Tickets: click here
From three-time Academy Award winning filmmaker and Executive Producer Mark Jonathan Harris and Director/marathoner Jon Dunham comes the first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, “Spirit of the Marathon” brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, “Spirit of the Marathon” is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.
Ryan Bradley — Repeat Marathoner As a recreational runner, Ryan has completed six marathons, previously missing a qualification for Boston by 11 seconds! Determined to realize his goal in Chicago, a marathon known throughout the world for its flat and fast course and where runners frequently attempt to qualify, Ryan trains hard and ultimately experiences the marathon in a way never previously imagined.
Leah Caille — First-Time Marathoner Picking-up the pieces from her crumbled marriage—A period in which she subsequently gained significant weight—Leah found herself at an all-time low. Now a single mother to her seven-year-old daughter Adelaide, she has decided to take on the ultimate challenge by training for and running the marathon.
Lori O’Connor — First-Time Marathoner 26-year-old Lori is a PhD student in sociology at Northwestern University. Continually setting high goals for herself, Lori has decided to take on yet another major challenge—to run her first marathon. During months of training under the guidance of the Chicago Area Runner’s Association (CARA) she reveals she will be raising funds for Genesis of Pittsburgh, the non-profit adoption agency, which matched her with a family as an infant.
Deena Kastor — Olympic Bronze Medalist Deena is one of distance running’s biggest superstars. As a professional runner for more than a decade, she has set numerous American and world records. In addition to her 2004 Olympic Bronze Medal run in the women’s marathon—An event in which no American has earned a medal in 20 years—Deena is the reigning American record holder in the 8k (set in 2005 at the LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle), half marathon and the marathon. After suffering a debilitating foot injury in early 2005, she roars back to a dramatic run in the Chicago Marathon where she captures her first ever major world marathon victory.
Gerald Meyers — Repeat Marathoner Gerald “Jerry” has been a runner since the boom of the 1970s and at 65 he had never seriously considered training for the marathon until reading an article about the event in the Chicago Tribune. Now 70, Jerry is in training for his 5th marathon only this one is more special than ever before… Along with his 40-year-old daughter Rona, who became inspired to run by watching her father break six hours for the first time in 2004, the two will complete all 26.2 miles together as they cross the finish line hand in hand and in tears.
Daniel Njenga — Elite Athlete A native of Nyahururu, Kenya, 29-year-old Daniel lives and trains in Japan. As a professional runner he has earned significant prize money, which he routinely sends home to family and to help rebuild local infrastructure. The 2004 Tokyo International Marathon Champion has run a personal best in the marathon of 2:06:16 and is ranked as one of the top 10 distance runners in the world. To win Chicago has been a long-time goal, which would bring enormous financial gain.
INTERVIEWS & APPEARANCES
Dick Beardsley – Two-Time Grandma’s Marathon Champion
Joan Benoit-Samuelson – 1st Women’s Olympic Marathon Champion
John Bingham – Author “Marathoning For Mortals”
Sara Mae Berman – Three-time Boston Marathon Winner
Amby Burfoot – 1968 Boston Marathon Champion
Tom Derderian – Author “Boston Marathon”
Lee Flaherty – Founder – Chicago Marathon
Carey Pinkowski – Executive Race Director – Chicago Marathon
Hal Higdon – Author “Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide”
Joe Henderson – Original Editor “Runners World” magazine
Paula Radcliffe – Women’s World Record Holder
Roger Robinson – Author “Running In Literature”
Bill Rodgers – Four time Boston and NYC Marathon Champion
Alberto Salazar – Boston and NYC Marathon Champion
Frank Shorter – Olympic Gold & Silver Medalist
Katherine Switzer – Women’s Running Pioneer
Paul Tergat – Men’s World Record Holder
Grete Waitz – Nine-Time NYC Marathon Champion