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The Monday Shakeout: The Best Running Scenes of All-Time, Part 2
By Bach Pham, Content Manager

Last week (read Part 1 here) we discussed some of the most popular running scenes of all-time. In Part 2, we're visiting some lesser known scenes involving running. Cinema and running have a long relationship, creating some of the most iconic moments onscreen. In the following movies, we explore a variety of scenes where subtlety helps make the moment feel more lifted.

Don't Turn the Music Off

Baby Driver

Baby lives by his music. His airpod is the calm that keeps him moving, even under constant duress from the world around him. That moment blows into the water this scene as things steadily fall apart til it reaches critical mass. This is such a manic scene in so many ways. Just when you think he's in the clear, the movie unrelenting highlights how much Baby is drowning into chaos that earlier in the movie was entirely manageable.

Baby Driver is one of the few action movies in recent years that may have fallen under many people's radars despite containing some of the best live action sequences on film in quite awhile. It's full of style and fun, and one that's worth throwing onscreen just about any day of the week when you want a sleek film that has both heart and adrenaline-pumping sequences.

The Most Memorable Face

The 400 Blows

Yes, this whole scene is a spoiler, but not one that ruins the gravity of Francois Truffaut's immaculate 400 Blows. In the scene we have the film's star, Antoine, making his grand escape from school. The run itself is incredibly freeing and purposeful all at once. As runners, we've all had a similar moment where we just let ourselves go and keep going without rhyme or reason, letting our feet take us to our destination. Antoine let's completely loose here, and well after his teacher loses him in the streets of France, he carries on with purpose and true freedom.

400 Blows follows young Antoine through his tumultuous life. His family is a mess, as is he, leading him to a series of poor decisions and difficult circumstances based on his actions.

The freeze frame at the very end is one of cinema's most iconic moment, leaving the viewers in the dark about his thoughts, his feelings, and his future. Despite his age, he's lived a chaotic life filled with lows. This one moment is his to savor, however fleeting it might be.

Running Out of Your Mind

Run Lola Run

While Chariots of Fire is considered to be "the" movie on running, Run Lola Run comes with a kind of unhinged purity that makes it a strong second candidate. The film has a slight superhero aura to it as we see Lola spin the wheel of fate on a scenario multiple times until the right answer plays out... sort of. The basic premise of the film has Lola trying to frantically find a way to help raise 100,000 Deutschmarks in less than 20 minutes to help save her boyfriend who mishandles a delivery. The movie immediately goes off the rails with her first try, which goes wrong in every way as she runs through the streets of Germany for help.

Often referred to as a movie disguised as a video game, it certainly feels that way with the film's breathtaking pace. Lola is clearly not an athlete or a runner in any capacity (actress Franka Potente says she was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, famously), but it's an incredible film to watch and see someone lay it out on the line when the stakes are high for a 80 consecutive minutes, something that isn't all that different when it comes to a race.

Out of Control

warning: much language in this trailer

British humor is cheeky, and I can't think of a better example of that than in the opening of Trainspotting (running aside, an all-time opening of it's own). The film opens fast and furious on the streets of England as we meet Renton running from police with what seems like a partner-in-crime lagging behind him. Renton suddenly slams straight into a car and rolls over it, picking himself up with an odd casualness as we suddenly see the entire chase that was unfolding go right by him. We realize quickly that Renton isn't your regular troubled 20-something-year-old as he takes a breath and starts laughing at the camera and continuing his opening monologue.

Trainspotting was Ewan McGregor's unexpected launch into international stardom, landing him his role as Obi-Wan shortly after in the Star Wars prequels and so much more after that.

Time to Go Home

Spirited Away

exact scene unavailable on YouTube

Chihiro has had the longest day ever. One minute she is on the way to a new home with her family, the next she's transported to an alternate universe and her parents are turned into pigs that she has to save by... working in a bathhouse for spirits owned by a witch? There are many scenes of Chihiro on the run in the film, but few are as emotional as the final sequence where she has to make her escape back to reality after a series of unforgettable adventures.

Legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki is well-known for crafting inventive, original stories and Spirited Away is one of his all-time classics. For those who are unfamiliar with Japanese animation, this is an absolute gateway film that is suitable for all ages.

No Man's Land


The power of an extended, unbroken shot is not a new concept. It's been done numerous times in history to incredible effect, providing a grand sense of scope and delivery. The reason it's not common is just the number of factors that often have to come into play to make a scene successful. This is doubly so in a film based on action like 1917. The film follows Schofield as he does everything he can to make it to the frontlines and prevent an unfolding tragedy. The culmination of the film is Schofield crossing No Man's Land amid utter chaos as men are running into endless waves of bombardment from the enemy line. The scene is breathtaking in size and scope. There are seemingly endless soldiers in Schofield's path, and constant bombardment the distance as he struggles to deliver his message. Schofield has two run-ins during the scene, both of which were completely unplanned per behind-the-scenes discussions. The fact he carries on adds so much gravity to the scene and amplifying the character's desire to accomplish his goal, something I feel many a marathoner can relate to after being battered and broken for 20+ miles of the race.


The Best Running Scenes, Part 1
A Week at Doctors of Running
Sustainable is Only Going to Work if It's Good
A Simple Guide to Footwear and Foot Health
Best Flat Feet Shoes by a Flat Feet Runner
How Long Do Shoes Last?


*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


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The Best Running Scenes, Part 1

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