Tonight we ditched the trainers and swapped the tarmac, trails and 10ks for the movies for a special one off screening of the critically acclaimed running documentary Skid Row Marathon. Intrigued after several spotlight features on the ever excellent Marathon Talk we mustered a small gang of like minded runners and made a night of it.
Meeting in the foyer we caught up with familiar faces. Most, surprised to see The Boy fully clothed and decent (no short shorts in sight), were still keen to talk through his minor celebrity appearance on the national news two weeks prior. How long is he going to dine out on this one? #iknowjackarnold
Settling in to our seats we were treated to messers Yelling and Audenshaw on the big screen in a short film about the compelling holistic benefits of running and the excellent work of The UK Running Charity. This feature, alongside the powerful running poem, set the scene perfectly for the main event. Tony’s honesty in particular, ‘running is sometimes not that much fun’, drew the first laugh of the night and thankfully there were no Yelling budgie smugglers in sight in full cinematic glory.
Skid Row Marathon follows the inspirational voluntary work of Judge Craig Mitchell. Sentencing criminals to life imprisonment by day Judge Mitchell wakes early to lead residents of the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles on dawn training runs. These homeless and often vulnerable participants use running as a part of their rehabilitation and are living proof that structured activity and social interaction are crucial ingredients in getting back on track. Through these sessions and Judge Mitchell’s encouragement their lives are transformed. Participants are encouraged to stick at it with the lure of participating in an international marathon and through months of training genuine, heart warming and beautifully unexpected friendships develop between Judge Mitchell and participants.
At times funny (a highlight definitely being the monkey chat) and poignant the incredible work done by Judge Mitchell to help those often forgotten by their own communities is set against the contrasting landscapes of Los Angeles, Accra and Rome. The premise is simple and humbling in equal measure. Put on some trainers and run. With others. Run a little further each time. Support each other. Stick at it. Commit and improve.
Although a one off screening we hope others will get to see Skid Row Marathon whether on the big or small screen. Thanks to Marathon Talk for the recommendation.