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Pentathlon

Play to Win. If You Lose, You Die.
1994, 101 minutes, rated R for violence. The back of the box describes this film "When East German Eric Brogar (Dolph Lundgren, Rocky IV) wins the gold medal in the Pentathlon, he escapes to freedom in the West with the help of a beautiful American athlete. But his demanding coach, Heinrich Mueller (David Soul), vows revenge and Eric’s best friend and his father pay the ultimate price for his freedom when they are killed by the Secret Police. In Los Angeles, Eric starts to train for the Gold again. But when Mueller comes to America, Eric must win the most deadly game of all...the fight for his life." There are numerous running sequences scattered throughout this drama. Starting as a child in the opening sequence to the Olympic competition depicted in Seoul before he runs at the airport to defect. When he starts to train again he runs on the beach as well as the road to get into racing form. The last sequence of the film is the Olympic Trial for modern pentathlon and the film comes to it’s conclusion on the track. Amazon.com offers used copies of this film at a very low price if you want to own it.

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Personal Best

1982, 129 minutes, rated R for language and nudity, released on VHS in 1992 and DVD in 2008 by Warner Home Video. Chris Cahill and Tory Skinner are two champion female athletes who meet at the 1976 Olympic Trials. They start out as friends. They wind up as lovers. And one day, they meet as competitors, in a contest of body and will that will test each of them to their limits...and beyond. Mariel Hemingway and Patrice Donnelly star in Robert Towne's Personal Best, a bold and brilliant drama of the bond that forms between two individuals who have dedicated their lives to the achievement of excellence - and to the attainment of their "personal best" in more than mere athletics. Hemingway plays Chris Cahill, the inexperienced young girl whose long road leads to self-awareness and self-mastery. Her strength and stamina can make here a winner. Slowly, she learns to focus her talents and break through her barrier of determination. Donnelly, once a member of the U.S. Olympic Team and the fourth-ranked hurdler in the world, plays Skinner, who sets the example that Cahill must match and ultimately surpass. Reel life Olympic marathoner Kenny Moore can be seen here playing the role of boyfriend (and keep your eyes out for appearances from Frank Shorter and Edwin Moses as well). Amazon.com offers this film for sale in both VHS and DVD format that features commentary by Robert Towne, Scott Glenn, and Kenny Moore as well as available subtitles in both English and French.

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PETZL Sport Videos DVD

This promotional type DVD contains about 10 minutes of running in two different segments. The first is a short film from director Guillaume Broust from France that focuses on the 2004 Ultra Trail Mt-Blanc in Chamonix. It features Vincent Delebarre, Corinne Favre, Christian Aznar, Xavier Puthod, and the only English spoken by Dean Karnazes during an aid station visit. There are many arial shots including from the start as well as many scenic views of the runners taken from helicopters. The soundtrack features several short songs. The second piece is shorter and demonstrates the Myo XP. Shot in Montpellier, France, it features Valentine Fabre who demonstrates three brightness levels of the headlamp to match the intensity to the task. There are no spoken words, and it lasts that length of a song with an outstanding sunrise from the trails. In addition to the running segment you will also find chapters on these other outdoor activities: Alpinism, Bouldering, Ice Climbing, and Rock Climbing that take the viewer all over the world to places like Nepal, Canada, England, Italia, and France. The DVD may be purchased at E-Bay for a very low price and each of these segments may also be viewed online at Petzl.com.

The Poor Nut

This silent black and white release from 1927 starred Jack Mulhall, Charles Murray, and Jean Arthur. The screenplay written by Paul Schofield and Jack Wagner was based on a play, a comedy in three acts, written by Elliott Nugent and J.C. Nugent in 1925. The story is of a top scholar who has an inferiority complex when it comes to sports brags to his girl friend that he is a track star. Going out for the team, he loses to his rival, but another girl gives him the support he needs to try again.

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The Pose Method of Running

AKA: Dr. Nicholas Romanov’s Pose Method of Running
This 60-minute instructional program, first released in 1997, explains the theory of running position that was developed by Nicholas Romanov. By using real examples the technique is repeated numerous times with the focus on drills and strengthening to obtain the proper position and build strength in the hamstring muscles. With this injury-prevention video, you will improve running form, recovery time, endurance, and increase speed and flexibility. Regardless of the level at which you run, the Pose Method will help you get the most out of your program. More information can be found by visiting the official web site at Posetech.com where you can read articles as well as learn more about their clinics, books, and the video (in VHS or DVD format that was released as a second edition in 2001). The DVD makes it really easy to move to specific drills and concepts quickly and has a 25 page "Companion Drill Book" that includes the following: Rules of good running technique, Pose concepts, the 13 basic biomechanics drills, 14 basic jumps and 8 advanced jumps. This book is well illustrated and would be a great addition when on the training field.

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Postural Integrity: Training the Athlete’s Core

Released in 2006 by CoachesChoice.com, this 33 minute instructional DVD features Grinnell College Coach Will Freeman. The focus is on training the core of the body for maximum strength, and improved performance, as well as to withstand the demands of training to avoid injury. Each exercise is explained and demonstrated in order to illustrate how to develop strength and increase stabilization. The segments include the following topic areas: Elastic energy development, alignment factors, pelvic tilt issues, training the pillar of the body, and specific exercises to develop the core. You may purchase this DVD from Amazon.com.

