A few weeks ago, LA Runner asked me if I would review “Running for my Father,” a movie about Cody Westheimer who chose to cope with the loss of his father by training for a marathon. Cody’s story is inspirational and heartwarming. Without giving too much away, Cody was faced with a setback in training. As someone who has battled their fair share of injuries and training setbacks it was moving to see Cody be so determined to finish the marathon no matter what it took. He was going to run the race for his Dad. My favorite part of the movie was definitely, the shots of the Cody smiling and running along during the Houston Marathon! I was smiling along with him. As a marathoner, I certainly related to his trials in the latter miles. Like a true runner, he gutted through them and finished with a smile and his arms in the air.
I think runners and non-runners alike can relate to the need of finding something to cope with a great loss. Between the months of February and April 2008 I lost both of grandmothers. While they had both lived wonderful long, lives and their passing wasn’t unexpected it still rocked me. It was also during this time that I was training for the San Diego rock n roll marathon. I’ve never said it but at the start of the SD marathon I definitely thought about my grandmothers. In the “trying miles” (i.e. miles 18-24) I thought of them again and all the things they had done for me. Reminiscing about the memories I shared with them helped me get through those miles. Watching this movie certainly brought back memories of my grandmothers and of my first marathon. It is a great story told by an honest, funny, determined guy.
By the way, Cody just completed the 2009 Houston Marathon and with the help of LA Runner pacing him, he completed the race under his goal time of 4:30! (Read the race report!) Since that’s my ultimate time goal too, I was especially excited to know that it’s possible to get there after only a couple of years from your first marathon.
Here’s to you Eric Westheimer!