Watched one of my favorite running movies tonight, On the Edge with Bruce Dern. It is the story of Wes Holman, a once famous fictional runner who, in his forties, comes back to race his hometown race. The race is the also fictional Cielo Sea, fashioned after the famous Dipsea race from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach.
To make a long story short, Holman comes back to train for the race, finds out that because he was banned twenty years earlier (for cashing in airline tickets), he will not be allowed to run. He trains on and with the help of the comraderie of runners, he wins the day (sort of – don’t want to spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it).
The movie has some interesting characters, namely Flash, Holman’s Dad played by Bill Bailey and Elmo, Holman’s coach played by the great John Marley. It was, in fact, Marley’s last film prior to his death.
It also has some incredible scenery and for the most part fairly authentic, believable, well shot running scenes (a few of the race scenes were suspect). Nonetheless, since running flicks are few and far between, I take the good with the bad.
Three memorable quotes from On the Edge: 1) Flash, upon seeing the light in his son’s running cleans the house (really!). His line is great though, “Whenever life, you can’t make heads or tails of it, clean up your nest.” 2) Flash also saying, “Any time a damn bureaucrat says it’s illegal to do something, then it’s worth doing.” and my favorite: 3) Elmo, a week before the big race, tells Wes to “Go out and feel the course. Burn the uphill and soar the downhills. When you burn, you say soar. And when you soar, you say burn.” The line sets the stage for a spectacular scene as Holman runs the summit of Mt. Tamalpais.
Nothing like a running movies after two runs and strength and core work today. Beats football.
The trailer for the movie is on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHr4XtxViOY