Marathon inspiration

One of the things I love about running is what a big chain of friendships it creates. Not just in our own running courses but with the many people I’ve met around the globe.

About a year ago my good friend Kathrine Switzer shot me an email to let me know that a friend of hers was making a film in Italy about marathons and she thought we should make a connection. By the time Jon Dunham and I wrote each other back and forth he was almost wrapping up his film, but said he’d keep in touch.

A winter evening in Milan
A winter evening in Milan

Fast forward a year later, Jon sends me an email to let me know that his second film “The Spirit of Marathon II” would be screening in Milan (Italy) and would I like to come? Better yet, would I like to bring a few friends? GIRLFRIEND TIME! I immediately called two running friends and had them block off a thursday afternoon in December.

From left: Jon Dunham, Cliff Scott, Ylenia Anelli, Me
From left: Jon Dunham, Cliff Scott, Ylenia Anelli, Me

I had heard of “The Spirit of Marathon” but hadn’t seen it, so I was very touched and excited when I found out that Jon had not only brought me a copy of TSOM II, but also the missing TSOM I which was filmed around the Chicago Marathon.  Now I can watch them over and over for inspiration.

Inspiration is definitely what you’ll get if you watch either of these excellent movies. I had to wipe away tears several times as I sat in the screening room watching the runners tell their stories from the streets of the Rome Marathon. Yes, there’s running in the movie but mostly there are stories. Stories of sadness and death and overcoming all odds. Stories of compassion, friendship and persistence.

I was especially happy to be sitting next to Cliff Scott. His story touched me so much, I was happy to be able to give him a hug afterwards.

 

With Cliff Scott, inspiration man!
With Cliff Scott, inspiration man!

The Boston Athletics Association has just announced that Jon Dunham will be making a film about the historic Boston Marathon! Considering that this year will be the Boston Marathon’s 118th run, it’s unbelievable to think one hasn’t been made to this day.

I  know that Jon will do Boston justice and I cannot wait to see it. Maybe I’ll even try to organize a screening here in Italy!

By the way, while I was hopping around getting links and images for this post I saw that a screening of The Spirit of Marathon I or II can be organized anywhere through TUGG. Check it out and organise your own event or find one already set up near you!