Chariots of Fire (1981)Runtime: 124 minutes 1 of 9
Chariots of Fire tells the story of Harold Abrahams, a Jew, and Eric Liddell, a Christian, who both represent Britain in the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Based on actual events, it also features one of the most recognizable scores among sports movies of all time. You'll probably also recognize the opening scene of runners bounding together along the ocean shoreline.
Motivational Quote: You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. - Eric Liddell
Without Limits (1998)Runtime: 117 minutes 2 of 9
If you're a runner, chances are you've heard of Steve Prefontaine, the record- breaking distance runner who was killed in a car accident at 24 years old. Without Limits is Prefontaine's biographical film (the second one made), and features a cocky Billy Crudup as Prefontaine and Donald Sutherland as Bill Bowerman. It's an unforgettable look at an incredible life.
Motivational Quote: I'd like to work it out so that at the end, it's a pure guts race. If it is, I'm the only one who can win it. - Steve Prefontaine
Saint Ralph (2004)Runtime: 98 minutes 3 of 9
In Saint Ralph, teenager Ralph Walker vows to win the 1954 Boston Marathon in hopes of giving his dying mother a miracle. It's a long shot for Walker who, when he joins the school's cross country team, cannot even keep up with the others. Still, with help from his running coach, Father George Hibbert, Walker trains for the 26.2-mile journey and takes a shot at the renowned race.
Motivational Quote: Most marathoners will tell you, around mile 20, they start praying for any kind of help they can get. - Father George Hibbert
The Jericho Mile (1979)Runtime: 97 minutes 4 of 9
Convicted murderer Larry Murphy wins the attention of prison officials for his fast runs around the prison yard at Folsom Prison. Eventually, he is allowed to train for the Olympic Trials while in prison, but his past catches up with him in this made-for-TV film. Even though it didn't make it to the big screen, the movie earned critical acclaim.
Motivational Quote: I'm going to grab the lead and hang onto it. - Larry Murphy
Running Brave (1983)Runtime: 106 minutes 5 of 9
Another Olympic story, Running Brave is based on the life of Billy Mills, a South Dakotan and a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe who won the gold medal in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Today, that race is considered one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
Motivational Quote: Pat Mills: Are you really going to run in the Olympics?
Billy Mills: Sure, why?
Pat Mills: Oh, because everyone here says they'll do things and never do them. You're really doing something.
On the Edge (1986)Runtime: 95 minutes 6 of 9
Bruce Dern plays Wes Holman, a once-promising runner controversially banned from American competition two decades prior. The storyline follows his comeback attempt as a middle-aged runner trying to prove he can still race the Cielo Sea race, a grueling 7.2-mile race. He persuades his old coach to train him and doggedly works to make an appearance at the race. This movie is a spectacular look at comebacks and pushing away from your past.
Motivational Quote: You want me to be your coach, you do what I say. - Elmo Glidden
Spirit of the Marathon (2007)Runtime: 104 minutes 7 of 9
This documentary film follows six runners as they train and compete in the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Among the runners is American Deena Kastor, who won the bronze medal in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics. But the film also follows non-elite runners, and chronicles their stories through the ups and downs of getting to the starting line.
Motivational Quote: When you cross the finish line, no matter how slow or fast, it will change your life forever. - Dick Beardsley
Running on the Sun (2000)Runtime: 100 minutes 8 of 9
Another documentary, Running on the Sun tells the story of 13 runners training to compete in the 1999 Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile trek through blistering heat and wind and one of the toughest races in the world.
Motivational Quote: It's got to be the toughest finish of any race there is.