A Distance Left to Run is a coming-of-age story about an Olympic caliber high school cross-county runner, Mike Phelps, who accidentally causes the death of his mother in the midst of a physical family dispute. Set in the Rust Belt region of Western Pennsylvania, Mike’s once promising running career is suddenly thrown into flux as he struggles to come to terms with his actions, and regain the glory that once came easy. The film evokes the sadness of failed dreams and shrunken expectations, and the determination of inner strength to overcome great adversity while seeking redemption.
Mike is one of two boys in an impoverished failing family, the son of a former football great whose career was wiped out by injury. As Mike’s star continues to rise, his father’s resentment boils over and causes a descent into alcoholism and bitterness. Turning his back on the family, Mike’s father begins to take his anger out on them physically. This quickly propels the father and son on a collision course, with an altercation that changes Mike’s life forever.