A Review Of The “Marathon Boy” Documentary

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 17, 2011
A new documentary about the "marathon boy" has just been released. Photo: The Independent

A new documentary about the "marathon boy" has just been released. Photo: The Independent

The true story sounds like a work of fiction.

Tom Sutcliffe of the The Independent recently reviewed the documentary “Marathon Boy”. The documentary follows a three-year-old Indian boy named Budia who received a lot of worldwide press for being the youngest marathoner of all time. Budia was a slum child who was taken into an orphanage and put under the supervision of Biranchi Das who happened to be a judo instructor.

The official story about Budia’s venture into marathoning goes like this: One day, Biranchi Das punished the young boy by making him run around the orphanage. Supposedly, Das forgot to tell the boy to stop and when he came back three hours later, the boy was still running.

Das, an opportunist, realized that he had an athletic prodigy on his hands and began to train Budia for the 26.2-mile race.

From that point on, Budia became an “object of quasi-religious adoration for the crowds that came out to watch him jog [past them].” However, ”Budia the marathoner’s” fortunes took a downturn when the Indian child welfare agency tried to intervene and prevent the young boy from running any more marathons. 

For More: The Independent

FILED UNDER: News TAGS: / / / / / / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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