Sports movies aren't my cup of tea. Most of the time the characters are cardboard cut-outs, the dialog is pedestrian, and the historical situation is presented from a biased viewpoint (if it isn't totally fictionalized). Worse yet, the typical athletic movie focuses mainly on interpersonal rivalry and intergroup conflict, often of a violent or unsporting nature --- not on the real human challenges of self-awareness and self-improvement.
But occasionally a sports-thematic flick scores a base hit. Without Limits (1998, written by Robert Towne and Kenny Moore) isn't a great film, but it is surprisingly good. It tells the story of Steve Prefontaine, a legendary distance runner (who died young, in a one-car accident probably associated with his drunken driving). At a key moment in the movie Bill Bowerman, Pre's coach at the University of Oregon, comments to a group of young runners:
Running, one might say, is basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the kind of running required of you to stay on this team, perhaps you'll find meaning in another absurd pastime: Life.