I saw The Spirit of the Marathon in the theater about a year and a half ago, shortly after I registered for my first marathon. At the time it was very inspiring, but the whole concept of 26.2 and the physical and mental challenges that come with training for the race and actually running it were still very abstract in my head.
Recently a running friend discovered that Hulu.com had the full length documentary online. Tonite I had the time to sit and enjoy it again. This time I found myself even more absorbed with the individual runners' stories and have a firsthand comprehension of what they endured in training and on race day. This time around I became more than just a little misty...by the end I was a blubbering mess. I am fully impressed by how well the producers displayed the personalities and hours of work the runners put in to train for the distance...whether at the elite level, newbies, or seasoned marathon vets. Each subject of this film expressed much the same sentiment at some point in the film: that there is no other athletic event to compare to the marathon. No other competitive event attracts such a wide cross-section of ages, abilities, and life experiences as this race.
If you have yet to see it, take a couple of hours and a beer...enjoy: