Thanks to the Tribeca Film Festival for premiering this documentary of Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon. You don’t have to be a runner to be inspired by the story of Fred Lebow (born Fischl Lebowitz in Romania) and the inception and phenomenal growth of the New York Marathon.
For a number of years, Lebow ran the new York Road Runners Club out of his apartment, using his own money. The club grew through the strength of his personality and persistence. He was charismatic and dictatorial, and totally dedicated to running. Using archival footage and interviews with those who knew Lebow, Run for Your Life tells a powerful and moving story.
The director, Judd Ehrlich, was not a runner. He became involved in this story after meeting Lebow’s nephew. Ehrlich brings a very personal touch to the movie, without disregarding Lebow’s flaws. A number of the film’s interviewees were in the audience, some seeing the finished product for the first time. There were quite a few tears and much applause. Since bringing this movie to the Tribeca Film Festival, Ehrlich has been contacted by numerous distributors, so there may be opportunities for many more people to see this film.