Are you in the mood to hit the pavement and go for a run? Do you need the inspiration to make it happen? Or maybe you want to watch a movie about running?

It’s that time of year when it can be hard to stay motivated. So why not look to some of the best running movies out there for a little pick-me-up? From true inspirational stories to lighthearted comedies.

However, before you click that play button, why not try this exciting game for you and your family? Learn more here.

Either way, here are eight of the best-running movies that you should add to your list:

1. Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire (1981) is a classic British film that won four Academy Awards and was nominated for seven, including Best Picture. In this Hugh Hudson-directed film, two British athletes attempt to win medals at the 1924 Olympic Games. The show’s inspiring theme song, performed by Vangelis, has been ingrained in British popular culture and was released as a single. 

The film’s focus on characters as they deal with internal conflict resonates with audiences to this day, having had many international re-releases. Chariots of Fire offers an engrossing drama that can be enjoyed both in its own merit and as an interesting historical piece.

2. Without Limits (1998)

This biographical drama follows the life of Steve Prefontaine, an American runner who rose to fame in the 1970s with his ambitious attitude and success on the track. His vibrant character and determination to break records won him many fans, though he was tragically killed at 24 in a car accident. 

Billy Crudup and Donald Sutherland star in this movie directed by Robert Towne, which takes us through Prefontaine’s relationships with his coach and friends as he strives to become the best.

3. Spirit of the Marathon (2007)

This documentary follows six runners from around the world as they prepare for the Chicago Marathon. Through their stories, we learn that running is more than just an individual journey; it’s a shared experience of human will and determination. Directed by Jon Dunham, Spirit of the Marathon captures the joy and exhaustion felt by every runner and their deep commitment to completing the race.

4. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump brought tears and laughter to audiences worldwide when it was released in 1994. A timeless tale of friendship, loyalty, and self-discovery, this iconic film became one of the defining works of modern cinema. Depicting the life of an unlikely hero through a series of vignettes, we follow Forrest on his journey as he overcomes immense obstacles with strength and good humor. 

One of his many adventures involves crossing the United States to clear his head. As he says himself, “I just felt like running.” Through this story, we learn that nothing is impossible, no matter the odds and that it’s important to keep moving forward.

5. The Games Maker (2014)

This Argentine-Spanish film is set during the 1930s and follows Ivan Drago, a young man who dreams of competing in the Olympic Games. After an attempt to become part of a prestigious team fails, he turns his attention to creating his own adventure game. 

With the help of new friends and mentors, he begins a journey of self-discovery, learning important lessons about friendship and courage. The movie has a running theme, with Ivan’s belief that “you don’t need to win races to become a champion” central to the story.

6. Born To Run (2009)

This inspirational documentary follows a group of ultra-marathoners as they embark on a race through the unforgiving terrain of the Copper Canyon in Mexico. Against all odds, these determined individuals must face their fears and push themselves beyond physical limits to complete the challenge. 

Directed by Sterling Noren, Born To Run showcases an incredible journey over sharp rocks and steep hillsides, celebrating grit and endurance in equal measure. It’s a must-watch movie for anyone who loves running and adventure!

7. The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner (1962)

This classic British movie examines the themes of rebellion and independence, seen through the eyes of a teenage runner. Tom Courtenay plays Colin Smith, an inmate at a juvenile detention center who is forced to compete in a cross-country race for the Governor’s team. 

Despite his initial reluctance to participate, he discovers that running can be a form of escape and an expression of his own freedom. This powerful drama follows Colin as he discovers the true meaning of success, exploring the complicated relationships with his coach and friends as he strives to become the best.

8. Free to Run (2016)

This documentary chronicles the rise of running as a global phenomenon, tracing its roots from the early 20th century to the present day. It showcases some of the sport’s greatest athletes, including Steve Prefontaine and Emil Zatopek, who pushed themselves to new heights by challenging traditional views on training and competing. 

Free To Run also explores the role of women in the sport and how their stories have often been overlooked by history. Through interviews, archival footage, and beautiful cinematography, this movie is a must-watch for anyone interested in running.


From the heart-pounding action of Without a Paddle to the inspirational story of Born To Run, these nine running movies and books will provide hours of entertainment. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or some thoughtful insights into the human spirit, there’s something here for everyone! So grab your favorite pair of shoes, take a deep breath, and dive into the world of running! You won’t regret it.