The Power of Purpose

Running 24 minutes this 1983 release from Billy Budd Films captures the story of Terry Fox, a college student from Canada, who refused to let his amputated leg stop him from his dream of running a 3,000 mile marathon across Canada to raise money for cancer research. The narrator for the production is Christopher Plummer. For more information about this incredible man visit the most well known film on him: The Terry Fox Story.

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Power Yoga for Runners

Specifically designed by a runner for runners, this instructional yoga workout is well known to the members of the New York Road Runner’s Club where host Thom Birch and his wife Beryl taught from 1986 to 2001. Thom started out as a nationally know racer at the age of 14 and continued to dominate running circles as he attended the University of Houston and beyond in the late 1970’s to the mid 80’s. Thom is seen running on the road near the beginning of this video followed by an introduction before the main intensive yoga segment; featuring astanga yoga series (a "high heat, high energy" workout) which takes the next 30 minutes. The last sections has an excellent explanation of Ujjaya breathing as well as detailed examples of how to perform each pose. Although Thom died in November 2006, Beryl Bender Birch still maintains the teaching and web site at Power-Yoga.com where a tribute to Thom can be read and this tape can be ordered. Amazon.com also offers the original 2001 VHS tape as well as the 2003 enhanced DVD edition. If you want to read more about this production then visit Video Fitness.com to read additional reviews of this DVD.

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Prefontaine

AKA: Steve Prefontaine- Der Langstreckenlaufer
Tagline: He Beat The Odds...And Became A Legend!

1997, 103 minutes, rated PG-13, starring Jared Leto as Steve Prefontaine. The back of the box gives the following description: Inspirational and entertaining, Prefontaine is another acclaimed success from the makers of Hoop Dreams! It's the true-life story of legendary track star Steve Prefontaine, the exciting and sometimes controversial "James Dean of Track," whose spirit captured the heart of the nation! Cocky, charismatic and tough, "Pre" was a running rebel who defied rules, pushed limits...and smashed records...in an incredible against-all-odds quest for Olympic gold! Now a major motion picture, the triumphs and heartbreaks of this unforgettable champion will have you riveted from beginning to end! (I think Hollywood Pictures Home Video went a little overboard with the exclamation marks in their description.) This film was filmed in Olympia, Washington and Seattle with the Olympic track sequences taking place at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington. Roger Ebert gave this film three stars and for even more opinions on this film read 25 more articles by reviewers. Direction came from Steve James, who is also credited for writing with Eugene Corr, and the music was provided by Mason Daring. This film will forever be compared to Without Limits which was filmed in Eugene, Oregon on a much larger budget and released one year later. You can own your own copy of this film from Amazon.com where you have the choice of DVD or VHS format as well as the Soundtrack that features 11 songs from the film.

Other films about Steve Prefontaine include Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story and Without Limits.

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Pre-Season Conditioning for Sprints, Hurdles, and Jumps

Host Brad Hackett shows you why, what, and how to get athletes ready for the demanding season of competition. He lays out a blueprint for the all-important conditioning that creates a foundation for the racing season. This 32 minute film was made in 1999 and look at an auction site to try picking one up as no source is currently selling this video.

The Pursuit of Excellence

Here you will see Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter preparing for and competing in the 1978 Boston Marathon. The first 20 minutes introduces you to both athletes as you watch them train, discus their preparations, and watch them both work in their retail jobs. Rodgers has won 7 out of the last 9 marathons that he has completed, although in the 1977 Boston race he stopped at 17 miles. This will be Shorter's first marathon in a year as he has been recovering from a hamstring injury. With 6,000 starters, and about 250 female competitors, Rodgers wins (2:10:13) in a dramatic finish by a two second margin over Jeff Wells from Texas. In the post race interviews Rodgers states "This was the hardest marathon in my life" and Shorter notes "I'm not sure if my running today shows anything other than a lack of good sense". Appearances by Kenny Moore and wheelchair athlete Bob Hall are a nice touch to this production. This 16mm film has a run time of 50 minutes and was made possible by WQED (Television Station in Pittsburgh, PA) and Robert A. Wilson Associates.

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Pushing the Limits in Athletic Performance

2002, Australia, 31 minutes. This program was produced by Video Education Australasia and uses middle and long distance runners to examine what factors have led to faster athletic performances over time. Many interviews are used in this production from people such as miler Craig Mottram (3:53), marathoner Nick Harrison (personal best 2:10:22 and a 45th place finish in the Athens 2004 marathon in 2:21:53), coach Bruce Scriven, as well as many other experts. Several topics are explored including genetics, training and diet, coaching, psychology, money, drugs, male / female differences, and the technology of footwear and track surfaces. Historic footage of John Landy describing his mile training is compared and contrasted with modern techniques that are being used to improve athletic performance. Dick Telford introduces this video and 400 meter gold medal winner Cathy Freeman even appears briefly. You can view an Online Preview, in media player format, that lasts almost 10 minutes (nearly a third of this presentation). Lastly, an 18 page Teacher’s Notes document has been written by Robert Malpeli and it has the program outline, charts, and 31 questions in the format of "Student Worksheets". The answers to the questions are even provided so if you want to learn more about pushing to the limits of human performance than it is an excellent resource. This video is priced for a school, library, or sporting institute use. Another source for this film is from Uniview Worldwide which is based in the UK.




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