RUNNER: A Movie Review by Charge

Justin Horneker · June 19, 2020

Runner Directed by Bill Gallagher

Guor Mading Maker is a runner. More than that, he’s a fighter, a survivor, an Olympian, and a man who represents hope for an entire country. 

Runner is the story of one man’s journey from Sudanese refugee to Olympian. However, that synopsis undersells just how powerful Guor’s journey truly is. At the young age of 8, Guor ran for his life to escape his captors in Sudan. It is an incredibly difficult decision to comprehend. Run for your life knowing that you may never see your parents again, or stay and endure incredible work and punishment.

Guor ran and ran and ran. He went from the Sudanese countryside to the New England Prep Championships to becoming an NCAA All-American and beyond. 

Runner: Guor Mading Maker

Runner is all about the journey that stemmed from a decision no child should ever have to make. From learning about track and cross country to feeling the weight of an entire nation on your shoulders. It appears that no decision in Guar’s life was ever meant to come easy but he accomplishes everything with such grace and compassion. 

At points during the documentary you will find yourself smiling and laughing. A scene where Guor races his track coach is particularly lighthearted. There will also be times when you can’t help but cry alongside Guor as he recollects finding his parents again after 20 years of being apart. 

“…put the shoes on, and run.” – Guor Mading Making

While Runner is mainly the telling of Guor’s Olympic journey, this is also the story of South Sudan. A country born out of conflict, and an athlete who could unite them through Olympic glory and international recognition. Without a South Sudan Olympic committee, Guor would be forced to compete for Sudan in the eyes of the IOC. However, Guor found another option, competing under the Olympic flag in the 2012 London Olympic Games. He then made it his life’s mission to establish South Sudan’s Olympic Committee. In turn he would bring more legitimacy to a new country despite widespread corruption among South Sudanese officials. 

In the end you will feel a sense of inspiration and awe after watching Runner. This is a must watch movie for any runner, walker or Olympic fanatic.

5 Stars – Two Thumbs Up – 100/100

Want to watch Runner? You can watch Runner with Charge Running here:

A ticket includes access to a live Q&A with subject, Guor Maker, and director Bill Gallagher on June 20th (World Refugee Day) at 9pm EST.

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