No Category selected Based on a True Story

    Based on a True Story


    “For truth is always strange; stranger than fiction”

    Lord Byron

    GRANT: I’m outraged.

    VICKY: Why is that?

    GRANT: I just watched Prefontaine and Without Limits back to back.

    VICKY: You didn’t like them?

    GRANT: Oh, they were okay.  The running scenes were well produced, but they are perfect examples of everything I hate about film.

    VICKY: Not enough sex?

    GRANT: Yes that, and they feel no obligation to the truth.

    VICKY: Examples please! I know you haven’t read the book yet.  I still have your copy.

    GRANT: Well, I don’t know which one tells the truth or maybe neither but both tell different versions of key events of the story.  Yes Prefontaine goes off to Oregon to run, runs in the Olympics and dies in a car accident, but how he gets recruited, how he meets his girlfriend, how he encounters Bill Bowerman; they are all told in completely different ways.  Someone is not telling the truth.

    VICKY: Relax, they are just movies.

    GRANT: I know, but why do movies have a totally different standard towards the truth?  Imagine if you read a biography, but the author changed around all the major events so that it was more dramatic.

    VICKY: I guess you have a point.  I hadn’t thought about that.

    GRANT: It’s getting so that when I watch a movie, “based on a true story” I assume that 95% of it is fiction.

    VICKY: Yeah, like Titanic, how much of that was true?

    GRANT: That’s funny, but seriously, why is film held to a completely different journalistic standard then books are.  Currently I’m reading Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, by Kenny Moore.    This is a very well researched book which stretches from Bowerman’s childhood, through his service in World War 2 in Italy, through his years coaching at the University of Oregon and at the Olympics.  Is there any way that Moore is going to change details around in this story to make it cooler or more entertaining.  Hell no.  He assumes that his audience is intelligent enough to be interested more in the truth than in cheap thrills.  Ironically Moore co-wrote Without Limits.  Go figure.

    VICKY: Nice rant.

    GRANT: Thank you.  And now I’ll encourage all of you to watch Saint Ralph, a Canadian made movie which takes place in Hamilton and shows the Around the Bay race and the Boston Marathon.  It is definitely and delightfully fiction.

    VICKY: Good one.  Let’s find out from the readers what their favorite running movie is?  And the worst movie they’ve ever watched?

    GRANT: The best answer gets a prize.

    Previous articleSkills and qualifications: a sharp eye and lightning reflexes
    Next articleSunday Mornings
    Self-described “running nerds,” Vicky and Grant are co-workers who “spend their lunch hours at the nearest bookstore and will often be seen around the office getting excited about a new energy bar or running gadget.” The duo captured our attention with their unique (double) take on Running Blog Idol, pledging to address a host of different topics including Canadian running heroes. Their submission to our contest even included a sample vlog (available at, which they promise is “but only a mere example of the lengths we are willing to go in order to share our experience, knowledge, research and general ramblings.” Holy multimedia, Batman!


    1. Saint Ralph would definitely be on my list too but my two favourites are probably Run Fatboy Run and Spirit of the Marathon.

      Also, Midnight Run is a lot of fun even though it’s about a different type of running altogether.

    2. Okay – I’m having a marathon movie weekend (literally – ha!). I watched Without limits (LOVED IT – totally different focus than the book) and Spirit of the Marathon (also really liked it in a totally different way) last night and have another three to go (including Saint Ralph). I have seen Run Fatboy Run and rather enjoyed it as well!

      But I posted early to provide this link (especially for Vicky) of Molly Sheridan (didn’t start running until 48) running Badwater…

      Will post more later…

    3. Okay – I watched Without Limits, Spirit of the Marathon, Running on the Sun (documentary on Badwater), and Saint Ralph. Still have Chariots of Fire and possibly Run for Your Life and Running the Sahara that I will likely watch over the next week or so. It’s tough to pick a favorite as they are all so good for different reasons. I really liked Without Limits as it turned Pre into a person (whether it was the right “person” or not is unclear!) as the book really focused on the races and you didn’t get the same feel for the person as the movie portrays – however, I would have liked to have seen more about his running in the movie. I don’t think I’d have appreciated him for his success as a runner (and how amazing he really was) from the movie, but I had that going into the movie from the book.

    4. Spirit of the Marathon made me decide I am absolutely going to run a marathon. And Running on the Sun made me decide I am absolutely not doing that ultra (I am NOT good with heat).

      Saint Ralph was awesome – I absolutely loved Ralph and laughed out loud through the whole movie. It was a tough call, if Ralph was real it would have by far been my favorite (although maybe he’s as real as Pre in Without Limits?!).

      Apparently Prefontaine is his parents story – not sure that makes it any more real – just another set of realities! I haven’t been able to to track it down but i’m curious so will keep trying!

    5. Holy crap batman! Regan, you’re on fire! I need to catch up here and watch all those movies…I can’t wait! And I hope I get inspired to run a marathon because frankly after running the half, I don’t know whether I want to put my body through a marathon…maybe when I’ve run the Hamilton Around the Bay (30 KM) next year I will feel more confident to tackle the marathon 🙂


    6. Congrats on your half Vicky!!! I ran my first half last year with my sister (she ran with me all the way which was extremely awesome – especially since I was convinced that I was not going to finish – right to the finish line!!). I think I had a smile on my face for a week – it was the strangest thing to accomplish something you had no idea you even knew you wanted to do (or I guess more like thought you could do!!). Okay – you have to watch St. Ralph before running the Around the Bay – it’s in the movie! So cool. Hmmm…that would definately make a good next step. I know – I wonder why I continue to run halfs in the last mile – and I definately tell myself never to let myself consider a full. But then I hit the finish line and totally forget…!!

    Comments are closed.