What It Really Means to Be a Marathon Runner

When it comes to gut-wrenchingly effective storytelling, nobody does it like Nike.

The amazing new commercial titled “Last” beautifully proves that you don’t have to finish first to be an epic marathon runner.

The spot features a gorgeous slow tracking shot during the final stages of a marathon. An Aretha Franklin cover of Brenda Holloway and Ed Cobb’s “Every Little Bit Hurts” plays in the background as a voiceover from actress Rooney Mara explains the exhausting but fulfilling feeling that will be familiar to anyone who runs:

If you look up the word marathon, it will tell you that the first person that ran 26.2 miles died. He died. And he was a runner.

You are not a runner. You are especially not a marathon runner, but at the end of this, you will be.

You’d have to be made of stone to not be moved when they cut to a young woman trudging through step after step, determined to finish no matter what.

This is advertising at its best — inspirational, powerful and moving. Well done Nike!