Must-Watch Running Documentaries
If you're looking for some running inspiration to kickstart 2021, we review three must-watch running documentaries. They're guaranteed to get you off the sofa and running faster (and further) than you ever have before.
1) Totally FKT - Breaking the Pennine Way Fastest Known Time.
Released at the virtual Keswick Running Festival 2020, this compelling documentary is gripping from the off. The cancellation of races during the pandemic has lead to increasing numbers of endurance racers turning to FKT (fastest known time) attempts. Brit Damian Hall and American endurance athlete (and Barkley Marathon finisher) were planning to race the Pennine Way in an attempt to break the 31-year-old FKT. Scheduling difficulties with their support teams meant they ran in opposite directions just days apart. The documentary really captures the drama of the double attempt. A must for anyone who has ever set foot on a trail and if you haven’t, this film will probably inspire you to do so!
2) Running for Good – The Fiona Oakes Documentary.
Running For Good follows the story of record-breaking marathon runner, Fiona Oakes, as she prepares for the Marathon des Sables. Even among endurance athletes Fiona stands out as she was told (aged 14) she would never walk properly and subsequently had her right kneecap removed. What really strikes you is how modest and unassuming Fiona is. When she’s not running she spends her time devoted to the 450+ animals in her sanctuary, indeed she uses most of her races to raise money for this cause. She is a rare combination of gritty determination and compassion.
3) The Barkley Marathons - The Race That Eats Its Young.
In its first 25 years, only 10 people have ever completed this 100-mile ultra marathon race, which is based on a prison escape and has a cut-off of 60 hours. The brainchild of bearded eccentric Gary Cantrell, the Barclay marathon comprises 5 x 20 mile loops through the inhospitable, unmarked hills of Tennessee. The loops are run continuously in alternating directions. The documentary follows the fortunes of several of the competitors, some aiming for the win but most simply to survive. Will any of them finish?