‘Netflix and chill’ has become a way of urban life. Many of us have spent a good part of 2020 doing just that. Can you make this activity productive? There’s a way. Here’s a list of documentaries/series on running, athletes, and endurance sport that you can watch and keep yourself informed about the sport that you are so passionate about.
PS: These documentaries/series are not on Netflix.
The Weight of Gold
This HBO documentary brings to light the mental health challenges Olympic athletes often face. With the first-ever postponement of the Olympics due to the pandemic, the film features anecdotes from various Olympic winners, including Michael Phelps, Jeremy Bloom, Gracie Gold, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen and more and their struggle with mental health and pressure.
World’s Toughest Race
World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji is a television series that documents a multipart non-stop expedition race that takes place over 24 hours. Set in Fiji, 66 teams from across the globe compete against each other navigating through oceans, rivers, jungles and mountainsides, all this without GPS and smartphones. The show is hosted by Bear Grylls of Man vs. Wild fame.
On June 20 last year, the World Refugee Day, a 90-minute documentary Run was released which tells the story of the Athlete Refugee Team which has refugees from the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Morocco. The documentary narrates the moving story of a few athletes who have fled worn-torn regions and have trained and competed in international events. They had started preparing for the Olympics until the pandemic changed all plans.
Photo courtesy: YouTube
Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ ‘Black Power’ salute on the podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico has become a powerful image of protest and fight for equal rights – a gesture that continues to find resonance. The Stand is a documentary that deconstructs that moment in history and how it sparked a conversation on race and equality.
Spirit of the Marathon
This is a documentary that we believe all runners and marathoners must watch at least once in their lifetime. The story follows the lives of six runners who ran the 2005 Chicago Marathon. The runners were both elite and amateur, and included names like Paula Radcliffe, Daniel Njenga and Dick Beardsley. This documentary shows us the training process as well as the courage, determination and passion required to successfully run a race. The drama, passion and emotion of the 26.2 mile running event is covered beautifully in this inspirational film.
The Hell Race
The Border is an ultra run organised every year to honour Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri and the martyrs of the Longewala Battle of 1971. The 100-mile race started in 2018 have had runners, athletes and members of the armed forces run from Jaisalmer to the battlefield of Longewala, via Ramgarh and some villages in the Great Thar. This is a test of mental and physical endurance. Here’s a documentary on the experience.