Monday, May 10, 2010

Running in the movies

Marathon Man 1976
Today's workout: Rest day

Early on Sunday morning I was flipping through the channels trying to find something resembling news when I came across the movie "Marathon Man." Although I'd seen it before, the thing I'd remembered most about that movie was the famous scene with Dustin Hoffman in the dentist chair being asked "Is it safe?" As I watched it on Sunday I paid more attention to Hoffman's character as a runner. His training paid off for him near the end when he literally outruns his captors. My obsession with running metrics got the best of me while watching a scene near the beginning when Hoffman runs around the reservoir in Central Park while his girlfriend times him. I was thrilled to see that the reservoir hasn't really changed since 1976 and I'll think about the movie the next time I make that circuit. When Hoffman ran by his girlfriend she yelled "11:47, you're getting faster!" I grabbed my iPhone and, knowing one loop around equals 1.58 miles, calculated that he was running at a 7:27 pace. Not bad.

It was fun to watch a great movie that had running as part of its theme. Besides the obvious, Chariots of Fire, I haven't connected great films with running. Now, as a  runner, I notice things I've never noticed before. Thinking about it now, one of my favorite films from the '80's was The Big Chill where one of the lead characters owns a running store. I recall a scene where he gives his house guests new pairs of running shoes and most of them go out early on a Sunday morning for a group run. Perhaps I'll stumble upon that movie again as I navigate the channels on some early weekend morning.


  1. Damn man, I just had to check out the trailer for this movie. lol Dustin Hoffman had quite the running physique back then. I will have to put that one in my netflix que. Motivating any runner to get out there and run. Thanks. Next time I am running at night with my head lamp, I know what to be thinking...........some one chasing me down. Thanks a lot man.

  2. Hi Kenley. It's a great movie but pretty intense. You may think twice about your next dental checkup after you watch it. I generally don't think about being chased when I run but I've had some weird experiences at 4:00 AM with the headlamp. The shadow offsets from a full moon and from the lamp have made me feel like someone was out there running just behind me!


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