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Running Film Review: Without Limits

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

Without Limits is a running film based on the legendary years of University of Oregon runner, Steve Prefontaine.

What are some of the running stats of this man affectionately known as “Pre”?

  • Once held the American record in seven track events ranging from the 2000 meter to 10,000 meter.
  • Lost only three races in his college career.
  • Won three straight Division I NCAA Cross Country Championships.
  • Represented the United States in the 1972 Olympics in the 5000 meter.

The Film

The film focuses on the relationship between the University of Oregon Cross Country coach, Bill Bowerman (eventual co-founder of NIKE),  and Prefontaine. Watching Bowerman sketch around a runner’s foot in order to make custom shoes to save weight and the waffle iron used to create a new sole for running shoes – classic stuff.

There is also plenty of running/racing that includes some actual footage of “Pre” from the 70s. Extremely fun, intense, edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff.

Finally, there is a cat and mouse love-interest story between Prefontaine and a fellow female college student.

The film is rated PG-13 which is probably due to a rollin’ in the hay scene. Language is tame.

Film Trailer

Note, the video has OK quality.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

My Thoughts

Fluid moving story line – Solid acting – Running – A message that transcends sport

Inspiring! Since this is a film and not a documentary, what you see is not all completely factual, but that is understood coming into watching such a film. That doesn’t diminish the impact and in fact is irrelevant.

In Without Limits, Prefontaine embodied a passion and a message of individual excellence that can directly pertain to each one of us, in all areas of our life that we deem important. Simply, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift.”

Soak on that for a while…


If you would like to learn more about Steve Prefontaine:

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David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

2 Responses to “Running Film Review: Without Limits”

  1. on 08 Mar 2010 at 2:57 pm Blaine Moore

    Great film…the only problem is that there haven’t been many more non-documentary mass market running movies since.

  2. on 09 Mar 2010 at 10:03 am David Hanenburg

    I wonder if the studios have no interest or just aren’t aware of the stories playing out in endurance sports?