In this documentary NOVA traces the lifestyle and an extensive fitness regime that 13 generally sedentary people with ages ranging from 22 to 60 and coming from various backgrounds and with a wide range of medical histories undergo along with good mentoring, strict discipline and oodles of support from their group, to take part in a 26.2 miles marathon race that tests the stamina and endurance level of even the most seasoned runners.
NOVA was granted unrestricted access to the 111th Boston Marathon® by the Boston Athletic Association®, and full cooperation by Tufts University.
This documentary gives a unique insight into how exercise brings about a one-of-a-kind of physiological as well as mental transformation in the people who had never run a marathon before.
Runners are given unending support and advice by former Olympian and three-time Boston Marathon winner Uta Pippig and mentoring and guidance by Donald Megerle, a veteran Tufts University coach.
The team includes Jonathan, a hard-charging CEO and father of five whose marriage is breaking apart; Sama, a reformed smoker mourning the recent death of her mother to a hit-and-run driver; and Steve, a Harley-riding former NFL linebacker who sees the marathon as a novel challenge for someone used to running only a few yards before tackling an opponent; Larry, a social worker and 14-year survivor of a serious heart attack; Xenia, a woman turning 40 and struggling with being an “aging sedentary physician”; and Betsey, a hospital administrator who became substantially overweight while recovering from surgery; and Steve, a Harley-riding former NFL linebacker who sees the marathon as a novel challenge for someone used to running only a few yards before tackling an opponent.