Running Documentaries


Running is a great way to get out, exercise, de-stress and learn about your own body and health. It is an increasingly popular healthy pursuit, and for those who are committed enough to follow it, there is a running documentary to watch and get inspired.

Running documentaries have become extremely popular. People worldwide have been tuning into Netflix, Amazon Prime, National Geographic, and other streaming platforms to binge-watch inspirational running documentaries and the benefits they provide.

One thing that makes running documentaries so appealing is that they allow viewers to learn about the world of running, the athletes, and the challenges they face.

If you’re a runner and looking for new ways to keep training, or you’re just curious about running, check out the running documentary of your choice below to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Best Running Documentary

Who doesn’t love to watch a good documentary? Documentaries on any topic inspire and motivate people to do things they hadn’t thought about before.

They also help people get to know about a subject more personally. Documentaries are entertaining and informative and can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Running Documentaries on Netflix

Netflix is one of the most popular video streaming services with millions of viewers. You can find some of the best running documentary Netflix has that will inspire you to run and learn more about your favorite runners.

Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats It Young

The Barkley Marathon is a documentary based on a race held every year in Tennessee. This documentary follows a group of runners that are attempting to complete the race. It is very informative and will teach you many things about running.

This 2014 ultra running documentary gives its viewers an insight into one of the most grueling marathons. The elevation on the 100-mile course is twice that of Mount Everest. Yet, since its inception in 1986, only a handful of runners have completed it.

The documentary showcases how runners put themselves through paces each year. And why race director Gary Cantrell came up with this nearly impossible race to complete.

Another documentary named “where dreams go to die” presents the efforts of a professional runner Gary Robbin who attempts to finish the race.

Karl Meltzer: Made to be broken

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live like an ultra-runner? It can be a unique and remarkable life, but there’s much more to it than that.

In “Made to Be Broken,” a new documentary on Netflix, Karl Meltzer sets out to not only break the Appalachian Trail speed record but to try to break his previous record as well.

The Appalachian Trail, also known as the AT, has long been a point for adventurers and venturesome souls.

Because of its length and the variety of terrains and climates, this trail is one of the most recognized in the world. From New England to Georgia, the AT is a trek that goes through the heart of America.

The documentary, Made to Be Broken, shows how Meltzer trains for the big race, the physical and mental toll it takes on him, and the consequences that come with it.

If you’re interested in the latest ultrarunning, this film is a must-see. To do so, he has to take his body to the limits and push it to never before seen heights.

Gun Runners

The story of Gun Runners begins in Northern Kenya where Julius Arile and Robert Matanda are a part of warriors in their early life. But one day their lives take a turn for the better and they trade their guns for sneakers to become marathon runners.

The Gun Runner director Anjali Nayar through a decade-long journey follows both men in their pursuit of training for races and shows how their lives have changed.

They tried to change their lives and improve their future through marathon running. Gun Runner is an inspiration for many and shows how running can be a life saver in some parts of the world.

Julius Arlie not only kept running marathons but also took part in politics. He went on to become a Kenyan Representative in the United Nations to speak out against proliferation of illegal small arms.

If you’ve found inspiration from Gun Runners, then you might be wondering what to wear on a run and become an active runner.

From Fat to Finish Line

If you have gained extra pounds and are thinking to lose them then find your inspiration From Fat to Finish Line documentary.

It follows the weight loss journey of 12 strangers who became friends online. It is a story of determination, support, and hope.

It shows how a group of people who were once strangers became friends, and how they overcame the challenges losing 100 pounds togather. You can also find running partners by checking some of the best free running apps for beginners.

They faced with all kinds of obstacles, but they were able to overcome them. They never let themselves fall into the trap of thinking they weren’t going to make it. And they never stopped working towards their goal.

It is an inspiring story that demonstrates the power of a group of friends who are willing to support one another. In January 2013 the group took on the 200 mile Ragnar Relay race spaning from Miami to Key West Florida.

I am Bolt

Usain Bolt is arguably one of the greatest sprinters of all time. Having won four consecutive sprinting gold medals, Bolt is a living legend and inspiration to millions worldwide.

I am Bolt is a 2016 biographical drama film directed and written by U.S. director Daniel Gordon and written by Tom Swarbrick. 

It is a biography of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. It tells the story of his rise to the gold medal in the 100 m and 200 m in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The film was released on September 16, 2016. The film depicts Bolt’s early life, his rise to fame, and the process of preparing for the Olympics. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards. 

Running documentaries on Amazon Prime

You can find a lot of running documentaries on Amazon Prime. Some of the best Running ultra running documentaries are below.

Unbreakable: The Western States 100

The Western States 100 is a 100-mile race that traverses across some of the most challenging terrains in the country.

With the power of the mind, some can push through the pain and reach the finish line. But, for others, running this race can be too difficult.

With Unbreakable: The Western States 100, we learn more about the four lead men, Hal Koerner, Geoff Roes, Anton Krupica, and Kilian Jornet.

On this fantastic journey, their goal is to win the Western State 100. From the rocky mountain scenery to the heat and dust of the desert, these runners are pushed beyond their limits.

Kipchoge: The Last Milestone

Eliud Kipchoge is a Kenyan runner who has made a name for himself in the sport of marathon running.

Kipchoge has a passion for speed and dreams of completing a marathon in less than two hours. This new running documentary was released in 2021 directed by Jake Scott; it follows the path of Eliud Kipchoge, who trains to achieve the milestone of finishing the Ienos 1:59 challenge.

