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Movies and songs for life on the run


The Long Run

Pip Coates was a swimmer until life got busy and she discovered the addictive simplicity of running. She's never looked back.

View more entries from The Long Run

It may come as a surprise to know that some of the most enduring movies and songs have a running theme or subtext. Here's a few that might inspire you for a fit and strong 2014. And in case you're beating yourself up about being slack lately, consider this: it's what you do between New Year and Christmas that counts, not between Christmas and New Year.


Movie: "Last Gu in Paris"

This isn't my Gu. Have you seen my Gu?

Synopsis: A long-distance runner embarks on an affair with an energy gel that's designed to be quickly and easily digestible during endurance events. The relationship is platonic because the runner's devotion to his sport and his reliance on Gu to keep him going pretty much saps his enthusiasm for anything else, especially if it requires more than the usual range of cross-training body positions. The relationship reaches an unpredictable and highly emotional climax in the final kilometres of the Paris marathon.

Rated: MA15+


Songs: "I Left My Heart Rate Monitor In San Francisco"

A popular song, written in the autumn of 1953 in Brooklyn, New York by aspiring athletes George Cory and Douglass Cross and best known as the signature lament of failed PB'er Tony Bennett. It's about two amateur runners nostalgic for the lung-busting hills of San Francisco after moving to the long flat avenues of New York City.

Where, oh where, did I leave that heart rate monitor?


“I left my heart rate monitor in San Francisco

High on a hill, it beeps to me

I left it where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars

When the morning fog chilled the air, I took it off without a care

Silly me, my monitor left there in San Francisco.”

“Give The Money And Run”

This is a catchy song recorded in 1976 by the Steve Miller Band but has more recently been adopted by running event organisers as a jingle to grow participation rates. The song was about two young bandits and the police officer pursuing them and featured on the Fly Like an Eagle album, but the subtext of course was always about running. It used to be cheap to enter a running race but not any more. This year the New York Marathon will set you back $US350. No wonder Parkrun, the worldwide free, weekly 5km race, has taken off.

No such thing as a free run - no, wait; yes there is.


“Bobbie Sue, whoa, whoa, she slipped away

Billy Joe caught up to her the very next lap

They paid the money, hey

You know they got their free water bottle

They entered the next event and they're still running today

Singin' go on give the money and run.”

“Waking Up Is Hard To Do”

A song recorded by “sleepy” Neil Sedaka, and co-written by Sedaka and Howard “Mr Yawny” Greenfield. Sedaka recorded this song twice, in 1962 and 1975, and pushed out solid zeds in the intervening years. Considered to be his signature lullaby, it's frankly scandalous that it's been overlooked as an iTunes alarm ringtone.

The song now is an anthem for runners the world over, but especially those poor souls in the northern hemisphere who not only have dark mornings to contend with but also very cold ones. It's also a poignant reminder for all runners during the festive season of the price they pay for trying to combine complicated dance moves and a speed track session within hours of each other, let alone the small matter of mixing spirits and Staminade within similarly tight time frames.


“I beg of you, don't ask me why

Can't we give the snooze bar another try

Come on clock, let's snore anew

'Cause waking up is hard to do

They say that waking up is hard to do

How I know, I know that it's true

Don't say that my dream must end

Instead of waking up I wish I was tucking up again

I beg of you, don't make me cry

I'm sleepy just let me lie.

Come on clock, let's wind things back

'Cause waking up for training is total crap.”

Have you seen or heard any good movies or songs for runners lately?

Follow Pip Coates on Twitter.


  • The Rolling Stones wrote a song called "Paint it Black" lamenting the influx of myriad fluorescent colours making an appearance in exercise-wear way back in 1966. Unfortunately, it's only gotten worse since.

    "I see some red shoes and I want them painted black,
    No colors anymore I want them to turn black
    Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
    It's not easy racing now when no-one else wears black"

    Date and time
    January 14, 2014, 4:55PM
    • What about 'Da Do Run Run'? Gotta be the original running song.

      Date and time
      January 14, 2014, 5:28PM
      • Run to You - Bryan Adams
        Run Run Away - Slade
        Running Up A Hill - Kate Bush
        Run to Paradise - Choir Boys
        Running with the Night - Lionel Richie
        Fox on the Run - Sweet
        Keep on Running - Journey

        Date and time
        January 14, 2014, 6:29PM
        • Is this supposed to be funny? Because it's not

          Date and time
          January 14, 2014, 8:33PM
          • Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman. Have a tooth ache? Just run it off...

            Just Do It
            Date and time
            January 15, 2014, 7:52AM
            • Amon Amarth - Valhall Awaits Me

              Date and time
              January 15, 2014, 8:25AM
              • Cake - The Distance
                Spiderbait - Run

                Date and time
                January 15, 2014, 8:50AM
                • Cool Running - Boz Scaggs
                  Run like hell - Pink Floyd
                  Keep on running - The Spencer Davis Group
                  Running on Empty - Jackson Browne
                  Runaway boys - Stray Cats
                  Running Scared - Nik Kershaw
                  Running Down a Dream - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

                  Date and time
                  January 15, 2014, 9:40AM
                  Comments are now closed
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