Tag Archives: ultramarathons

Unbreakable: Western States Ultra

Amazing documentary film on Western States Ultra featuring some of the top notch ultra runners in the world – Anton Krupicka, Killian Jornet, Hal Koerner (two time defending champion of WS 100) and Geoff Roes, unbeatable at 100 miler. The movie also features Gordon Ainsleigh, the first runner to do the WS100 in under 24 hours way back in 1974. There is quite a lot of footage of the actual trails, which is quite good and then there are whole of snapshots about each of the above runners’ background, their families, their work etc. what motivates them etc. Tremendous amount of crew support is there for the WS 100 and probably requires humongous amount of organisation and co-ordination. No wonder WS 100 is ranked among one of the topmost and most coveted ultra races in the world. The movie is quite brilliant, it follows a linear pattern, the camera work is quite good considering that most of the shots were on a rocky path requiring quite a bit of hand eye foot co-ordination. Required watch for all runners around the world. This is the stuff that legends are made of. The winner came in 14.07 hours, which is quite incredible is’nt to run 100 miles in that time. Crazy.

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Cape Wrath Ultra

Cape Wrath Ultra in Scotland, an epic trail run of 400 kms divided over 8 days. Goes through some breathtaking scenery of Scotland, hills, water streams, mountains, valleys etc. quite magnificent landscape.

Guess going forward trail running will be the most favored one because you have less number of participants, you go through some breathtaking trails, you feel with nature, you breathe the fresh air of the mountains. City running with thousands of running jostling with each on narrow streets are going to be passe.

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Gobi Desert Ultra Marathon

Brilliant documentary on New Zealander Lisa Tamati running the Gobi desert ultra marathon in 2010 a gruelling 250 kms stage race through some of the toughest terrains in the world, steep hills, desert, sand dunes, river crossing, bamboo forest, swamp, path full of stones, rocks, pebbles in temperatures going upto 55 degrees centigrade and down to below sea level. Only the craziest of people can attempt such mind numbing feats. Its part of a series of running in desert in various continents, called Racing the Planet a series of 5 ultra marathons in Gobi desert, Georgia, Namibia, Atacama desert in Chile and Antartica (source https://www.racingtheplanet.com/) .  Lisa Tamati has herself run a lot of ultra marathons over the last 25 years (source https://www.lisatamati.com/). Good documentary to watch for those interested in extreme endurance sports

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The Source

Documentary on Courtney Dauwalter, an ultra runner professional. She is a kinda star in the ultra running scene, having come first or broken the course record or both in most of the ultra races that she has run. Tremendous will power and a great problem solving ability that takes her through. She has run a lot of races as per her wikipedia profile. Good to watch for runners

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The Why – Running 100 miles

This is a documentary about Billy Young running a 100 mile race, the famous Leadville 100 in Leadville, Colorado. Why do people run 100 miles, i can barely run 26 miles. But i guess it is a huge leap of faith and discovery for many runners, its discovering what their bodies can achieve when their mind sets to do something impossible. Its a challenge into the unknown, pushing your limits to achieving the impossible. Its a nice docu, Billy almost gave up 45 miles, but then that’s where the second wind takes over, the mind says i can do it, the body responds. We have the famous ultra marathoner Anton Krupicka speaking a few positive things during the documentary. Worth a watch for all ultra marathoners.

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Found on 49 – The story of Jim Walmsley

Documentary on Jim Walmsley’s first ever 100 mile run at Western States 100 in 2016. He was aiming for the course record and going good until he got lost on Highway 49 and finished 20th overall in a time of 18.45.36 hours. Jim is a legend in that he has won several ultra marathons, the JFK 50 mile in 2014 to 2016, Lake Sonoma 50 in 2016 and 2018 and Tarawera Ultramarathon in 2017 (source: wikipaedia). This documentary starts from a few days before the Western States 100 and follows him on the course. He does go on to Western States 100 in 2018 with a course record, which he further improved in 2019. He did run the US olympic trials in a phenomenal time of 2.15.05 hours, but finished 22nd, showing the depth of American runners in the marathon field.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Walmsley

 

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15 hours with Amelia Boone

Documentary on ultra marathon. Amelia Boone starts at Sean O’  Brien 100K in Malibu California. Her first run in two years after she had a stress fracture in her femur. Nice documentary, very inspirational for runners worldwide.

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Barkleys ultra marathon

Documentary of Nicky Spinks as she attempted to become the first woman to ever complete the dreaded and treacherous Barkleys Ultra Marathon, the toughest ultra marathon ever in the world. Only 15 runners have completed the course since it started in 1986. They have to run 20 miles in 12 hours five times and the course is extremely difficult with ascents, thorny underfoot, river crossings, and weather hovers from extreme heat and humidity to extremely cold and freezing with snow.  Lazarus Lake has devised this ultra marathon and it has become a cult like with its own quirky culture. The race starts when Lake lights a cigarette and the runners have to find pages from books scattered all over the course with the same page no. as their bib no. Every runner who does not complete is sounded a bugle. Only 40 runners get confirmed entries from Lake by way of a condolence mail.

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Running on Empty

Just finished reading Marshall Ulrich’s book “Running on Empty” – his story of love, loss and a record setting run across America. This guy is a true ultra marathoner nut in the sense that he has incredible feats under his belt like finishing Badwater Marathon 18 times, winning it four times, and then doing the Badwater route solo i.e. without any team, but only with all his supplies in a cart that weighed 200 pounds, Badwater Quad which is like utter crazy – doing badwater four times back to back. Who can attempt such crazy ultra running feats. His ultra running or rather his running started with the loss of his first wife to cancer when he used to run to escape the depression and thereafter running became a lifelong passion. He has also some mountaineering feats up his sleeve like summiting the tallest summit in each continent and also ascending the Mount Everest.

So it was to be a culmination of his running career by running across America, starting from San francisco to New York a total distance of 3063 miles in 46 days at the age of 57. The previous person to have covered America thus was a 27 year old Frank Gianino about 28 years ago. It involved Marshall running 2 marathons plus 10K every day across terrain and weather that varied from state to state from heat to cold, snow, rains and all. It led to a process of discovery within himself and brought his family close together. The daily travails of running coupled with diet, nutrition, injury, illness, exhaustion, plus the logistics of daily runs are not given in much detail but the reader can very comprehend what it must have taken for the crew to get this runner across America. At the beginning Charlie Engle who ran across the Sahara desert accompanied Marshall during his run but somewhere approximately half way through a fight broke out between the two and Charlie quit and then came to crew and there were recriminations with the original crew which included Marshall’s wife. So it is a kind of an eye-opener as to what really transpires in all these multi day ultra marathons. Read it to see whether he manages to break the record of Frank Gianino. Nice read for running fans. There was a movie made out of it “Running America” but could only find a trailer on youtube for it. 

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