We talk a lot about motivational playlists here at Great Run, but what about motivational movies? There’s a whole host of films out there with running at their heart – from dramas and documentaries to comedies and indies. On days when energy is low, an inspirational running film movie could be just the pick-me-up you need.
So pop the popcorn and dish out the trail mix (both great running snacks), get your feet up and factor in some recovery time. After all, you can’t run every day…
Our Top Five Running Films
Chariots of Fire: Chariots of Fire won four Oscars including Best Picture and is probably the most famous film about running ever made. Based on a true story, it recounts the journey of two British sprinters – one Jewish, one Christian – and their ambition to compete at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. One of the best musical scores and powerful climactic scenes in cinema history. Available on Disney+.
Brittany Runs a Marathon: When hard-partying Brittany gets a wake-up call from her doctor, she’s determined to get healthier. She starts running, but her journey to fitness is far from smooth – anyone who’s ever struggled with a Couch to 5k programme will find her first attempt at getting around the block painfully relatable (and hilarious). A charming, funny film with a positive message about self-love at its core. An Amazon Original.
Budhia Singh: Born to Run. This biopic tells the story of an Indian boy who ran 48 marathons by the age of four. Local judo coach Buranchi Das spots Budhia’s potential and trains him up for greatness, but running long distances in tough conditions at such a young age raises concerns and Buhia is taken into care. A powerful and bittersweet drama. Available on Netflix.
Forrest Gump: It’s an oldie but a goodie – in fact, it’s hard to beat Forrest Gump for a comfort watch. It’s not a running film as such, but when Tom Hanks’ character decides to go for a run – “I just felt like running” – and continues for three years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours, a world of runners nodded in recognition. Running is a symbol for the way Forrest overcomes some pretty big obstacles in his life – and it makes for heartwarming viewing. Available on Now TV.
The Real Mo Farah: OK, so this is a documentary rather than a feature-length film, but we couldn’t leave Sir Mo’s epic story charting his childhood in Somaliland to becoming one of the greatest long-distance runners of all time off the list. We’re all familiar with Sir Mo’s incredible running career and Olympic medals, but his father’s death when he was four and his childhood isn’t so well-known. Equal parts inspiring and heartbreaking, you’ll need tissues on hand. Available on iPlayer.