1. Chariots of Fire (1981) This inspiring story of two British athletes who compete in the 1924 Olympics won the Best Picture Oscar. The beach running scene is a classic, the acting is excellent, and the racing sequences will have you on the edge of your seat . . . or sofa.
2. Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story (1995) A documentary of the cult hero and one of America’s best ever distance runners. This film that preceded two glossier feature films of Prefontaine is brought to life by over 50 story tellers who were not actors but friends and fellow competitors.
3. Without Limits (1998) This Tom Cruise-produced story of Steve Prefontaine was written by friend and Olympian Kenny Moore and starred Billy Crudup.
4. Gallipoli (1981) The Peter Weir-directed film about two Aussies (Mel Gibson and Mark Lee) whose running careers are interrupted by Australia's involvement in World War I. Coach: "What are your legs?" Archy: "Springs. Steel springs." Coach: "What are they going to do?" Archy: "Hurl me down the track." Enough said.
5. Endurance (1999) Director Bud Greenspan’s race footage highlight this biography of Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, perhaps the greatest distance runner ever (You heard it here first).
6. Marathon Man (1976) Distance running grad student Dustin Hoffman gets mixed up with some bad people. After seeing this you may not want to visit the dentist ever again. (Quote to remember: “Is it safe?”)
7. Running Brave (1983) Inspirational story of Native American Billy Mills who came from obscurity to win gold in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history.
8. Forrest Gump (1994) Forrest (Tom Hanks) seeks solace and inner strength in running as a little boy and later in life, and also as a kick returner for the Alabama University football team. “Run, Forrest, run!”
9. Prefontaine (1997) This Disney version of Prefontaine’s life starring Jared Leto received “two thumbs up” from Siskel and Ebert.
10. The Games (1970) A fictional look at the personalities and training methods of four distance runners as they prepare for and compete in the Olympic Marathon. Ryan O'Neil is the American hopeful with a passion for running and for performance-enhancing drugs.