The "Best Running Movie"
After four years of films being featured at RunningMovies.com the readers selected their favorite titles by voting in multiple rounds (Prelims, Semi-Final heats, and Finals) during 2006. Here are the results:
Fire on The Track:
The Steve Prefontaine Story
"Pre" embodied the spirit of athletic excellence. He had a belief in self and sport that transcended all but the outer reaches of human speed and endurance. A runner and a rebel, Pre never gave in to anything or anybody. As a freshman he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which hailed him as "America’s Distance Prodigy." By the time he died in a tragic auto accident at age 24, Pre held all 7 American records between 2,000 and 10,000 meters. Off the track he fought relentlessly for the rights of amateur athletes to prosper from their sacrifices. This documentary is told through rare footage and the memories of those who knew him best: his teammates, coaches, family and friends. Order this film in VHS or DVD from Amazon.com to see it for yourself and you can read more in the January 2003 review...
The Jericho Mile
The box captures the story as follows: "The incredible Peter Strauss is Rain Murphy, a man serving a life sentence for killing his father. A man whose home is Folsom Prison, a place where only the toughest breed of criminals- murderers, rapists, and armed robbers- are sent. His passion is running. He runs to escape the mean and hopeless life he must lead; to free himself from the inmate tensions and power struggles. Then he’s given a chance. A chance to train for the Olympics, a chance at glory, a chance at freedom. The Olympic mile is a dream that comes to be known as the Jericho Mile- a mile-long burst of hope and speed that could bring the walls of Folsom Prison tumbling down for Rain Murphy. Don’t miss this action-packed drama full of determination, excitement and power." Filmed on location at the state of California Folsom Prison with inmates providing supporting roles. Note that the running scenes were shot silently and later the breathing and footfalls were added for sound. The direction was provided by Michael Mann (a runner himself) who also has writing credits with Patrick J. Nolan. If you want to purchase this film visit Amazon.com to order a used copy or try bidding at one of the auction sites. You can also read the November 2004 review on this site.
Rated G with a running time of 83-minutes this is one film you will not want to miss. With a theatrical release in the United States in 1999 and home video and distribution by Buena Vista Home Entertainment. This is a true-life story of Olympic hero Haile Gebrselassie and just how far he came in order to become the greatest Olympic long distance runner the world has ever seen. Raised under oppressive conditions in one of the world’s poorest countries, the Ethiopian boy was born to run! When he wasn’t laboring in his father’s fields, young Haile would be running; the six miles to school and back, while doing chores or simply for pleasure at the end of a long, hard day. In an inspirational and artfully crafted motion picture from heralded film maker Leslie Woodhead, the climactic moment comes as the unstoppable Haile chases down his lifelong dream in a stirring Gold Medal performance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games! The Olympic competition footage was directed by Bud Greenspan, and these scenes are some of his best work, although they do not overshadow the opening running sequence which will inspire you to lace up your own shoes. Read even more about this production in the March 2003 Movie of the Month description.
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Thanks for all the votes this past year and congratulations to your selected titles.
Previous Heat Results:
Prelims: Heat 1- Year 2002: Films that automatically advance to the Semi-Finals:
Prelims: Heat 2- Year 2003: Films that automatically advance to the Semi-Finals include:
Prelims: Heat 3- Year 2004: Films that automatically advance to the Semi-Finals include:
Prelims: Heat 4- Year 2005: Films that automatically advance to the Semi-Finals include:
Semi-Final: Heat 1- Year 2002 vs. 2005: Films that automatically advance to the Finals include:
Semi-Final: Heat 2- Year 2003 vs. 2004: Films that automatically advance to the Finals include: