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Race For Kenya

2001, 48 minute documentary written and produced by Pat Butcher (read interview). Watch this fascinating and revelatory exposition of how and why Kenyan men and women dominate the world of distance running. With the Kenyans increasingly dominating the middle and long distances at the Olympic Games and World Movie of the Month, May 2008Athletics Championships, and virtually swamping international marathons across the world - this is perfect timing for this unique insight into the background of one of the most fascinating and exotic groups of sportsmen and women in the world. This program includes world record performances, rarely shot training footage and startling testimony from a leading scientific authority on the reasons for Kenyan success. It also contains interviews with top athletes, coaches, sponsors and critics of Kenyan athletics. Some of the contributors include: Kip Keino, Moses Kiptanui, Moses Tanui, Dieter Baumann, Bob Kennedy, Colm O’Connell, and Hugh Jones. Read an article by Kevin Mitchell of The Observer entitled Genetic Story Should Be Told. Now you can view a five minute clip on You Tube and visit GlobeRunner.org to order this DVD to see for yourself.

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A Race for the Soul

2001. Witness profiles of the physical and mental challenges encountered by participants in Movie of the Month, September 2003the Western States 100, a grueling ultramarathon held in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, where the goal is not so much winning, but simply completing an arduous hundred mile journey through mountains and canyons. This documentary was shown on public television bringing increased attention to the brave runners who challenge themselves until they find their limits. KVIE television offers this tape for sale in both NTSC as well as PAL format. You can also buy this production in DVD format that has an additional 55 minutes of bonus footage, including more check points and more emotional scenes from the finish line.

See other Ultra Running films.

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The Race of the Century

The Official 100th B.A.A. Boston Marathon Highlights Video
The Boston Athletic Association has put together this 30-minute video highlighting the greatest moments of the 1996 centennial Boston race. Segments include historical marathon moments, interviews with past winners and important players, clips from the national broadcast, and outtakes from the Legends of the Boston Marathon seminar. Written and produced by Sasha Norkin, Katie Toulmin, music by Chuck Boud, and narration by Toni Reavis.

Race of the Century

Ben Johnson, Drugs & the Quest for Gold
This 46 minute documentary was broadcast in Canada by CTV and Discovery channel between July 10th and July 16th, 2004. At this time there are no plans for this footage to be released on home video or DVD. Narrated by Kiefer Sutherland, this production reviews the climate in the sporting world that led to the 1988 Seoul Olympic 100 meter event where Johnson broke the tape in 9.79 seconds, then was disqualified for a positive drug test for steroids. Now at age 42, Johnson claims that "everyone" was on drugs and that his country did not protect him. This program also examines concerns from athletes from the former East Germany as well as comments from Johnson’s coach, Charlie Francis, in addition to highlighting how Agence France-Presse first exposed the story that was news worldwide. Johnson and his coach still maintain his doping sample was sabotaged with stanozolol, even though he admits to years of steroid use with other illegal substances. To read a PDF format promotional ad visit Infinity Films and you can also read a similar article, in HTML, from CTV from Canada. Although the topic of doping is a common sight on the sports pages of newspapers, no references are made to the current BALCO controversy.

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Racing Against the Clock

From Uncommon Productions and director Bill Haney comes this 2004 release that has a running time of 80 minutes. You will meet five remarkable women from age 50 to 82 as they prepare for, qualify, and compete in the Masters World Championship held in Puerto Rico Movie of the Month, July 2005in 2003. These outstanding track and field competitors each have unique stories about their lives and what they have done to reach their levels of success. They sprint, hurdle, long jump, pole vault, and compete in other events as records are broken, friendships are formed (and old ones reestablished), and their bodies are put to the test each step of the way. This production is inspirational as the attitudes about life are reflected during track and field performances. If you want to see a spectacular demonstration of pure athleticism, than this is one film you will want to add to your running movie collection. You can buy this DVD at Amazon.com or you can read more at Racing Against the Clock.com where you can also view a trailer, read press comments, view their film festival appearances, and place an order.

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Racing Faster

The VHS version was released in 2002 and the DVD was soon to follow in April of 2003. This triathlon video is focused on making you race faster. What is your goal? If it is peak performance and the desire to save every second in order to reduce your triathlon race time...If you are new to the sport and you want to get a jump start on excelling in triathlons...Racing Faster is the edge you need. Through the guidance of the world’s top ranked triathletes and USA National Team coaches, this video serves as a unique and pragmatic guide to racing smarter and faster in triathlon competitions. Visit Amazon.com to bring this DVD into your home.

