Major Charles Forsythe is a Vietnam veteran U.S. Army officer stationed near Rome. He is a brutal, if effective, commander who was "fragged" by his own men in Vietnam. When he is denied promotion because of the number of men injured during his training exercises, he takes out his anger by beating his pregnant wife Sarah. She miscarries. On her release from the hospital, Sarah is determined to get back into shape and begins running. She meets Alan Morani a former Olympic runner who is a paraplegic as the result of a car accident. Morani offers to coach Sarah to run in the Rome marathon, a race which her husband has won two years in a row. Sarah realizes that winning the race is the best way to avenge the death of her baby and destroy her husband's ego..