Saturday, February 25, 2012

unbreakable - runners, not action stars

TV coverage shows us what the front of a marathon looks like. Graceful gazelle-like runners running their hardest for two and a half hours on the flat(ish) roads of a major city. Definitely impressive and fun to watch. Ever wondered what it looks like at the front of an ultra-marathon? Not nearly as graceful, wickedly gritty, and just amazing to watch. Especially when said ultra is one of the most famous and one that has 5,500 m of cumulative climbing.
Unbreakable: The Western States 100 (starring ultra runners who are tougher than both Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson combined) may not have quite as much of a twist as the M. Night Shyamalan version, but it has more excitement and many more beards. It follows 4 top ultra-runners who meet at the 2010 Western States 100, each of whom have a legitimate shot at winning the race and breaking the course record. Spoiler-alert - the winner SMASHES the course record (as does the second place finisher).

As someone who hasn't run for longer than about 2 and a half hours, watching the almost effortless strides of these guys running at the 9 hour mark is kind of incredible. Between the beautiful scenery, live race footage (which must have been crazy to film), and great back-stories on each of the runners, this is a really cool look at what it is like to be a top level ultra runner.

It kind of made me want to skip right over the marathon distance and head straight to ultras. Now while I know my body is not at all built for that (I'm a delicate flower who can't handle high mileage), I do hope to find a way run more trails once spring and summer come around. That kind of scenery just puts a smile on my face even with all those hills.

If you get the chance - check out Unbreakable. 


Anonymous said...

"It has more excitement and many more beards"

That right there made me have to watch this movie!


AeRoss said...

I have seen this movie as I get ready for my first Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run this August. It's an awesome movie that provides insight into the minds and personalities of ultrarunners.