8 of the best running documentaries 2017

Sit back, relax and prepare to be inspired by eight of the most inspirational running documentaries 2017 has to offer.

8 of the best running documentaries 2017

The Barkley Marathon: The Race That Eats its Young 

In the 25 years that the Barkley Marathon has been established, only 10 people have finished it. This documentary shows the gruelling nature of this iconic, and for many, impossible race that was inspired by an assassin's escape from prison. From the niche entry system, to the mind-boggling 100 mile route, see for yourself how Barkley is one of the hardest races in the world. 

Finding Traction

As one of the world’s top ultra marathoners there isn’t much Nikki Kimball can’t do when it comes to running long and far, so naturally she sets herself a challenge with some substance. Finding Traction joins Nikki through the highs and lows as she attempts to break the standing male record for running 273 miles of Vermont’s Long Trail.

Town of Runners

Director Jerry Rothwell opens a door into Ethiopian running culture and gives us a precious look into one of the most iconic running hotspots in Africa, Bekoji. The town has produced a number of long distance running champions, but Rothwell shows that all graft sadly doesn't turn to glory within the running world. Watch the journey of three girls as they transition from school track to national competition, taking separate paths along the way. 

Desert Runners

Desert Runners presents the journey of four brave, non-professional runners as they take on The Four Desert Race Series, claimed to be the ultimate test of human endurance. Over the 250-kilometres travelled by these four runners, director Jennifer Steinman show the true capabilities of human endurance.  

Life in a Day

The famous 100-mile route from Squaw Valley to Auburn is one that many can only ever dream of completing. Bill Yang follows four incredible women vying for a top 10 finish among the 350 race entrants. Life in a Day explores the high and lows of taking on the enormous challenge. 

Everest on the Track

The four-minute mile was once an incomprehensible challenge, and even today more people have reached the summit of Everest than have ran under this light-speed time. Everest on the Track meets trail blazer Roger Bannister, the first man to run under four-minutes, to find out what motivated him to push beyond and break barriers. 

Breaking 2

The sub two hour marathon mark remains elusive and unbroken, together with the question mark of whether humans can ever possibly break it. In May 2017 Nike orchestrated an attempt for three athletes to lace up and break this barrier on the F1 track in Monza, and National Geographic were right there to film it. Follow the three elite athletes and the team behind the project as they aim to push the limits of human endurance. 


Age is just a number, as Selah Hennessy's film Pacemakers proves beyond a shadow of a doubt. Follow a group of hardy 90-year-old men and prepare to be inspired by the determination of this international sub-culture of athletes as they prepare for the Olympics of OAP sport - the World Masters Championship. Find out more here

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