Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Run For Your Life - The Fred Lebow Story Movie Review


I enjoy watching movies about running (shocker!) and I especially like when I see a running movie on Netflix. I don't know if "Run For Your Life - The Fred Lebow Story" is new to Netflix, but I never saw it before last night and decided to watch it.

As you might guess from the title, the movie focuses on Fred Lebow, a Jewish immigrant from Transylvania (yes, really) who had a passion for running and for organizing the New York Marathon. Fred seemed to be one of those guys who was always the life of the party and was a mover and shaker. By all indications, he was able to talk a good game. Basically, he seemed to fake it until he made it.

For someone who has only in the recent past been back into running, I found it interesting that the New York Marathon started out smaller than some local 5k races with 4 loops around Central Park. While the documentary certainly glosses over stories of any one else who had a hand in creating the NY Marathon, it is apparent that Fred Lebow's vision was a driving factor into making it a national and international event. The marathon was important not only for running, but in a way, it united a city that was under heavy duress at the time.

Fred Lebow was not a fast runner by any means, but he was passionate about running and about the NY Marathon - it seemed to be his primary focus for over 20 years of his life. He became ill in 1990 and was finally able to run the race he directed in 1992 prior to his passing in 1994.

While there are a couple other running movies on Netflix I would recommend more highly (Spirit of the Marathon and Running the Sahara), I enjoyed Run For Your Life. Certain people are visionaries and Fred Lebow was definitely one and his story was quite interesting. The archival footage throughout the movie was tremendous and I am astounded that they were able to dig up so much. So, if you have about 90 minutes and have a Netflix subscription, I would recommend checking Run For Your Life out.

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