Jen and I met up with some fellow triathletes last night to see the second showing here in Chicago for "Spirit of the Marathon." I'd have to give it an interesting but not awesome. I really like following Deena Kastor and the sidebars with legends like Burfoot, Rogers, Salazar, Higdon and Joan Benoit Samuelson but I think they could have researched harder on the age groupers.
I liked the old guy for the most part because of his unbridled spirit - he's out there gettin it down and challenging himself at an advanced age. But the other stories fell a little flat. I felt for the guy who came up lame in training but we totally ignored his wife and the dynamic between the two of them. And what was with so much footage dedicated to people standing around waiting for group runs to start - I guess all you do in training is hug it out and drink lots of water. What about the Hansons Brooks Distance Project - the dudes who were pacing Deena during the story’s climactic 2005 Chicago Marathon? That is a story unto itself. And why was Daniel Njenga still in Japan after all these years and why (if he's in the top ten in the world) is he working a day job? And what about the sacrifices that he is making for his family - what does his wife think? And why was that single mom chick walking and crying the entire race? What happened?
Awesome project in theory but while the director excelled at shooting compelling footage, his story telling felt unfinished.
Oh and BTW - in the post movie deleted scenes how about Deena talking about calories - 5,000 a day during heavy training and up to 3,000 on off days. Boy howdy, that's why I love being an athlete!