There Is No Finish Line, a documentary film that celebrates the life and spirit of Joan Benoit-Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon gold medalist, will premiere at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.
The film is a testament to the power that running can bring to our lives, and highlights the historic moments of Joanie’s improbable gold medal performance in the first Olympic women’s marathon held in 1984 in Los Angeles. The film also captures Benoit-Samuelson’s world record performances in Boston and Chicago, of the times before Title IX, and her role in changing the perception of female running potential – breaking barriers and inspiring women and men alike.
The heart of the film follows Joanie as she is today, training on the trails in her home state of Maine, while still fitting in organic gardening, environmental conservation and time with her family. Her journey climaxes with an inspiring effort at the 2010 Chicago Marathon where she became the first woman marathoner to break three hours in five different decades.
“She’s like a Jedi master,” exclaims Bill Rodgers, four-time Boston Marathon champion and former world record holder.
In the end, There Is No Finish Line reveals that whenever and however Joanie’s competitive career ends, her spirit and life accomplishments will remain, firing us up to go after our own passions, whatever they may be.
Directed by Erich Lyttle and produced by Lyttle, Sarah Henderson and Geoff Hollister, the film features a powerful soundtrack and stunning visuals as the crew chased Joanie across the U.S. and Canada.
The film touches more than just the life of perhaps the greatest women’s marathon runner of all time. “This exceptionally crafted documentary is more than a gold medal running saga,” said two-time Olympian and women’s running pioneer Doris Brown-Heritage. “Joanie’s life is a continuing expression of how one person’s passion can change the world.”
Screening with There Is No Finish Line will be another running documentary, Running The Rockpile, which chronicles the history of the Mount Washington Road Race, culminating with its 50th annual race up the tallest peak in New Hampshire in 2010. This film won the Best Short Documentary award at the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival in Concord, N.H., when it premiered in 2011, and director Kate Avery also won the Outstanding First-Time Director award.
Tickets to the show are $11 in advance at www.thedairy.org. The Dairy Center for the Arts is located at 2590 Walnut St. in Boulder. Tickets at the door the night of the show will be $15.