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Racing Strategy for 800/1500 Meters

There is no question that if your middle distance runners apply the tactics shown in this video their times will improve and they will have a more successful career. These tactics have been taught to runners at all levels, including at the US Olympic Training Center. Del Hessel, Colorado State University Distance Coach (and himself once nationally ranked in the 800 meters) points out that not always does the fastest middle-distance runner win the race, but frequently it is the one who makes the right move at the right time. The tactics he presents can be applied whether the athlete is racing for a win, or racing for an improved place. This video is applicable for high school, college level, and even international level competitors and their coaches. This VHS tape is no longer being produced by ChampionshipProductions.com as they went to DVD only stock in the summer of 2007.

Racing to Crown

From North Korea comes this 88 minute motion picture that begins with a celebration of Jong Song-Ok arriving in Pyongyang after winning the World Championship gold medal in Seville in 1999. The film then uses a flashback to see her connect with male runner Chung Il prior to the 1996 Atlanta games. It shows footage of Song-Ok finishing in 20th place in Atlanta (2:35:31) yet this performance brings much criticism and the coach steps down and the Amnokgang Sports Team breaks apart due to the "failure". After Chung Il becomes the Asian Champion in the marathon, interest is again expressed for a women’s program and the athletes join once again to train. Although apparently injured, she overcomes these problems and again represents the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Seville. With a group of seven runners at the halfway point, Song-Ok makes her move at 35 kilometers and wins the title in 2:26:59 also claiming a National Record. The ending to the race is overshadowed by the strong music and passionate language "She ran with this in mind (the General) and finally reached the sky. The sky was the embrace of the Great General." It is hard to know how much of this production is an accurate depiction versus what many would consider political propaganda. This film has English subtitles yet they are sometimes hard to read the white lettering. Keep your eye out on auction sites if you would like to see this one for yourself.

The Rafer Johnson Story

This black and white film from 1961 has a run time of 53 minutes and is quite rare. The executive producer was David L. Wolper (Wolper Productions) with Mel Stuart serving as producer and director. This film discusses events in the life of Rafer Johnson, world decathlon champion and captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team. It tells about his early childhood and the days of hardship and struggle, his years in school, his success as an athlete, his service in the Peace Corps, and his eventual recognition by the President of the United States. Johnson competed in his first decathlon in 1954 as a sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles, and in 1955 he won the gold medal at the Pan-American Games. Injuries prevented him from winning the 1956 Olympic decathlon in Melbourne, Australia, but he set a world record in 1958. In 1960, the closest decathlon in Olympic history, Johnson scored 8,392 points, winning by only 58 points over his nearest competitor. At that Olympiad Johnson became the first black to carry the U.S. flag in the Olympic procession. His most recent formal appearance was to light the torch signaling the opening of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Johnson was having health problems at the time and Bruce Jenner would have been his replacement (he was on the field after assisting with the Olympic Flag) had Johnson been unable to carry the torch.

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Raw Courage

Find it or die. They started out running for Glory, and ended up running for their lives.
1983, rated R for violence, 90 minutes. Three ultra-marathoners are on a 72-mile run in the New Mexico desert when they encounter a group of weekend-warrior survivalist types who want to "play with the little runner boys." The runners are in the race of their lives when the demented trigger boys won’t leave them alone in this Deliverance descendant. In a tense action-filled ending, the runners’ true survival instincts are tested. Starring Ronny Cox (Taps, Beverly Hills Cop), Tim Maier (Psycho II), Art Hindle (Porky’s, Porky’s II), and M. Emmet Walsh (Bladerunner, Reds, Ordinary People). This was filmed in White Sands National Park, New Mexico. You can purchase a used copy at Amazon.com, and you can read a review at Bad Movie Planet.com.

Reaching the Finish Line: Black Athletes and Civil Rights

AKA: Black Athletes and Civil Rights
This program evaluates the societal contributions of Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Toni Stone, Willie O’Ree, and Arthur Ashe-sports icons who, with commitment and perseverance, broke the color barrier in professional athletics, paving the way for later civil rights victories. Archival footage and interviews with NBA all-star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; the wife and daughter of Jackie Robinson; the first black members of the Professional Golfers’ Association and the National Hockey League; the first black man to win at Wimbledon; and former players from the Harlem Rens and the Negro League reveal the courage of these gifted athletes in the face of racism and injustice. This 32 minute video was released in 1999 by Films for the Humanities & Sciences and can be obtained through them for private home viewing or at a higher price for public performance rights.

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Realize a Dream

The 25th Anniversary LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Highlights Video
This 30 minute event highlight video covers the 25th Anniversary running in Chicago on October 13, 2002. Khalid Khannouchi won in 2:05:56 making him the first four-time winner and Paula Radcliffe set a women’s World Record of 2:17:18 during this race. If you have plans to run the Chicago marathon in the future or want more specific race information visit their official site at Chicago Marathon.com. If you participated in 2002 than you can relive your experiences in this video or use it to fine tune a future performance on this course that is a fast and flat loop. Sorry, they sold out of this one. Look for it on the auction sites and consider yourself lucky if you can find it.