This event was initiated especially for Kipchoge. He clocked in 1 hour 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds, making him the world’s fastest marathon runner.

Boston: The Documentary

The Boston Marathon is considered to be the most iconic marathon in the world. It is a race that has been run for 130 years.

Since they first started running in 1897, millions of people have been running it. Boston Marathon is the first feature-length documentary film about the world’s most legendary running race.

Boston: The Documentary is narrated by Matt Damon and was released before the 121st marathon. It showcases the origins of this legendary race with just 15 runners 120 years ago to this date.

Viewers can also get insight into the important events throughout the history of the Boston Marathon, including the 2013 bombing.

Running For Good: The Fiona Oakes Documentary

The Marathon des Sables is one of the most challenging races globally. A 250 km race in a red-dirt desert on the edge of the Sahara.

It is a race of immense stamina and endurance. Some people have the stamina to complete the Marathon des Sables, but not the endurance.

Running For Good: The Fiona Oakes Documentary follows her arduous journey to conquer the Marathon des Sables. She set a new world record in endurance racing by completing the most demanding race on earth.

The documentary also showcases overcoming her childhood disability, achievements, training, and work schedule before taking on the Marathon des Sables. This documentary is an inspiration for those overcoming injuries and disabilities.

Skid Row Marathon

Skid Row Marathon is one of the best inspirational documentaries centered around the homeless, addicts, and criminals changing their lives by running.

Skid Row is one of the impoverished areas of Los Angeles, and Criminal Court Judge wanted to give a new lease of life to the deserving people there.

For this purpose, he started a running club and helped train and change many lives. This documentary has bagged many awards since 2017 for the best documentary.

Once is Enough

Once is Enough is one of the best trail running documentary presented by Jeffery James Binney. He embarked on the journey of running a 100-mile marathon in the Colorado mountains. The inspiration came when he lost his mother to obesity.

Not only does he complete the marathon, but he also manages to lose 100 pounds. Being a self-proclaimed Chubby Comedian, you will find a lot of laughs in the documentary.

We often find inspiration from an amateur runner, so Once is Enough is a great way to inspire many who want to overcome obesity.

Finding Traction

Nikki Kimball is a professional runner and has won several ultramarathons such as Western State 100 three times, Marathon des Sables on her first attempt, and more.

The Ultrarunning documentary Finding Traction traces her training and racing to become the fastest person to run the 273-mile long trail. She then attempts to take on the Mountain of Vermont in the actual race, portrayed beautifully in the documentary.

Nikki Kimball suffers from depression and calls it her secret weapon. Her documentary inspires women and those suffering from depression to be outdoors and indulge in sports.

This documentary also gives the perspective of the limits human body and how anyone can achieve it with passion and perseverance.

Running documentary on National Geographic

National Geographic documentaries are always fun to watch because of its scientific nature of presenting them.

Breaking 2

Breakin 2 is considered one of the best ultra running documentaries on National Geographic. The Breaking 2 was a project of Nike to break the 2-hour barrier for marathon running and push the human body to its limits.

Nike selected three of the world’s most elite runners for this project, namely Eliud Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese, and Lelisa Desisa. Six months of advanced scientific training in wind tunnels and running labs prepared these runners for the ultimate race.

On May 6, 2017, the race day took place on the F1 Circuit Monza in Italy, where the three runners were pushed to the limit. First, Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record by setting a new time of 2:02:57. He later broke his record by setting a new time of 1:59:40.2 at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge.

Nike had developed new running shoes, “Vaporfly Elite,” for their project Breaking 2, so if you’re a trail runner, then don’t forget to wear your best running shoes for muddy trails to stay on top of the game.

Running Documentary on BBC

Apart from Netflix, Amazon Prime and National Geographic there are tons of documentaries available for online streaming sites such as Youtube, BBC and more.

Paula Radcliffe: The Marathon and Me

Paula Redcliffe is a British elite runner with multiple championships under her name. In the documentary The Marathon and Me, Paula Radcliffe shared her personal story of winning the London Marathon thrice and talked about her career.

This documentary is an inspiration for women who want to become professional runner. You can find watch Paula Radcliffe: The Marathon and Me on BBC Sports.


What are the different types of Marathons?

There are five types of marathons: 10KM race (Ideal for an amateur runner), Half Marathon 21KM race (Ideal for beginner runners), Marathon 42KM (Ideal for a professional runner), Ultra Marathon distance more than 42KM (Ideal for ultrarunners), and Stage Races with running stages over several days (Ideal for experienced runners).

What is the best inspiration for running?

Finding inspiration and motivation for running can be achieved by watching documentaries about your favorite runners.

You can also listen to music to keep you inspired and engaged while running. If music is your inspiration and motivation, you may want to listen to the best Spotify running playlist.

Are these running documentaries free to watch?

While some video streaming sites provide free viewership, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and many other platforms require a paid subscription to watch or download content.

Which is the best running documentary?

The list of running documentaries presented here includes award-winning and inspiring documentaries. Choosing the best documentary that inspires and motivates you is up to you.


It is evident that the more time you spend running, the more motivated you’ll feel. But sometimes, it can be hard to find the motivation to get started.

You’ll feel inspired to run and achieve your fitness goals by watching a running documentary! Keep in mind that there are many different types of running documentaries.

Some people enjoy motivational documentaries, while others prefer inspirational ones. So, pick a running documentary that you think will speak to your motivation and watch it today!


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