Eric Sense(less)man & His Cocodona 250 Journey by Dylan Harris | Friday Films

If there is only one ultrarunning documentary you’re gonna watch in your lifetime, this one by Dylan Harris would be a fine choice for that one-of.

Here is a story of human perserverance in one of its simplest forms. Keep going even when you think you can’t. Lose yourself to find your limits, then go beyond, senseless, to find a new, truer version of you.

“This film contains so much artistry, thoughtfulness and fine-tuned story-telling. It is exquisite. I can only imagine the amount of editing that went into this. Incredible job, Dylan Harris. And thank you to the one-of-a-kind Eric Senseman for allowing this journey to be shared. Beautiful,” wrote Jec Ballou. And he is right.

This is a story of Eric Senseman’s 2022 Cocodona 250 race. While Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy was the first to cross the finish line that year, Senseman embraced his own reasons for ever starting to run: “… I became engrossed with running, in part, because it made me feel like a kid,” he wrote in his piece for the rabbit blog. It’s beautiful to see him cover the miles with an attitude like no other—and it must have been even more inspiring to witness this in person.

“… what really stuck out to me was the relationship between Eric and his wife! I’ve seen so many other runners sort of blow off their partner at aid points, but even when he’s hurting so bad he always gives her a hug and a kiss before taking off again,” wrote Emma Happy.

Watch Senseman’s journey in this film by Dylan Harris.

Can You Bike through the Australian Outback? Totally—and it’ll be a Gorgeous Ride!

Cycling through 3,000 kilometers of red-colored desert might sound intimidating. Then again, almost all things worth doing sound at least a bit intimidating, so it might be just the perfect indicator of “you should totally do it.” And if you aren’t in a place where you can just take off on such an adventure right this moment, you should take off at least virtually. (After all, we all have some experience with that thanks to the world shutting down for two years.)

We Biked 3,000km into the Australian Outback (Amazing Experience!) is just the perfect journey journal to watch. With minimal but incredibly insightful commentary and stunning shots of the Australian Outback, follow the bikes’ track from the Great Barrier Reef to Uluru. Alee is a great visual storyteller and will have you traveling through the landscape in no time!

The Last Wilderness of Scotland: A Breathtaking Documentary About Two Friends and a Canoe’s Battle Against the Elements

This journey had one objective: to tie “a collection of lochs together.” The beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the “wildest corners of Scotland” made this expedition an experience of a lifetime for Jamie and Ian. “It was about fulfilling a deep and aching desire to live and breathe the great outdoors.”

On foot and in a canoe, Jamie and Ian set out to explore “Scotland’s Last Wilderness.” The soul-soothing short film that Jamie put together documents their battle against the elements as well as the life-altering beauty of the region and shows that even when, or perhaps especially when things don’t work out according to our imaginations, they still tend to teach us a whole lot about ourselves and the world outside.

“After spending most of the year indoors, in late September we were finally able to embark on our journey, but now it needed to be so much more. This film documents our attempt at completing a circuit linking up a collection of remote lochs with a series of portages.”

Into the Well: A Gnarly Way to Get to Know the Raw Beauty of New River Gorge National Park

Into The Well: 100 Miles. 32 Hours. 200 Racers. is an outdoor adventure documentary feature film telling the story of personal endurance. An excruciating test of how far one is willing to push themself to accomplish their goals. Follow three West Virginians as they prepare for the first 100-mile ultramarathon in the New River Gorge National Park where they’ll take on a challenge far greater than they could ever have imagined.” (The Folkway)

To be honest, I went into this documentary slightly worried. Not only is it the length of a full-feature film; the first few seconds of anxiety-inducing music didn’t alleviate the tension. On the other hand, it did capture perfectly how it feels at the start of such an endeavor. It’s not like people die from DNF-ing (DNF = did not finish) challenges like this (not usually, anyway) but they still make the heart race, at least a little bit.

To worry I did need not. Yes, the documentary is the length of a full-feature film but it’s also of similar quality—in fact, it’s better than some of the films I’ve seen in my lifetime. It pulled me in quickly and didn’t let go; just like a race you have to keep coming back to until you finish it.

Rim to River 100 is an ultramarathon in the New River Gorge National Park. It takes its runners on an out-and-back journey up and down and down and up from the rim of the Gorge to down along the banks of the New River and promises winding single track and a few, shall we say, gorgeously gnarly sections.

“Along with the natural beauty of waterfalls, whitewater, & dramatic views, you’ll also find ghost towns, centuries-old cemeteries, & abandoned mine shafts throughout the course,” reads the official description on the Rim to River 100 website.

Intrigued yet? Or worried, just like I was? Well, I won’t write much more and, instead, let the documentary do its thing. Let the raw beauty of this challenging trail pull you in just like it did with me. Warning: this process apparently includes “shoes filled with blood,” as HollyAnn informs you within the first few moments of your own emotional journey.

“What Brought You Here?” A Beautiful Exploration of Human Connection & the Bonds Running Provides

Take a deep breath, take it all in… What happens when a group of runners converge in the most remote town in Scotland? What happens when they take cold dips and run the surrounding hills together? A community is formed—a community of people who, so different yet so similar, develop the most beautiful human connections.

This short film is “an exploration of what motivates us to run, shining light on the importance of time spent amongst nature, no matter where you’ve come from. Based in the Highlands of Scotland, ‘What Brought You Here?’ follows a diverse group of participants as they journey throughout the Knoydart Peninsula and beyond, an adventure hosted by George Bauer and Aire Libre Running…”

When We Love Our Gear to Death: The Last Goodbye to an (Extra)Ordinary Hat

It can be hard to say goodbye to your gear, especially when it’s a piece that’s been with you through thick and thin and joined you on every adventure over the span of 15 years. Just like with people, sometimes the life of an item comes to an end; it can’t be healed, it can’t be repaired. And it’s time to say goodbye.

In nearly every one of Beau Miles’ videos, his hat can be seen accompanying him. When his hat—his most loyal piece of gear—died, he did one thing: “With a heavy heart and a head full of memories, I’m taking my beloved hat for one last run.”

The hat’s last journey, a 40-kilometer run from Mt Baw Baw to Walhalla, is a celebration of its service to Beau. And—a little warning—it’s heartwarming and heartbreaking simultaneously.

Bad Rivers & Kayaks: How Beau Miles Explores and Changes the World

What makes a river bad? People? Well, Beau Miles is one human who explores bad rivers and—especially in the case of Cooks Rivers—attempts to make them less bad. It might not be something a single person can achieve but if someone can get even remotely close to it by himself, it’s Beau.

In this documentary, Beau kayaks the Cooks River in Sydney, Australia’s sickest urban river. “Finding it not only challenging, but shocking in terms of its ill health, I’ve since shifted from wanting to see the wildest and most pristine places on earth, to the most degraded and sick. This is a journey of ill-health, sadness, and hope; putting a test to the local saying, ‘if you fall in, you’ll dissolve.'”