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A grand movie like Indochine, the marathon film of my last post, certainly fills the screen. Even with the great Catherine Deneuve, though, it is possibly dwarfed by Out of Africa.

For a hopeless romantic like me, it doesn’t get much better than Out of Africa. Everything about the film is on a grand scale, from the setting to the plot, to the acting. Catherine may not be in this movie, but one of the greatest actors of all time — Meryl Streep — leaves you wanting to read up on history after seeing her portrayal of Baroness Karen von Blixen. That’s quite an achievement for a film that is close to three hours, the pacing for which has been described as “glacial.”

For most of us weekend warriors, marathons are as improbable as a film like Out of Africa. The length is ridiculous and addictive at the same time. Moving from start to finish for those 26.2 miles is a bit epic and at times glacial!

But the romance is always there — with the camaraderie of hundreds or thousands of fellow runners, with the crowds, with pushing oneself beyond the limit, with the exhilaration of finishing. Of course most times for the last five of those 26.2 miles I’m making all kinds of bargains with higher powers so that I don’t cramp up completely. The endorphins kick in later, but boy do they last!

Like Out of Africa, most marathons are grand productions. I’ve run a few trail and country marathons where you find many hard-core athletes and a few like me: hopeless romantics with goofy smiles on their faces as memories of soundtracks from great movies help us keep moving one foot in front of the other.