The Big Chill and Long Shorts are two recently released ultrarunning documentaries. And while the films take place in vastly different settings, both of them focus on the beauty and struggles of endurance running and are both well worth your time (otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing them with you).
The Big Chill
The Big Chill is a stunning film that follows Gary Robbins on his journey around Chilliwack, BC. He’d dreamt up and worked on this “backyard adventure” for some six years before he was able to finally run the 108 miles long route.
This documentary follows his journey and presents the hurdles that he got through, from scouting the trails without a reliable updated map to working through injuries, and, finally, the trials and tribulations of finally running his dream route. It’s a personal account of a single man’s dream, unparalleled.
(If video embed is ‘unavailable,’ click THIS LINK to watch it directly on YouTube.)
While The Big Chill is a journey of one person through a remote place not many know, Long Shorts follows Courtney Dauwalter and Francois D’Haene’s journey from Hardrock 100 to the UTMB, two of the biggest races in the ultra world. Having two of the biggest challenges only 6 weeks apart, they had to navigate the trails and trials of Hardrock 100 very carefully to be able to make their way to UTMB in the best shape possible.
This film, besides showing the dedication these events take, also represented beautifully the tight bonds within the community. Jim Walmsley paced Francois during Hardrock 100 even though, technically, they are considered rivals and did, indeed toe the starting line of UTMB side by side.
More documentary recommendations: