Jason's March to the Marathon: RACE on the big screen - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Jason's March to the Marathon: RACE on the big screen

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Watching someone run or compete in a race usually doesn’t draw the same excitement as a football or basketball game, but I would definitely recommend going to see the new film RACE, just out in theaters.

It’s the story of Jesse Owens, known by many as the most famous athlete in track and field history, breaking records and barriers as an African-American jumper and runner, winning 4 gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, with dictator Adolf Hitler looking on.

In the very inspiring movie, the actor playing Owens says, “Out there (on the track), there ain't no black and white. There’s only fast and slow.”

My son and I enjoyed “Race” and a day later, my 11-year-old said he wanted to try to be as fast as Jesse Owens. Although that’s unrealistic, it’s worth dreaming and trying! I think he was joking, but we bought him some new running shoes at local store “Below the Knee,” where they assessed him on a treadmill.

When asked about turning dreams into reality, track star Owens pointed to four attributes, and here are my quick thoughts on those, which can be used as a runner or with anything in life:

Determination – You have to want it, set goals, be driven to achieve them no matter the obstacles.

Dedication – Commit to doing what you set out to do and make it a priority, taking the proper daily steps to finish the task.

Self-discipline – Do not allow for excuses, no matter how busy your life gets. Be of sound mind and body with preparation like stretching, eating right, and sticking with the training schedule.

Effort – Fight for your goal, work hard for it, resist temptations to be lazy and skip what you need to do to finish the race, whatever it may be.

It also helps to keep things new, which is what I’ve tried to do on some recent runs on trails where I’ve never been before. A few days ago, a fellow runner and I knocked out 12 miles at Standing Boy Creek State Park, which we didn’t even know existed. My video diary explains where that park is.

We had a few adventures driving up and down those roads, searching for the running trails, talking to a duck hunter, and eventually climbing a massive rock hill to get where we needed. We discovered later that most of the trails were easier to get to, some hilly.

This was the longest amount of time I’ve ever run, at one time – 2 hours, 10 minutes. I’ll be running longer than that at least once each week leading up to my first marathon, which is now close to 2 months away. No one said it would be easy.

One of my favorite scenes from the movie RACE is when white football players are yelling at Jesse Owens in the locker room, and his coach emphasizes the importance of blocking everything out, especially when you’re out there running.

It’s about focusing and mind over matter, because our bodies can take us all farther than we think. Owens often talked about the freedom he felt when he ran.

Jesse Owens articulated it artfully: “I always loved running – it was something you could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

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