I stumbled upon this movie Run For Your Life in Netflix one day when I was looking for running related movies. I did not think about it much then and just threw it in my DVD queue. Boy, am I glad that I did! I am running this year’s ING New York City Marathon (2012), and thanks to the movie, I now have a totally new appreciation about the opportunity of running this crazily sought-after marathon.
This movie is about Fred Lebow, who founded New York City Marathon. Obviously, he was passionate about running, but at the same time, he was a visionary and an inspiration. He started the event in 1970 with 55 runners completing the multiple-loop course in Central Park ($1 registration fee!). In 2011, more than 47,000 runners completed, drawing more than two million spectators out on the street of New York and enticing more than 6,000 volunteers. Who knows how much bigger this marathon is going to get (Note: not all the stats are from the movie). Running legends, such as Bill Rogers, Frank Shorter, Alberto Salazar, and Grete Waitz, just to name a few, all ran the marathon and they became celebrity there. Yes, New York Marathon created these celebrities. Lebow was the driving force behind this giant growth. Sure, he was also seen as a manipulator or a dictator, but people loved to work with him and he managed to build the largest spectator sports event in the world! And one cannot be the nicest person in the world if s/he wanted to close five bridges and busy streets in all five boroughs in New York! He got the job done! This movie documents his passion to run and his endeavors to make his dream come true. A number of people who worked for, with and against him appear and many period photos and video footage are incorporated very well into the movie. If you are running New York City Marathon, this is a must see.
I’ve watched quite a few movies about running already but this is my first on this blog as a movie review per se. I will write a review from now on when I watch running related movies.
[schema type=”movie” url=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1202576/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4″ name=”Run for Your Life” director=”Judd Ehrlich” actor_1=”Fred Lebow” ]