ESPN Films, espnW Wind Down Nine For IX Series Starting With “Runner”

Courtesy:  ESPN/espnW

Courtesy: ESPN/espnW

Nine for IX, the summer-long film series from ESPN Films and espnW, continues with another new film next Tuesday.  Runner is the seventh film in the nine-film series.  The story of Runner centers on distance runner Mary Decker.  More specifically, it focuses on Decker’s Olympic debut in the 3,000 meter race at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.  The film follows Decker’s highs and lows as she rose to fame over the course of her career while still having to overcome the tribulations of missing the Olympics three times before her 1984 debut.  As the film presents, her debut was set to literally be Decker’s “Golden” moment.  But a fateful on-track accident with another runner would ultimately seal Decker’s fate.

Audiences hear from Decker herself as she explains how she had to overcome her initial feelings of anger towards rival racer Zola Budd.  It was Budd with whom she collided on track, causing both women to wipe out.  Budd would go on to finish seventh in the race.  Decker shows in the film, that despite those memories still burning in her mind, she has largely gotten past her original feelings of ill will toward Budd.

Award-winning film maker Shola Lynch directs this bittersweet story of hope and determination.  It will air next Tuesday, August 13th at 8pm on ESPN.  Lynch herself is a former track star.  She had been labeled “the next Mary Decker” at one point.  The Columbia University graduate is currently working on a companion book for her new film on Decker.  Her previous documentaries include Free Angela and Political Prisoners.

Only two films remain in the Nine for IX film series.  Those films are The 99ers (premieres August 20th) and Branded (premiering August 27th).  Each film is available online the day after its broadcast on iTunes and Amazon.  A collectible gift set will be available for audiences on October 15th.  Audiences can keep up with all the latest on the Nine for IX series on Twitter at and  Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest on the Nine for IX series on Facebook at and

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