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Finally saw ” McFarland” which is based on a true story about a cross country coach, a high school and it’s cross country team.

Briefly, the story is about a football coach who after being fired as a football coach comes up with a scheme to start a cross country team at McFarland High School in an attempt to save his job.  He knows nothing about cross country and the students at McFarland don’t either.

McFarland is a poor town who’s resident’s are mostly Hispanic and work in agriculture meaning they work in the fields picking crops.

In one scene the Coach explains to his runners that in Cross Country the lowest score wins, like golf he says.  Golf is something that is not on his runner’s radar.

The running sequences in the movie are not realistic.  But that’s not the point of         ” McFarland.”

I realized a few days after watching the movie that the real story is how these high school students and their coach against all odds managed to win the California State XC Championship.

That’s what the movie is really about.

In the scene depicting the start of the championship race one of the McFarland runners leans over to a preppy looking kid while they are both on the starting line.  He asks if the kid plays golf and the kid replies ” Yeah.”

The McFarland runner says ” Well, this ain’t golf” and the gun goes off to start the race.

In reality it took the McFarland HS team eight years to win it’s first championship and it has since won the state title in it’s division 24 times.  Hey, it’s a movie but 24 championships is a pretty real number.

The story of how running can transform a person is real.  The story of what running can do, what running is and what running means is very real.

Look past the movie and see the story.  I’m glad that I finally did because this ain’t golf.

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