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Record Breakers of the Olympic Games

The Record Breakers
1992, 47 minutes, not for retail sale and distributed by Sports Illustrated. These are the Record Breakers of the Olympic Games. Achievements that bear witness to the determination and the perseverance for which the Games have always stood. Now you can share in the amazing feats: A slight Czechoslovakian named Emil Zátopek enters three grueling running events in the 1952 Helsinki Games- the 5,000 and 10,000 meters and the marathon. Amazingly, he sets Olympic records in each event. In "Record Breakers of the Olympic Games", you’ll relive some of the Games’ most inspiring moments, and witness the feats of some of our most famous champions: Jesse Owens, Sonja Henie, Greg Louganis, Nadia Comaneci, Florence Griffith-Joyner and many more. It’s Olympic action you won’t want to miss! (description from the box). The executive producer was George Berger and the producer was Karen Miller with assistance from HBO Video and the International Olympic Committee.

Record of a Marathon Runner

AKA: Aru marason ranna no kiroku
1964, This was a sponsored documentary film by director Kazuo Kuroki of Japan. This highly artistic film focused entirely on Japanese marathon runner Kenji Kimihara. Kimihara finished eighth in the 1964 Olympic marathon with a time of 2:19:49. He had previously won the Japanese trials in 2:17:11 on April 12th of that year. He competed in a total of three Olympic marathons in all (finishing 2nd in 1968, and 5th in 1972) and he won 9 of 18 marathons prior to the Mexico City Games, including the Boston Marathon in 1966. Kimihara’s personal best was 2:13:25. Director Kinoki has made close to twenty films in his career, although this title remains rare with no known source.

Order at Shenandoah Film.com

Red Road / Runners

A Unification of Nations
"Running Is Easy ... Life Is Hard." This quote from this exhilarating film exemplifies the meaning behind the long journey portrayed in Red Road. This ceremonial run across America starts in Alaska in May 1992, going from remote rural communities to as Urban as downtown Chicago, and ending at the temples of Teotihuacan, Mexico in October. During this 5 month trek, young and old runners alike from numerous nations carried the symbolic Staff, adding a feather from several villages and tribes encountered with welcome hospitality. Here you will witness a diversification of song, dance, and prayer along the way. Made possible by Shenandoah Film Productions, with Sarah Galloway as producer and director, this 1996 release lasts 28 minutes and can be obtained at Shenandoah Film.com.

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Reebok: Prepare to Win

AKA: Winning Body Workout: Prepare to Win
Reebok has released dozens of aerobic workout videos in their "Sports and Fitness Video Series", yet this is the only one that has been conducted with three Olympians, including middle distance runner Suzy Favor-Hamilton. In addition to Petra Kolber, the main instructor, you will also see triple jumper Sheila Hudson and swimmer Dana Torres. After a four minute warm up the tape takes you into a 26 minute cardiovascular workout that would be considered low impact and primarily in the standing position. There is a short cool down before some stretching and strength based floor work before this tape comes to a close after 44 minutes. During the workout there are several segments inserted of these athletes competing in their specialty events as well as offering motivating advice. During one of these Suzy states "I prepare myself to win everyday in everything that I do. I sleep right, I eat right, I train hard. I do everything possible that will help me to make the team. I have to make a lot of sacrifices, but it’s worth it. This is something I want so bad in life." Amazon.com has sold copies of this 1996 release and you may also be able to find this one on an auction site.

Order at  ChampionshipProductions.comEnlarge Cover Art

Relay Drills

with Steve Lynn, Head Coach, Iowa State University
1992, 29 minutes. Drills emphasize proper relay techniques and promote team work. Drills for blind (speed) exchanges for the 4 x 100 meter relay, semi-blind (safety) exchanges for the 4 x 200 meter relay and visual (open) exchanges for the 4 x 400 meter relay and farther are featured. The duties for the incoming and outgoing runners are also explained in this DVD. Championship Productions.com is where you need to go in order to bring this production into your collection.

Order at ChampionshipProductions.com

Relay Drills for Women

2002, 40 minutes. This instructional video is intended for both high school as well as collegiate athletes and coaches. The host is Tom Jones, head women’s coach for the University of Florida, and here you will see a combination of instruction both from the classroom and the track. Topics cover the skills of strong handoffs as well as drills such as walking exchanges, jogging exchanges, and chase drills. Obtain this videotape from Championship Productions.com.

Relay Running with David Hemery

This series of video tapes on beginning track and field are narrated and demonstrated by great champions and record holders. Shows warm up, exercise and techniques for relay running that is detailed in all aspects. Young girls and boys are involved in showing the teaching and learning process in this 30 minute video that was released in 1987.

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Relay Training

Amazon.com offers this 2002 release for sale. In this 37 minute video you will see step-by-step instruction on how to improve performance in the 4 x 100m and the 4 x 400m relays. Positioning personnel, passing the baton, markings, proper strategy, and coaching guidelines are all covered by Ralph White of Williams College.




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