A young woman named Brittany who has suddenly realised how overweight and unfit she is decides to make some drastic changes in her life. Giving up alcohol, a better diet and takes up running. This leads to new friends within a running group and the ultimate goal of completing the New York City Marathon.
At 27 years old Brittany begins to feel the strain of her party life style, losing way in the career she once longed for. Combined with toxic relationships, especially that from her roommate and supposed friend Gretchen. When she visits the doctor she is told her BMI is extremely high and she must embark on a much healthier lifestyle. She does not have the money to join a gym and too scared to ask for help she attempts to do something about it by running.
Catherine her upstairs neighbour who she never really had time for becomes a close friend and inspiration. She is already a runner and asks Brittany to join her running group. The thing is though Brittany lacked confidence to begin with but she turns up to one running session she meets Seth running with him and finds out that you don’t have to be overly fast to take part in races either.
She begins slowly one block at a time then progressing to miles. They have a pact to do the New York City Marathon which has a ballot/lottery entry system (I know all about this as did it in 2018 with a ballot place!). Wanting to stick together and finish the race for the lovely medal at the end, something that is very important throughout the film is showing that marathon training is so tough. It really does take over your life and you must make sacrifices, especially when it comes to alcohol its not fun or easy to run with a hangover.
I have been looking forward to this film as I am a runner and have currently completed six marathons. One of those being the New York City Marathon in 2018, if only they had filmed this a year later might have made the cut! It was filmed during the 2017 marathon. It managed to capture so much of the magic of the start line, during the race and the finish line. I actually found myself very emotional thinking about my run around the five boroughs.
Now for some of the running stuff within the film, I thought it was very realistic in terms of training and then the injuries that stop you running. That you must listen to your body and understand the pressures you are putting it under. It shows that gym work and having a social running group is important. All of these things are and I have met so many fantastic people through running that this film is spot on. Showing that you cannot just decide one day to run a marathon, you must train, be dedicated and build up to that distance. The only thing that slightly bothered me was the finish time of the dream sub 4 hours, I thought with the struggle and stopping was the only part that did not feel realistic. From nothing to that time is a big push.
Jillian Bell was brilliant in the leading role of Brittany and I enjoyed the way they showed the weight loss over time. That is the important part it takes time, you have to be dedicated and in it for the long run (pun intended) here’s another one its a marathon not a sprint! The New York City Marathon is one of the best experiences of my life and while that sequence may be a short part of the film it shows the commitment that is put in before the 26.2 miles you run on the day.
It also had a nice mixture of serious moments along with some very funny moments. It is very true that people who don’t run really do not understand why you have to plan your life around getting the different distances in! I really do recommend this film for both runners and non-runners, maybe you might want to get involved in it!