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Movies of the Month: 2005, Page 2

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December 2005:

Becoming a Champion Distance Runner: Advanced Techniques & Training
          with Doug Brown, former University of Florida Head Coach

If you have been focused on distance running in high school and are looking to move up to the collegiate level of competition than this video can be one more tool you can use to progress to the next phase of your development. Coach Brown presents his information standing in front of a white board with notes already prepared with several cut away shots of collegiate athletes performing the concepts. With over a dozen topics presented, you will be given insights include topics such as basic philosophy, running logs, two-a-day workouts, visualization, warm up/cool down, two week training cycle, sample workouts, circuit training, race strategy, males vs. females, nutrition, cross training, road racing, shoes, a word to the parents, and injuries.

Sample workouts and circuit training take 21 minutes of this hour long presentation and is some of the strongest material presented. The use of longer intervals, shorter intervals, distance, slow/fast, and hills are placed into a two week cycle that is broken down day for day with many examples. The circuit training schedule includes 15 steps that is repeated for a workout that lasts 30 to 45 minutes. Owen Anderson from Running Research News has developed these drills that are used in lieu of weight training to aid the endurance and strength aspects of the athlete.

Quotes from Coach Brown:
  • "A warm-up and cool-down should be part of every serious distance runners’ daily regiment, especially when it comes to racing and interval workouts."
  • "I think in high school serious runners can get up to 70 to 80 miles a week when you are a junior or a senior and have been running for a couple of years or more."
  • "In a normal training cycle we go hard-easy-hard-easy. Your body needs to have a chance to recover and heal before you tear it down again because it is the tearing down and rebuilding process that’s going to make you better."
  • "Things the college coach is going to be looking at; number one is academics. No matter how fast you are, if you don’t qualify with the NCAA clearinghouse we can’t sign you."
This 2002 release was sold by Championship Productions.com in VHS tape format. They stopped offering this production in 2007 and hopefully they will release it in the future in a DVD version as the information presented is solid, tested, and is sure to provide you a greater ability to reach your fullest potential as an athlete or coach.


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November 2005:

Order at Destination Marathon.com

Running with Joe Henderson

Here is an outstanding instructional DVD hosted by none other than Joe Henderson. Introduced by Olympic marathoner Don Kardong, none is needed as Henderson has penned 27 books, written running articles for many magazines, and has been involved at one time or another in almost every aspect of running and racing for nearly 50 years. Although this is his first video production, you would not know from his comfort level that he has taken a leap into a new method of presentation.

Released in 2003 by Nelsen Petersen of KIBO Productions, the run time here is 40 minutes, broken down into 17 chapters that can be easily referenced on the DVD by your favorite topic. Roughly based on Henderson’s Running 101 book you will get advice from preparation and motivation, to racing at various distances, to maintaining a lifelong running lifestyle. The depth of material presented includes the laws of inertia, the "talk test", static stretching, selective walks, general adaptation syndrome theory, percentage rankings, and much much more. Don Kardong’s presentation on racing is a nice supplement to this video and maintains the informative and entertaining qualities that are presented throughout. Filmed in a variety of locations in Eugene, Oregon, the camera also makes stops in the states of California, Washington, Colorado and Minnesota as it mixes a variety of running and different racing events to highlight the material.

Quotes by your host, Joe Henderson:
  • "Fortunately, most running injuries are avoidable because they are due to overuse. This is simply the body’s way of telling you to ease up. When stress is applied in small regular doses the body adapts to it and grows stronger. Too much stress and the system is overloaded and breaks."
  • "Speed improves even more rapidly than endurance does and on much smaller and less frequent dosages of training. One fast day each week is enough speed work for all but the most serious athletes."
  • "The 10K was the race of choice in the first running boom and many people still consider it to be the ideal combination of speed and distance."
  • "Even if you have done everything right in training you can still cancel it out with one wrong move on race day. The first and worst wrong move is leaving the starting line too quickly. A steady pace breaks your records, but an uneven pace breaks your heart."
If you are planning ahead for this holiday season than this production would make a fine gift for the runner in your family. Order this directly at Destination Marathon.com and know that this video will be one that you can reflect on time and time again. You may also read more thoughts and impressions from Joe Henderson at his web site, Joe Henderson.com, where he posts weekly articles for your reading enjoyment. If you are a "life runner" then watching this DVD may inspire in you the words by Dr. George Sheehan, "For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and to look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight. For them, sport is not a test but a therapy, not a trial but a reward, not a question but an answer."


