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Leading Films Every Triathlete Should Watch

4 min read

Whether you’re a triathlete or not, you don’t need much to grasp the intensity and wonder of the life led by multisport athletes. Running to and from workouts, traveling from one race venue to another—being a triathlete encompasses every aspect of your life. Whether you seek a reminder of the positives or a source of motivation, these films might just be the perfect quick fix.

Leading Triathlon Movies

#1 The Flying Scotsman (2006)

You should watch this movie that tells the story of Graeme Obree, a Scottish amateur cyclist. Throughout his life, Obree has battled bipolar disorder since childhood, yet he remains fixed on constructing a bicycle. With the help of his friend and manager, Malky McGovern, they aim to break the World One-hour Cycling record in Norway using “Old Faithful,” a bike made from scrap metal salvaged from a washing machine. This film guarantees a captivating and inspiring experience.

#2 Living is Winning (2004)

This documentary captures Andrew “Drew” Johnston’s leukemia battle during the 2004 Ford Ironman World Championship. Unfortunately, he had to abandon the race with just 10 miles remaining. However, Johnston’s story offers a fresh perspective on the importance of perseverance. Despite his disease going into remission, he chose to resume the race one year later. “Living is Winning” will ignite your motivation to overcome any challenges, whether it’s weakness, fatigue, or lack of motivation.

This is one of the inspirational sports films and is definitely on the list of best triathlon documentaries. But instead of the expected inspiration, you may be disappointed if the film is not available in your region. You can watch YouTube TV abroad, but you need a VPN for this. Otherwise, you will only be able to watch YouTube TV in the US. VeePN eliminates region locking because you can change your virtual location to another and unblock streaming services.

#3 The Last Mile (2017)

You will follow the journey of four triathletes in “The Last Mile.” Two are professional athletes, while the other two are age groupers facing their own challenges. They all strive to train for the 2017 Penticton Triathlon World Championships, and it’s far from easy. Jeff Symonds, a professional athlete, is determined to overcome multiple DNFs, learn from his mistakes, and improve his performance. Jen Annett, another pro athlete, navigates training after a brain injury while balancing her family life.


George Zradicka, a 65-year-old athlete, must increase his pace and meet strict time cut-offs. And Daisy Tse, aged 44, finds herself juggling training, work, and the need to avoid boredom. Despite their unique struggles, these athletes share common qualities of strength, determination, and grit.

#4 American Flyers (1985)

David’s brother, Marcus, a sports physician, convinces you to train for a challenging three-day bicycle race called “Hell of the West” across the treacherous Rocky Mountains. To experience the intensity of the competition, you and Marcus embark on a journey to Colorado. Realizing that you need more training, Marcus puts you through various exercises, including escaping an angry, vicious dog and racing against horses.

During the race, you barely qualify for the second stage. However, Marcus remains determined to strategize a plan for making up lost time. Unfortunately, a life-altering revelation presents you with a difficult decision that could shatter any hopes of completing the race.

#5 Running for Good (2018)

You can witness the incredible story of Fiona Oakes, a record-breaking runner who defied all odds. At the age of 17, she was told she would never walk properly again, let alone run, after having her kneecap removed due to a tumor. However, that was 35 years ago.


Since then, Fiona has achieved remarkable feats such as winning the Antarctic Ice Marathon, and the North Pole Marathon, and setting four world records in marathon running. All this for a woman who was once told she couldn’t run.

#6 Personal Best (1982)

You should watch “Personal Best” because it provides a unique perspective on the experiences of female athletes vying for an Olympic spot during a politically tumultuous era. The film follows protagonist Chris Cahill, who fails to qualify in the 1976 U.S. Olympic trials but later partners with a more seasoned track and field competitor, Tory Skinner, who helps elevate her performance.

#7 Heart: Flatline to Finish Line (2016)

This documentary uplifts as it follows the journey of six individuals with heart conditions. They train relentlessly to conquer a full-distance triathlon in Arizona. David Watkins, the director and producer, defied the odds after flat-lining for 5 minutes during surgery to fix a faulty heart valve. Along his path, he encounters many others who share similar tales. Inspired, he established Ironheart, a community of heart disease survivors who redefine their lives through triathlon.

#8 The Ultimate Triathlon (2016)

Luke Tyburski’s incredible challenge is captured in this film. You are invited to witness his journey as he completes The Ultimate Triathlon: a 2000km adventure from Morocco to Monaco spanning 12 days. Join him as he swims across the Gibraltar Strait, cycles along the entire Southern Spanish coastline, and runs the full south coast of France.


You, like any athlete, need to replenish your motivation. Everyone starts to give up, but you shouldn’t be one of those who give up. These films provide a great reason to rethink your principles, ideas, and goals.