The Casual Runner

Top 10: Running Scenes in Non-Running Movies

The Casual Runner Team loves movies. There is nothing like escaping the world and travelling into a world of make believe for a few brief hours (You can check out our reviews of the recent running films Unbroken and McFarland USA as well as Eddie the Eagle). Just as Casual Running finds its way into the non-running aspects of our daily lives, running also finds its way into some of our favorite movies that are not necessarily about running.  As a tribute to this, the CR Team assembled its Top 10 list of running scenes in non-running movies.  So pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show!

10) Anchorman (2004)

This one is short and to the point, but we dare you to have a conversation with non-runners without thinking of Ron Burgandy’s explanation of “yogging.”

9) Major League (1989)

To earn his spot on the greatest baseball team of all time, the Cleveland Indians, Willie Mays Hayes goes from the parking lot to the starting lineup in the most epic barefoot/pajama-clad sprint of all time.

8) Juno (2007)

When life gets tough, Bleeker goes jogging. There is something innocent about Bleeker’s ability to escape from the stresses and difficulties of life, just by going for a run, a fact that Juno admires but has difficulty expressing other than in her own way. And don’t we wish that all of our moms still washed our running clothes for us, and used color safe bleach? Go Carol!

7) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

There is nothing Ferris Bueller could not do without making it look cool, and that includes this often overlooked scene of him running through the neighborhoods (and a few neighbor’s houses) in order to get home before his mom and sister.  We just recommend that you plan your running routes a little more carefully than he did, as, unlike Ferris, we can’t get away with whatever we want.  Enjoy the run, and Save Ferris!

6) Silver Lining’s Playbook (2012)

Let’s admit it, we all watched this movie for two reasons: Jennifer Lawrence and, well, Jennifer Lawrence (she was pretty amazing). But we cannot forget Bradley Cooper running in a trash bag and a hoodie…which allowed him to run into Jennifer Lawrence along the way.  Oh, and what happened to your face?

5) Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Moment of truth: who amongst us has never, while sprinting, imagined we were wearing a leather jacket and a fedora while carrying a whip and trying to outrun a massive boulder?  We have Indiana Jones to thank for that, and maybe, just maybe, it will help us cross the finish line in our next race without getting passed at the end, or crushed by a massive rolling boulder.

5) Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)

We all know that guy… no matter how fast we run, he will always pass us…on your left!  The only difference is, most of the time “that guy” is not the result of a super-secret military experiment.  This was not the case as Captain America repeatedly passes his soon to be new running buddy during their morning runs.  Bonus points for the runs taking place along the Potomac River, which may just be one of the best places to do a little Casual Running.

4) Rocky IV (1985)

The Cold War training montage to end all Cold War training montages.  This great recounting of the parallel, yet very different, training regiments of the red, white, and blue Rocky Balboa and his Soviet Nemesis, Ivan Drago, features running in some very extreme conditions that would leave any Casual Runner dreaming of warmer days.

3) Forrest Gump (1994)

“That Day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run.” We dare you to run a race without seeing at least one spectator’s sign encouraging you to “Run Forrest. Run.” The music, the pop culture references (Shit happens!), the simplicity of motivation, well, it all pretty much speaks for itself.  Oh, and do have a nice day!

2) National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

After driving the family roadster across the country and being the first ones to arrive at Wally World, there is only one way for the Griswolds to cross the parking lot to get to the park entrance: super slow motion running montage of the foot race between Clark and Rusty, set of course to that eternal running anthem, Chariots of Fire. Show of hands: who has Chariots of Fire on their race-day playlist?  

1) Rocky (1976)

They do not get any better than this.  The infamous training montage, with title character Rocky Balboa running through the city streets and inspiring throngs of fans prior to a spectacular finish by climbing the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is an all-time great.  This scene is so iconic that they literally built a statue to it, and countless Casual Runners reenact this wonderful scene every year when they visit the City of Brotherly Love.


That’s going to do it for our Top-10 list. What do you think? What did we miss? What did we get right? What did we get wrong?

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!




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