Friday, December 12, 2008

Movie Review: Racing Against the Clock

As my mileage has been increasing in preparation for the Disney marathon in January, I've been searching for running motivation wherever I can find it. Before my frigid 14-miler in Chicago, I saw Spirit of the Marathon, which is getting quite a bit of press. It was exciting to watch, and a great way to share the training experience with Ben. But it did leave me feeling as if I was undertaking something more akin to a tortuous root canal than a fun challenge.

Then, I saw Racing Against the Clock, and I found myself truly inspired and cheering for the women at the master track and field events (specifically, the 2003 National Senior Olympics in Norfolk, Virginia, and World Championships in Puerto Rico). The film follows Jacqueline Board, Margaret Hinton, Leonore McDaniels, Pat Peterson, and Philippa Raschker as they train and compete in a wide variety of track and field events. (To give you an idea of how tough, tenacious, and talented these women are, Raschker was named a finalist for the Sullivan Award, the "Oscar" of the sporting world, along with a little known, and much younger, athlete by the name of Michael Phelps.)

After my grueling 18-miler last weekend, it was the perfect way to remind myself that I can do this. If a woman in her 70s can pole vault, I can run a measly 26.2 miles. Bring on my 20-miler next weekend!

The summary on the official website says:
Racing Against the Clock tells the stories of five incredible women between the ages of 50 and 82 who compete against each other, and ultimately themselves, in their quest to reach the World Masters Athletics Championships in Puerto Rico in June 2003. These women include a three-time cancer survivor, a sharecropper's daughter, a political refugee, a former cowgirl and the oldest athlete to ever be honored as a finalist for the Sullivan Award which celebrates the top amateur athletes in America. Pre-Title IX, these athletes grew up in an era when women did not participate in sports. With some not entering the realm of competition until well after retirement, there is no telling what they may have accomplished had things been different. Vibrant, inspiring and courageous, these women shatter preconceptions about aging and about the human spirit. (Runtime: 80 Minutes)

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