.
  • I’ll keep running as long as I can and as long as I have strength.
  • Nearly there, it’s not much longer to the finish line.

Brittany Runs A Marathon (2019)

This film may be a light and comedy film it showcases the struggle of a woman in her early 30’s. It is a running movie about an overweight woman who is able to accomplish the New York marathon. 

After being informed by her new doctor to lose weight and start getting healthy, Brittany casually runs in her neighborhood wearing a chuck taylor and eventually joins their local running group with the help of her neighbor Catherine.

She eventually gained a new friend Seth and with Catherine, they planned to run the NY marathon although she was not able to get the lottery. After a year she accomplished her goal of running the NY marathon despite having cramps after 22 miles the cheers of her friends helped her cross the finish line. The film is available on amazon prime.

Quotable movie lines

  • All body types are beautiful…but you also wanna be healthy.
  • I can’t give up before my kiddo judges me.
  • The race, you don’t have to win it, you have to finish it.
  • I am a runner now.
  • We’re all runners when we need to be.
  • A marathon…. We don’t have to win it, we just have to finish it. -New York City Marathon?
  • Don’t you wanna accomplish something epic?
  • Many will try, few will succeed.
  • I respect your discipline.
  • Running a marathon is not about your weight. It’s about taking responsibility about yourself.

Without Limits (1998)

One of the best running movies to be inspired in life is this biographical life story of America’s prodigy Steve Prefontaine and his relation to his coach Bill Bowerman who co-founded Nike.

Prefontaine is a naturally gifted runner whose life was cut short due to a  car accident but what’s nice about this film is his pure passion and love for running and his relation with Bowerman. He is known to be an aggressive front runner, leading the pack and setting the pace.

Steve Prefontaine Memorabilia
Some of Prefontaine’s memorabilia in Nike HQ

We cannot forget the famous Belgian waffle maker Bowerman use in order to make running shoes, Prefontaine is set to run the 1976 Montreal Olympics using Bowerman’s shoes which did not happen due to his untimely death.

Bowerman waffle maker wall in Nike HQ
Learning Bowerman’s contribution in the sports of running

Quotable movie lines

  • I have no specific tactics. I just want to be ready when the race starts.
  • I’d like to work it out so that in the end it comes down to a pure guts race. If it is I’m the only one who can win it.
  • Citius, Altius, fortius. It means faster, higher, stronger. It’s been the motto for the olympics for the last 2,500 years.
  • You can’t catch me, you’ll never catch me. You don’t have the guts.
  • Oregon is the land of Bill coaches
  • Talent’s got nothing to do with it.
  • We have no time for dreams that we can’t afford.
  • Here’s my philosophy: I don’t go anywhere near Eugene unless Bowerman personally let’s me know he wants me.
  • Everybody in the country is offering this kid the moon. All he wants from you is one word, just to know you want to coach him.
  • Just get an education, that would be nice too you know.
  • Front-runners cut the wind for everybody behind them and then die in the stretch.
  • Running any other way ….is just plain chickenshit.
  • You don’t know what I’ll do to my foot if I do run, but you know what I’ll do to me if I don’t.
  • It’s the hardest thing in the world to believe in something. If you do it’s a miracle.
  • If you have no talents you have no limits.
  • If you can find meaning in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team, chances are you’ll be able to find meaning in that other absurd pastime: Life

Let’s not forget other running movies to be inspired in life:

  • Forrest Gump
  • Transcend
  • Spirit of the Marathons

Now that I gave a great list of running movies to be inspired in life I hope you’ll get to take home some lessons to apply and value. 

If there’s a running movie you really like do share it in the comment section below and why you like the movie.

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  1. For someone who started running again, I might have to binge watch them for inspiration! Great List!

  2. Your post just made me realize that I’ve hardly seen any running movies. Well.. aside from Forrest Gump! I need to change that. Thanks for all the recommendations and great quotes.

  3. Limit less is my personal favorite. I often need to motivate myself for running ?. So, I am gonna save this post to read it as often as I can

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