It may come as a surprise to know that some of the most enduring movies and songs have a running theme or subtext. Here's a few that might inspire you for a fit and strong 2014. And in case you're beating yourself up about being slack lately, consider this: it's what you do between New Year and Christmas that counts, not between Christmas and New Year.
Movie: "Last Gu in Paris"
This isn't my Gu. Have you seen my Gu?
Synopsis: A long-distance runner embarks on an affair with an energy gel that's designed to be quickly and easily digestible during endurance events. The relationship is platonic because the runner's devotion to his sport and his reliance on Gu to keep him going pretty much saps his enthusiasm for anything else, especially if it requires more than the usual range of cross-training body positions. The relationship reaches an unpredictable and highly emotional climax in the final kilometres of the Paris marathon.
Songs: "I Left My Heart Rate Monitor In San Francisco"
A popular song, written in the autumn of 1953 in Brooklyn, New York by aspiring athletes George Cory and Douglass Cross and best known as the signature lament of failed PB'er Tony Bennett. It's about two amateur runners nostalgic for the lung-busting hills of San Francisco after moving to the long flat avenues of New York City.
Where, oh where, did I leave that heart rate monitor?
“I left my heart rate monitor in San Francisco
High on a hill, it beeps to me
I left it where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
When the morning fog chilled the air, I took it off without a care
Silly me, my monitor left there in San Francisco.”
“Give The Money And Run”
This is a catchy song recorded in 1976 by the Steve Miller Band but has more recently been adopted by running event organisers as a jingle to grow participation rates. The song was about two young bandits and the police officer pursuing them and featured on the Fly Like an Eagle album, but the subtext of course was always about running. It used to be cheap to enter a running race but not any more. This year the New York Marathon will set you back $US350. No wonder Parkrun, the worldwide free, weekly 5km race, has taken off.
No such thing as a free run - no, wait; yes there is.
“Bobbie Sue, whoa, whoa, she slipped away
Billy Joe caught up to her the very next lap
They paid the money, hey
You know they got their free water bottle
They entered the next event and they're still running today
Singin' go on give the money and run.”
“Waking Up Is Hard To Do”
A song recorded by “sleepy” Neil Sedaka, and co-written by Sedaka and Howard “Mr Yawny” Greenfield. Sedaka recorded this song twice, in 1962 and 1975, and pushed out solid zeds in the intervening years. Considered to be his signature lullaby, it's frankly scandalous that it's been overlooked as an iTunes alarm ringtone.
The song now is an anthem for runners the world over, but especially those poor souls in the northern hemisphere who not only have dark mornings to contend with but also very cold ones. It's also a poignant reminder for all runners during the festive season of the price they pay for trying to combine complicated dance moves and a speed track session within hours of each other, let alone the small matter of mixing spirits and Staminade within similarly tight time frames.
“I beg of you, don't ask me why
Can't we give the snooze bar another try
Come on clock, let's snore anew
'Cause waking up is hard to do
They say that waking up is hard to do
How I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that my dream must end
Instead of waking up I wish I was tucking up again
I beg of you, don't make me cry
I'm sleepy just let me lie.
Come on clock, let's wind things back
'Cause waking up for training is total crap.”
Have you seen or heard any good movies or songs for runners lately?
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