Who says running cannot begin from the couch? Check out these 5 powerful films and documentaries and get inspired to create your own running story.

Running the Sahara

A documentary feature that follows three men as they run across the Sahara Desert, a journey of 111 days and more than 4,300 miles of challenging terrain, tackling not only the elements, but also unimaginable physical and emotional obstacles. The films score was produced by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, with an original song performed by Wyclef Jean, and the music of Pearl Jam and U2. It is narrated and executive produced by Matt Damon, and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll.

Marathon Boy

This HBO Documentary narrates the story of Budhia Singh, the astonishing Indian boy who had run 48 marathons by the age of four. A slum kid, Budhia was spotted by Biranchi Das, a judo coach in the locality, who nurtured his running and the fame that followed. Magic, greed and corruption come alive in this riveting and complex rags-to-riches feature directed by Gemma Atwal.

Run for your Life

The documentary profiles Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York Marathon, once a petite race around Central Park that evolved into a five-borough event attracting thousands of runners from around the world. With Marathon winners Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, and Grete Waitz on hand, as well as many of Lebow’s former colleagues, filmmaker Judd Ehrlich takes an affectionate look at an unlikely New York hero who inspired runners worldwide to go the distance.

Town of Runners

The film is shot in the Ethiopian rural town of Bekoji, known to raise several Olympic and world champion athletes, including Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele. Director Jerry Rothwell follows two young girls, Hawi and Alemi, as they try to follow in the footsteps of the Bekoji greats, guided by Sentayhu Eshetu, the town’s talent spotter and PE teacher. The documentary takes us through their aspirations, assurance and uncertainty as they tackle distance running in the punishing African mountains.

Main Image: Budhia in a still from Marathon Boy (HBO)

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