Run the Race is about the weight of the world on two brothers bound by brotherly love. Zach and David Truett live in peaks and valleys as they are cheered by crowds but live in a lonely home without their mother or father. Coming to theaters February 22nd, Run the Race is about two desperate brothers willing to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. As he reels from his mother’s death and his father’s abandonment, Zach, an All-State athlete, finds hope and glory on the football field, as he works to earn a college scholarship and the brothers’ ticket out of town.
When a devastating injury puts Zach, along with his hopes and dreams, on the sidelines, brother David laces up his track cleats to salvage their future and point Zach toward hope. Zach’s knee injury has a silver lining in his growing closer to Ginger, who is a nurse at the hospital. However, just as things get serious with Ginger, Zach’s doubts about God threaten to tear them apart, so he does what comes naturally and runs.
The story of Run the Race about two brothers facing unbelievable odds with an unbreakable bond so enthralled actor Jake McEntire that he spent years persevering to get it from his imagination and onto theater screens. He wrote it, produced it, and even acted in it.
Run the Race similarly attracted others, including brothers Tim and Robby Tebow. The Heisman Trophy winner and his brother read an early version of the script and decided to get actively involved as first-time feature film executive producers.
“RUN THE RACE is about so much more than football. This is a story about overcoming the hard issues of life, about the power of sacrifice, the power of family and the power of forgiveness,” Tim Tebow said. “I love being a part of a project like this because it will impact lives, inspire hope and even prompt action. When I read the script, I knew this was an important project to get behind.”
“The script pulled me in right away, and I wanted to bring it to life cinematically,” Robby Tebow said. “As somebody with brothers in a big, super-close family that has gone through a lot together, it resonated with me on a deep level.”
Run the Race shows what’s possible when you run to, not away from, the overwhelming love of God. See this movie to watch which worldview will help them run and conquer the long-term race. Their story is a universal one that informs and inspires all who see this meaningful movie.
Sonoma Christian Home has an exclusive interview with Jake McEntire who persevered for twelve years to produce this movie. SCH Editor at Large Dr. Diane Howard reports.
SCH: The Bible says in James 1:2 that we should consider it pure joy when we encounter trials of many kinds because the testing our faith develops perseverance. What have you personally learned about the value of developing perseverance and endurance?
JM: I have learned that in this process God is working to equip, protect, and prepare us.
SCH: As you have persevered in making this movie, what have you learned about faith?
JM: I first wrote this movie about faith in Jesus. Then it was as if God was going to see if I really believed it. It took 14 years for me to produce this movie. The Tebow brothers were involved for 6 years. We sold our house and lived in an apartment for 4 years to produce this movie. When I would come to the point that I was okay if the movie was not made and when I was content just in my relationship with our Lord, then miracles would happen. The Lord pursued more of me each day in the process.
SCH: As you have worked on this movie, what have you learned about God?
JM: His timing is just right for His glory and our joy.
SCH: What have you learned about prayer?
JM: When we started filming, we realized the 10,000 prayers had been answered.
SCH: Did you experience God’s presence on set?
JM: Yes, there was a gracious, grateful atmosphere on set. We watched it all beautifully come together.
SCH: How has the faith and encouragement of others helped you to persevere?
JM: My wife has been the biggest supporter through everything. She is the one who encouraged selling our house. She is an amazing woman of prayer.
“RUN THE RACE is about two brothers trying to figure out life from two different worldviews,” McEntire said. “Their mom has passed away. Their dad’s a runaway drunk. And they’re trying to leave this town and find a better life. One brother believes in God and one brother doesn’t.”
In addition to weaving a deeply emotional story of a family fighting for itself, Run the Race features up-close, “you are there” high school football and track action. McEntire originally set Run the Race in Texas, but Alabama’s favorable tax treatment for filmmakers changed his mind. Then with the benefit of having the Tebow brothers on the team, the shooting of the film inside a packed Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at a Florida football game became a possibility.
“I know a lot of people in this business from coast to coast who would’ve abandoned this project a long time ago,” Producer Ken Carpenter said. “But Jake hung in against all odds and stuck with the vision. It would get close, it would fall apart, it would get close again, it would fall apart. But he stayed the course, and that is so admirable. We’re here in Birmingham, Alabama, making this movie because that guy didn’t quit.”
McEntire describes himself primarily as an actor, but he also is a man of deep Christian faith who felt led to tell this story, but it wasn’t an easy road. “As I worked on RUN THE RACE, I could see God working on my heart,” McEntire said. “First, behind the scenes writing something and then wanting to get it off the ground. Then the ups and downs and struggles that come with it. I’ve kind of had to live out the RUN THE RACE journey in my own way.”
In the film, high school brothers Zach and Dave Truett are raising themselves in a ramshackle house. Their mother has died of cancer, and their father, in his grief, has chosen alcohol over his sons. Standing at the location shoot of the house, McEntire reflected on how the story came about. “I wanted to write a film about something I knew, and I know small towns,” he said. “I know houses like this and growing up with brothers and growing up in church and playing sports. I wanted to write a small ensemble piece where people really, truly care about one another—and how people impact each other’s lives in a close space.” McEntire worked on the script for five years, and when he pulled together enough backing to produce a concept trailer, he was able to attract others to his vision.
“For the last four years, it’s been raising awareness, raising funds, trying to build a team to give the dream legs and see it come to life and actually run,” McEntire said. “No pun intended.”
Like so many involved with the project, something about a story of brothers touched a chord. “I love the story, and I love being a part of sharing something so inspirational, with so much courage and conviction behind it,” Tim Tebow said. “When I read the script, I cried four or five times, and just decided this is something that I want to be behind.”
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard