PELHAM, NY -- On Thursday, September 8th at 6:30 p.m., The Picture House Regional Film Center (TPH) will present a special screening of the new sports documentary Free to Run (90 mins.) followed by an expert panel discussion with track & field visionaries Dr. Norbert Sander and George Hirsch.
Today, all anybody needs to run is the determination and a pair of the right shoes. But just fifty years ago, running was viewed almost exclusively as the domain of elite male athletes who competed on tracks. With insight and propulsive energy, director Pierre Morath traces running’s rise to the 1960s, in the new documentary Free to Run. The critically acclaimed film examines how the liberation movements and newfound sense of personal freedom that defined the era took the sport out of the stadiums and onto the streets, and how legends like Steve Prefontaine, Fred Lebow, and Kathrine Switzer redefined running as a populist phenomenon.
After the screening, Clayton Bushong, Director of Programming, Marketing, and Operations at The Picture House will moderate a discussion with Dr. Norbert Sander, winner of the 1974 NYC Marathon and George Hirsch one of the NYC Marathon’s founders and current chairman of New York Road Runners.
Dr. Norbert Sander - who grew up in Yonkers - has lived his entire life in the NYC metropolitan area. While at Fordham Prep and Fordham University, Sander fell in love with running while competing in track & field. After medical school, Sander went into private practice as a pediatric physician - eventually running two successful New York medical offices. But Sander still made time for his running - winning the 1974 New York City Marathon – and is to this day the first and only New Yorker to have won the race. Sander’s passion for his sport eventually led to his mission in the early 1990s to save the Armory – Washington Heights’ famous indoor track & field arena which had over time become run down and eventually turned into a homeless shelter. Today a national historic landmark, the Armory is nationally renowned as the premier indoor track and field facility in America, seeing more than 400,000 visitors a year, and housing the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. The after-school program at the Armory is among the largest in New York City. Sander currently serves as president of the Armory Foundation, is on the board of directors of the New York Road Runners Club, and is the president of the NYRR Millrose Games, the country’s most famous indoor track & field meet.
Born in NYC and raised in New Rochelle where he attended public schools, George Hirsch is a magazine publisher, a founder of the New York City Marathon, a former candidate for United States Congress, and a television commentator. Hirsch was the founding publisher of New York, New Times, and The Runner magazines. He was also the worldwide publisher of Runner’s World, the first publishing director of Men's Health, and the publisher of La Cucina Italiana. Hirsch graduated from Princeton University in 1956 with a BA in history (magna cum laude) and the Harvard Business School in 1962. Beginning in Boston in 1969, Hirsch has run forty marathons with a personal best of 2:38 set in Boston in 1979 at the age of 44. In 2009, he ran his final marathon in New York at age 75. Hirsch won his age group in each of his last eight marathons. In 2014, Hirsch received a lifetime achievement award from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races. He is currently the chairman of the board of the New York Road Runners.
Tickets to the special screening and panel discussion are $15/general admission, $12/students, seniors, and members and are available at www.thepicturehouse.org or at the box office, 175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, NY 10803.