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'Run the Race' movie: Dreams, despair, redemption

By Rusty Wright

Ever had a dream die? Or a loved one? Perhaps you struggle with why bad things sometimes happen to good people. Maybe you enjoy romance, brotherly bonds, or football. If so, this film should appeal to you.

“Run the Race” uses sports and family to encourage young and old as they face life’s peaks and valleys. With football star Tim Tebow and his brother Robby among the executive producers, it’s not surprising there is plenty of football and track action.

Two-time NCAA champion at the University of Florida, Heisman-trophy winner in 2007, NFL quarterback, professional baseball player, and now sportscaster. Tim Tebow knows a lot about victory and defeat, dreams and disappointment, true significance, and what happens when you get knocked down. The actors in this film portray pain and recovery with authenticity.

Refreshing authenticity
“‘Run the Race’ is about so much more than football,” notes Tim. “This is a story about overcoming the hard issues of life, about the power of sacrifice, the power of family, and the power of forgiveness.” Calling it “encouraging and inspirational,” he says it portrays “two brothers struggling with real life, but getting through it by supporting each other and their faith. I hope those who see it can walk away with more faith, hope, and love.”

Robby and Tim Tebow, executive producers
2019 RTR Movie Holdings, LLC
All Rights Reserved.

Robby Tebow concurs: “As somebody with brothers in a big, super-close family that has gone through a lot together, [the script] resonated with me on a deep level.”

The cast includes Mykelti Williamson (“Fences,” “Forrest Gump”), Frances Fisher (“Titanic,” “Unforgiven”), Tanner Stine (“NCIS,” HBO’s “Here & Now”), Evan Hofer (“Kickin’ It”), Kristoffer Polaha, Mario Van Peebles, and Heisman-winner/NFL star Eddie George.

Sports and life
George comments on the sport-as-metaphor-for-life motif: “Sports really is a microcosm of how life is. Somebody’s going to deal with adversity … with loss … with pain … with victory and success. I think this film reflects that.”

In the film, brothers Zach (Stine) and David (Hofer) face life’s challenges as housemates after their mom’s cancer death and their alcohol-laced father’s abandonment. High school football glory becomes Zach’s dream ticket out of their life of poverty.

When injury seems to kill that dream, Zach questions how a good God could take his mother, leave him with an uncaring father, and rob him of his future. His godmother gently shares a biblical promise to which she has clung during her own struggles with infertility and loss: “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love” him (Romans 8:28).

Eddie George plays a University of Florida football scout
2019 RTR Movie Holdings, LLC
All Rights Reserved

Promise repealed?
That biblical statement played a pivotal role amid some of my own dark days. During a two-week period, my wife of 20 years divorced me, my employer of 25 years showed me the door, and I had a cancer scare. Life seemed swirling out of control. “Remember,” a close friend warmly noted (referring to Romans 8:28), “that verse hasn’t been repealed yet.”

And so I saw in the following years, as I remarried a wonderful woman, my work expanded and thrived, and my health has been good. When my second wife succumbed to cancer, that promise helped calm the storm.

Of course, pain can emotionally cloud our appreciation of divine love. In the film, Zach struggles but continues seeking significant answers. Multiple twists keep his saga moving through bitterness and forgiveness, humor and sadness, flirtation and romance. In the end … well, I’ll let you discover that. Be sure to check out the Tebows’ cameo.

Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively.