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Town of Runners: Documentary About Becoming a Professional Runner in Ethiopia

A friend on Twitter just sent me a link to a trailer for a new documentary called Town of Runners. As described on the film’s website:

“The film tells the story of two young girls, living in a rural town as they try to run their way to a different life.

Narrated by their friend Biruk, it follows their highs and lows over three years as they try to become professional athletes. Through their struggle, the film gives a unique insight into the ambitions of young Ethiopians living between tradition and the modern world.”

Below are several clips from the film – looks fantastic!

Also check out this great video from the 2009 Ethiopian Youth Championships – lots of athletes competing barefoot and in sandals.

For more, visit the Town of Runners website.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

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  1. Oh wow! That movie looks amazing!

  2. Sasha Rodriguez says:

    These clips look beautiful, and I bet the whole film will be too. I want to see it for myself and witness how the do their marathon training programs. I must agree with Adrian – somebody from the sports community should give them support or sponsorship.

  3. Thanks Dr. Larson! Made by day!!

  4. Adrian Miles says:

    Looks great. It’d be nice to see Nike or Adidas throw a bit of money and build a nice track for those kids some day.

  5. The entire film is available for online streaming today at

  6. First clip, towards the end, the young girl running, her max hip flexion(toe to toe) is something that have to be seen to believe. Must be ~75% of her height, at its max. Much power from very young hips. Thanks again for the clips Dr. Larson.

  7.  Wow.  Thanks for sharing!

  8. Mommyandkeiki says:

    Terrific! Inspiring. Thank you.

    Seeing so many kids working and training together with such focus and sense of purpose is really something else. It’s a good thing for Ethiopia. It’s a good thing for the world.

  9. Steve Speirs says:

    Thanks for posting this, Pete. I watched half of the movie last night, but today there’s a “This film has reached its viewing limit for the online film festival” message on the Tribeca web site. Wish I’d watched it all in one viewing now. Great movie!

  10. Rose Buenconsejo says:

    but i think the dirt road is their secret weapon =)

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