“Free to Run” Movie Review (For National Women’s Month)

A few months ago, I watched a pretty interesting movie/documentary on running and the changes in the industry. There’s a huge focus in the movie on women in the running industry and since March is National Women’s month, I thought now would be a good time to review it!


“Today, all anybody needs to run is the determination and a pair of the right shoes. But just fifty years ago, running was viewed almost exclusively as the domain of elite male athletes who competed on tracks. With insight and propulsive energy, director Pierre Morath traces running’s rise to the 1960s, examining how the liberation movements and newfound sense of personal freedom that defined the era took the sport out of the stadiums and onto the streets, and how legends like Steve Prefontaine, Fred Lebow, and Kathrine Switzer redefined running as a populist phenomenon.”

I thought this movie was a very interesting and entertaining documentary and included some familiar running celebrities to help recount the history of running.  Kathrine Switzer and Bobbi Gibb (the first two women to run the Boston Marathon) help recount women’s running history, their personal history with running, and their trials and tribulations with getting into the Boston Marathon.

I also really liked hearing about the history of the New York City marathon and how it started as a low-key, not well-organized event in central park to this huge race that runs through five boroughs of the city in an attempt to uplift moral for the communities. There’s even a tear-jerker moment when the movie covers Fred Lebow’s battle with cancer. I don’t want to give too much away – so you’ll have to see it for yourself!

I sat and watched this movie as I was putting timing chips on race bibs for a race I was directing and couldn’t help but be fascinated with the history. The movie goes through the start of running as being a social boys club to events as we know them now to the idea of pro athletes in the sport. It then brings it all back around to the holistic idea of running and the benefits of being alone and with nature. It ties it all together beautifully.

If you can find it, it’s definitely worth a watch!


I checked this movie out from my local library but it looks like you can also rent it from Amazon Prime. Here’s a link to the IMDb listing.

One thought on ““Free to Run” Movie Review (For National Women’s Month)

  1. It looks interesting although it may be difficult to find (I don’t have Amazon Prime and my library doesn’t rent out movies). I’ll keep it in mind, because maybe Netflix will pick it up. Thanks!

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