Run For Your Life

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Press Release

  • Run For Your Life - 10/27/08



Run For Your Life The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival Selection Comes to DVD October 28th, 2008

Emmy-Nominated Filmmaker Judd Ehrlich's Documentary About the Relentlessly Ambitious and Endlessly Quirky Founder of the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow

(New York, NY, October 27, 2008) - Screen Media will release Judd Ehrlich's inspirational and propelling documentary Run For Your Life theatrically from October 29th through November 6th at the Village East Cinema- 181 2nd Ave at 12th street- the week prior to the ING New York City Marathon in honor of race week. The film will be released on DVD October 28, 2008.

From Emmy-nominated filmmaker Judd Ehrlich comes this remarkable story of how one man ran New York and inspired millions to do the same. Chronicling Fred Lebow's revolutionary creation of the New York City Marathon, Ehrlich uses archival footage of Lebow himself and couples it with a myriad of exclusive interviews including: Mayor Ed Koch, Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton; Lebow family members Moshe Katz, Sarah Katz and Mike Lebowitz; New York Times reporters Neil Amdur and George Vescey; original marathoners Norb Sander and Gary Muhrcke (winner of the first NYC Marathon in 1970); and other notable athletes including Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Grete Waitz, Nina Kuscsik, Frank Shorter and Kathrine Switzer. The film also includes the last known interview with Olympian legend Ted Corbitt.

"As a New Yorker, Fred's story spoke to me," Ehrlich recalls. "I grew up here and I remember how he transformed the city each year putting on the marathon with glitz and flare. Fred was a showman and, like all performers, there was a side of his persona that few people really knew about."

Credited as the mastermind behind the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow is now one of the most influential American icons. He fled his Orthodox home in war-torn Europe and found his calling when he brought together a group of runners for the first NYC Marathon in Central Park. In 1976, Lebow took the race through all five boroughs, uniting a divided city and sparking a worldwide fitness boom. Lebow lived for the NYC Marathon, yet he only ran through the five boroughs once, as the world looked on, in an unforgettable race against the odds.

The film originally premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to critical and audience acclaim. It finished 6th overall in the audience rankings and was also a favorite of festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal, who described it as "fascinating" in a television appearance alongside co-founder Robert DeNiro.

"Fred ignited what we know as the most popular participatory sport today," says Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners and Race Director of the ING New York City Marathon. "He made running part of popular culture."

"We are releasing the film around the New York City Marathon as homage to Fred and in celebration of today's runners. Even if you aren't a runner you can truly enjoy this film and its inspirational story." said Screen Media Films President, Robert Baruc.

New York Road Runners Members and Marathon Runners showing proper ID, receive a discounted rate for Run For Your Life tickets at the Village East Cinema.

Run For Your Life is now available at the New York Road Runners store and the official Marathon web site ( DVDs can also be purchased at Marathon Monday held at Tavern on the Green, Monday, November 3rd. When purchased online at (, with a special coupon code "Lebow"- 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the New York Road Runners in addition to receiving 10% off the purchase price.