Nothing like a little blogger get together to get me back on the blogging bandwagon;-)
Last night I met up with a few of my fellow Tampa bloggers at CineBistro in Hyde Park to watch The Spirit of the Marathon II. I actually never saw the first one, but I couldn’t turn down a night with some of my favorite ladies in Tampa to watch a movie about one of our favorite things: running!
This was my first time at a CineBistro, and I definitely enjoyed myself. CineBistro has a much different feel than the only other meal + movie theater I’ve been to, The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. The Drafthouse is very chill, the kind of place you’d grab a beer and some nachos and watch the latest comedy. CineBistro on the other hand, tries to be a bit more upscale, but not too stuffy- there’s a sparkling bar just beyond the entrance, a waitstaff that greets you as you walk in the theater and takes you to your seat, and menu options like Pan Seared Alaskan Salmon and Lavender and Black Pepper Filet. Some may say the theater’s atmosphere is a little pretentious (maybe just because it is in South Tampa), but I enjoyed the more mature feel-it’s 21+ so you’re never interrupted by a screaming child or an angry adolescents. It also probably helped that the theater was full kooky individuals who think it is fun to put themselves through 4+ months of pounding the pavement to feel the accomplishment of crossing the finish line after running 26.2 miles (just like me!).
The Spirit of the Marathon II follows 7 individuals on their journey to run the Maratona di Roma. From a Ukranian trying to qualify for the Olympics to the former cross country coach and marathon-newbie from New Jersey to a 72 year old Italian man who has run more marathons than you can count on two hands, each runner had their own unique path to get to the starting line in Rome. They shared stories that touched your heart and others that made you chuckle. When the one runner talked about the marathon only beginning at mile 20 you could almost hear the collective nodding of heads from the audience. Yup, we’ve been there.
The movie touched on the history of marathoning and women in marathons, but it also highlighted that running is providing opportunities for runners in developing countries. In one of the most moving parts of the movie, the Rwandan runner tells how her church was destroyed during the genocide, how it was burned down with people inside. She relies on her faith in God as she runs, and her faith remains strong despite all of the challenges she’s faced. Powerful.
Some may say that this is just another movie about runners, yadda yadda. But I found it to be an inspiring story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The running community is one of the most accepting, supportive, and encouraging groups out there- and this movie showed that as well.
Although I’m not quite ready to run another marathon just yet, the thought of running an international marathon- maybe through the streets of Rome, or Athens, or Barcelona is awfully enticing. Maybe sometime in the next few years, after I’ve had some time to save up:-)
Question of the Day: Did you go see Spirit of the Marathon II? What did you think?