Are you looking to binge-watch some classic movies about runners and their journeys with your partner? Movies about athletes and their motivational stories provide one with the stroke of inspiration people are often missing in their daily lives. Apart from being an impeccable source of inspiration, these movies also make a fun choice for both family and couple’s movie nights! They may also deepen your bond! Perhaps you got tired of watching movies alone just met your partner at one of the best online dating sites you found in your quest to discover love, they are an athlete themselves; then movies about runners are perfect for the first date. Through their empathy towards the movie characters, your sporty partner can share their own story and get close with you.

Here is a list of some of the best movies about runners. These all-time classics include stories of the legendary runners from the 80s and the 90s, all the way to some of the more modern athletes. Check out these recommendations from the list down below.

  1. Chariots of Fire (1981)

Two athletes run in pursuit of glory and religious convictions.

Chariots of Fire is an exceptional movie that has the power to inspire many. The masterpiece is based on the life of Eric Liddell, who has been featured as a Scottish man strictly who is adherent to the Christian belief. It also features Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who is just as equally a religious man himself. The story revolves around the two men following their convictions. Harold Abrahams is seen to overcome the prejudice and the anti-Semitism he faces as a Jew in England. Similarly, Eric Liddell – born to missionary parents – is seen in the movie pursuing running as a way of glorifying God. 

This masterpiece by Hugh Hudson was incredibly well-received by the audience of the time. Due to the exceptional direction, acting, and story of the movie, it was nominated for seven academy awards. It ended up winning 4 out of the seven nominations. It is also one of the highest-grossing track films ever made, according to Wikipedia.

  1. Run for Your Life (2008)

A determined, eccentric man strives to transform running in the streets of New York into the globally known marathon that it has become today.

The movie Run for Your Life is a biopic based on the legacy established by a first-generation Jewish migrant, Fred Lebow, who decides to change the face of running in New York once and for all. The New York Runners Club was a bunch of athletes running on the streets of the Bronx. Lebow decides to take these men to the Central Park of New York and transform the club’s future altogether. This is made possible when the first-ever New York City Marathon takes place in 1970. The event quickly turns into a global phenomenon and attracts 66% more athletes than the Boston Marathon in just the following year!

The movie follows through the life of Fred Lebow and the ups and downs that constitute it. This brilliant flick by Judd Ehrlich takes the viewer through all the triumphs and the scandals of the life of one of the most influential American athletes of the game.

  1. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (2014)

Based on a famous prison escape, The Barkley Marathons highlights the difference between human affliction for action and their hesitancy for suffering vividly.

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young is a movie about one of the most deadly trail tracks in the world. This race first started in 1986 when a famous prison escape fueled the idea for it. Gary Cantrell, an athlete himself, came up with the idea after witnessing Martin Luther King Jr’s assassin cover only 8 miles after running 55 hours in the woods. Thus, the race is a product of arrogant mockery and the desire to push one’s limits to extreme lengths. 

  1. Race (2016)

A tale of overcoming racism at home and abroad.

“Race” is the story of a young African American, Jesse Owens. Jesse is the first in his family to go to college. At Ohio State, Jesse trains under the track coach, Larry Snyder. The young black man shows signs of glory from the very beginning, and it is evident that he is made for the big stage. However, as talks about boycotting the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany are underway, Jesse finds the future of his potential dwindling. Later, the black athlete takes the world by storm at the world’s biggest athletic stage, fighting racism both at home and abroad!

  1. I Am Bolt (2016)

The inspiring tale of the fastest man in the recorded human history.

I Am Bolt is a movie based on the life of the three-time Olympic gold medalist Jamaican track runner Usain Bolt. Benjamin Turner and Gabe Turner direct the film, and it revolves around Bolt’s nine gold wins at the Olympics. 

The movies listed in the list above capture the essence of each of their protagonists in their most authentic forms. They are also a great way to stay connected to the sport for many. Some people find a source of inspiration in them, others – a push they need to kick start their lives again, and some watch them alone when they miss their dating partner who’s away at a race or a competition, or together with them, cuddling at a couch. Regardless of how they are perceived, they are an excellent entertainment source on a weekly movie night, and if your partner is an athlete, they are sure to explain every bit you missed after the movie!

Written by Linda Raley.

Linda is a Psychology Faculty student, a freelance writer on sex and relationships, and a relationship beginner psychologist-consultant.