10 Best Movies About Running

The 10 best movies about running offer insight into the lives of runners from all walks of life and all time periods. From the Olympics of 1924 to the racetrack at a men's penitentiary, there is something for everyone! It doesn't matter if you have participated in a marathon, or if the only running you've ever done is to the bathroom after a bad meal of sushi, these best movies about running will keep you informed, entertained, and inspired!  

  1. "Chariots of Fire." The Best Picture winner remains one of the best movies about running not for its focus on the sport but for its touching friendship between two 1924 Olympics athletes from very different walks of life. The Vangelis score also received a well-deserved Oscar win, one of four the film holds to its credit. 
  2. "Prefontaine." Of the many adaptations concerning the life of legendary runner Steve Prefontaine, this film uses a documentary style to great effect. While it may not have won any Academy Awards, it received the coveted "Two Thumbs Up!" from Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and it qualifies as one of the best movies about running ever made.
  3. "The Jericho Mile." This forgotten made-for-television drama about a convicted killer, who finds redemption through running is one of the more touching stories that takes place on the race track. After running a mile in under four minutes, he receives an opportunity to train for the Munich Olympics. As inspirational as they come, this entertaining heartwarmer earns its place in the pantheon of best movies about running.
  4. "Forrest Gump." Even though it's not entirely about the sport, this Oscar-winner for Best Picture deals extensively with the subject as a slow but capable man often uses his legs to attain freedom and enlightenment. He also inadvertently causes some of the most famous developments in Twentieth Century American history along the way. Tom Hanks stars in this, one of the very best movies about running.
  5. "Run Lola Run." One of the more creative entries on the list of best movies about running, "Run Lola Run" tells the same story three different ways and moves with the frenetic pace of a champion sprinter. More of an action film than inspirational, this film still centers on the importance of running to achieve goals, accomplish tasks, and save lives.
  6. "Spirit of the Marathon." Focusing on six very different runners, "The Spirit of the Marathon" is a documentary that will have you on the edge of your seat as these personalities train and compete in the grueling 26.2-mile Chicago Marathon. A fascinating look at what it takes to be a champion, and easily one of the best movies about running!
  7. "Without Limits." Told in a more traditional movie format and sponsored by the family of the late Steve Prefontaine, this adaptation of the famous runner's life may not be as good as "Prefontaine," but it certainly does a fine job of bringing the man to life.
  8. "Running Brave." The true story of U.S. runner Billy Mills unfolds in this dramatization of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when the runner achieved the impossible while the rest of the world discounted his chances. A true inspiration to anyone ever touched by racism or injustice, "Running Brave" deserves its place on the best movies about running list.
  9. "Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner." Despite its bleak and somber tone, this film qualifies as one of the best movies about running for how it shows the sport as a means for positive reinforcement in the life of a troubled British youth.
  10. "The Long Run." When you mix a tough-as-nails coach, a never-say-die female runner, and the toughest of the tough Comrades Marathon, you get this uplifting tearjerker that also qualifies as one of the best movies about running.
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