Why you need to see Skid Row Marathon

You might have already heard of Skid Row Marathon, but if you haven’t, you need to. No, it’s not a race you can enter any time soon, but a critically acclaimed documentary, that has already won 13 different awards from 10 different US film festivals. The film will be having its first official cinema release in the UK this summer, in association with Runner’s World, The Big Issue and The Running Charity.

Skid Row Marathon is the heart-warming and inspiring true story of an unlikely group of individuals from LA’s Skid Row – an area well known for being forgotten by society. The impoverished streets of LA’s Skid Row are not the kind of place you might expect to find a running club, but then, everything about the Skid Row Running Club is extraordinary.

Based out of the Midnight Mission, a homeless shelter for recovering drug addicts, the running club is the brainchild of LA Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell. Three times a week, Judge Mitchell heads down to the shelter and takes the residents running – and, in doing so, he’s improved much more than their physical health. The documentary focuses on the story over a period of 4-years, as Mitchell coaches the long-distance running club.

Directed by Mark Hayes, the documentary shows the power of running and friendship, as marathon training gradually changes the lives of the residents living in Skid Row. If the club members refrain from drug abuse and stay out of prison, Mitchell will take them round the world to run marathons. The runners fight the pull of addition and homelessness as they train, and it’s a story that focuses on such problems in society, whilst celebrating second chances and overcoming obstacles.

Plus, it’s a story with a happy ending as many of the running club’s members have gone on to secure steady jobs and kick their habits for good – thanks, they say, to running. Runner’s World’s Section Editor Rick Pearson said: “To watch it is to be reminded of the goodness that exists in everyone – and the redemptive power of putting one foot in front of the other.”

In addition to the main film, CinEvents and Get Shorty has created a 10-minute pre-film, exploring the transformative powers of running. The pre-show will feature interviews with the representatives from The Running Charity, Gold medallist Jo Pavey, BBC Radio 2 presenter Vassos Alexander, broadcaster and coach Martin Yelling and the founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE. This 10-minute short film focuses on what running means to them, and how it has helped shape and inspire their lives.

There will be a number of exclusive preview screenings of Skid Row Marathon during the registration period of The London Marathon as 02 Cineworld and Everyman Canary Wharf. On Saturday 22nd April at 02 Cineworld there will be a chance to see the film, followed by a live Q and A with Judge Craig Mitchell.

The film will be distributed by CinEvents as an exclusive, one night only Event Cinema release on Wednesday 9th May 2018 in selected multiplex and independent cinemas nationwide. Find tickets near you here.