Best Running Documentaries

Best Running Documentaries That Will Inspire You to Go For A Run

To say that it’s been a challenging last couple of years would be a huge understatement. So much has happened in the world that it’s become incredibly difficult to find inspiration anywhere.

If you can relate and are particularly in need of some serious inspiration to give you that nudge to finally go for a run again, we have the right prescriptions for you.

Below is a comprehensive list of movies that stand out for their quality, emotional resonance, and their ability to greatly inspire. Without further ado, here’s our list of best running documentaries sorted by category.

Top Documentaries about Running on Amazon Prime

Below are some of the best rated running documentaries on Amazon Prime.


Haile Gebrselassie is widely regarded as one of the greatest distance runners ever. This docudrama explores the struggles of his youth, and through training and race footage, evokes an undeniable sense of wonder in the viewer that will no doubt leave anyone watching feeling inspired and anxious to start running again.

Skid Row Marathon

The Skid Row neighbourhood in Los Angeles is known worldwide for the poverty that its residence has to face. Homeless and dejected, it is almost unimaginable that even in the face of such hardships Skid Row was able to find a ray of hope in running.
Filled with genuine emotional scenes all through, this documentary is a must for runners in need of inspiration.

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15 Hours with Amelia Boone

This documentary is a huge testament to the fact that even in a short amount of time, a well told story can resonate more deeply than the longest tales. 15 Hours with Amelia Boone tells the story of the great ultrarunner, and through emphasis on her devastating fall, shows us that there is no obstacle that a truly determined mind cannot overcome.

The Runner

When it comes to documentaries about Running on Amazon Prime, The Runner stands out simply for its astounding detail and display of true endurance. The film tells the incredible life story of Gour Maker using real life interviews, reports of war, and the trying conditions in Sudan which the great athlete had to overcome to become the legend he is today.

Running Documentaries on Netflix

Running Documentaries on Netflix

Here are some running documentaries on Netflix to get you motivated for your next run.

Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

The Barkley Marathon is widely regarded as one of, if not the, most brutal ultrarunning event in the world. A 100-mile course with a strict time limit of 1 hour, this race takes place in Frozen Head State Park of Tennessee, and only the truly inspired are able to complete it.
Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats documentary does a really good job of shedding some light on the peculiar reason the race was created, the great resolve needed to triumph, while culminating in an overall beautiful work that is capable of inspiring any runner.

Gun Runners

Kenya has a reputation for producing some of the best long-distance runners in history. Sadly, few is known about their history and what it took for them to achieve the level of excellence that they continually do.
Luckily, Gun Runners does an incredibly good job of highlighting the ups and downs of the Kenyan amnesty program and its continued success in finding generational talents from the most unexpected places.

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Into the Wind

Terry Fox, a 21-year-old amputee runner, was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age, but he refused to let this adversity stop him from attempting a truly mind-blowing task: to run all the way across Canada in the 1980s.
The filmmakers of this documentary did an undeniably good job in outlining the finer details of the challenges involved in undergoing such a feat at such a young age.

This is a documentary that will leave you feeling happy, sad, and ultimately, inspired all at the same time.

Budhia Singh – Born To Run

Ever wondered who the youngest marathon runner in the world is and what exactly is their story? Well, this documentary is exactly what you’re looking for. An incredibly well-told story about Budhia Singh, the world’s youngest marathon runner and his inspiring 65km race from Puri to Bhubaneswar.
From the tutelage he received from his coach to the tragic story of how he was sold by his mother at a young age, this story has more than enough strong emotional moments that is sure to get you up and running again.

Trail Running Documentaries

Trail Running Documentaries

Here are some our most favourite trail running documentaries to inspire you.

Leadman: The Dave Mackey Story

Dave Mackey is famous for being one of the best ultra and trail runners in history, but his story is everything but smooth sailing. After a literal rock hindered his path during a race, causing him to fall 50 feet down a mountain side, he’s faced with the decision to amputate his leg or not.
His resolve in the face of adversity is sure to leave you feeling truly inspired by the time you’re through with the documentary.

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Desert Runners

It is nothing short of astounding what the human body can withstand in our quest for greatness and purpose. Desert Runners is a documentary that highlights individuals pushing the boundaries of how far their bodies can go to achieve their goals.
If you’re in search of a true gritty story of people surpassing the wildest expectations of what’s possible to get you going, then Desert Runners is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

The Unbreakable: The Western States 100

In 2010, two-time defending champion of the Western States 100, faced off against Geoff Roes, an undefeated 100-miler, a young Kilian Jornet, and Anton Krupica, a winner of every ultra-running competition he ever started at the time. Surely, something had to give, right?

Well it did. The culmination of the race and the beautiful way in which this story was told, along with appearances from a host of trail running legends, is guaranteed to leave you feeling utterly inspired.
What’s more, the documentary is available to watch for free right now on YouTube, so you have no excuse to push it off.

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