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October 2005:

Order at SportFilm.com

Cross Country
A Celebration of the Purest Form of Running

Here is your chance to view over a dozen classic cross country races. From the 1987 Kinney Cross Country Championships to the 2002 USA Winter XC Championships, check out some of the greatest American runners and head to head competitions ever assembled in one place. With six years of Footlocker High School Championships you will see both men and women match up with the best runners that qualified from each of the four regions to try earning All-American status by finishing in the top 15. In the 1989 race Marty Liquori states "The Kinney National High School Championships has become the most prestigious running event in high school competition and the only definitive national championships in all of high school sports." One announcer described this well known course by saying "The race is quick from the gun and it is hard to pass when the course becomes more narrow. The 5K course is two laps of this challenging Balboa Park loop in San Diego with lots of turns, rolling terrain, and one big hill which is run twice."

Quotes from post race interviews:
  • "It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of miles. What makes a great cross country runner I think is the mental toughness you have to have the entire race. You can’t have any letdowns or you’re done." ~Bob Kennedy
  • "I just knew I had to go for it and give it my all which I'm so glad because it's the first race where I've gotten to do that and I think that’s what running is all about is putting your heart and your guts on the line. I feel great." ~Melody Fairchild
  • "I knew as long as I was with someone I could be a competitor until they break me. I was heaving after the race so I can’t be disappointed with the effort." ~Andy Maris
  • "Her hands were kind of going all over the place and her neck was all tight so I just lengthened my stride and my coach was going crazy so I kicked it in really hard." ~Erin Davis
The list of competitors seen in this video is like a "who’s-who" of American cross country. Some of the featured male athletes include: Abdi Abdirahman, Tim Broe, Alan Culpepper, Bryan Dameworth, Matt Davis, Matt Downin, Adam Goucher, Gabe Jennings, Sharif Karie, Meb Keflezighi, Bob Kennedy, Matt Lane, Teddy Mitchell, Abdirizak Mohamud, John Mortimer, Pat Porter, Jonathon Riley, Steve Slattery, and Jorge Torres. And on the women’s side you will see Erin Davis, Colleen Dereuck, Deena Drossin, Melody Fairchild, Suzy Favor-Hamilton, Sally Glynn, Kristen Gordon, Regina Jacobs, Melissa Lucas, Kim Mortensen, Liz Muhler, Jen Rhines, Julia Stamps, and Carrie Tollefson.

This 82 minute collection of fantastic Cross Country races can be ordered directly from Sportfilm.com in either DVD or VHS format. If you are seeking motivation, inspiration, or the extra ability to visualize for the big race at the end of this season then this is the right video for you. The only downside to the DVD is it is not indexed to make it more easy to go to your favorite race, but don’t despair because each of these competitions have something to offer the viewer and you wouldn’t want to miss a single one of these races.


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September 2005:

Order at Amazon.com

The Wonderland Project
2 trailrunners, 24 hours, 94 miles, 22,000´ vertical

This is a story of relationships. Relationship to self, relationship to a running partner, and relationship to a mountain. It is a tale of two runners who have spent two years planning for a trail running adventure. The film is the implementation of their plan to circle Mt. Rainier together on the Wonderland Trail. Located in the Cascade range of Washington State, the trail is made up of a series of climbs and descents created by glaciers sliding down the mountain. To tackle this challenge these runners are working together as a team, just as they have trained, and with the support of family and friends will seek a new record for their efforts.

Skye Thompson and Zac West have been planning and running together for several years. Neither are "elite" runners, yet they have been training 50 to 80 miles each week with the hope of running further together than either has ever gone before. Both men have knew this trail from being raised in the area, previous hikes, past employment on the trails, and running sections in preparation. Yet, no matter how well oriented someone is, the miles, elevation, and simply the time can all take their toll on the athlete. As you watch them run from section to section you will hear them discuss the journey as it unfolds in ways that never could have been predicted on paper. How does a team of two resolve the change when one member may not be able to continue as planned?

  • "Mt. Rainier, like a lot of mountains, has a lot of significance. It’s really an icon of the west." ~ Zac
  • "Folks usually take about 8-10 days to do the same thing. They are carrying really heavy packs and stop and make camp to enjoy themselves. We are going to skip the enjoying ourselves and making camp." ~ Skye
  • "We are two guys that care about what we can pull off with a little team work and a lot of guts." ~ Skye
  • "Our job is to make sure they have everything and they leave with everything they need for the next 30 mile section." ~Jenny Uehisa, friend and support crew member
  • "It's such a pleasure when you have a child that has a dream like that, or any other kind of challenge, that they get to do it. They got the opportunity for exercising their potential. No matter what it is, I think any parent would share the thrill for them."~ Daidre West
There are many insights into trail running during this 60 minute production. If you are new to running on trails you may alter your plans for a better experienece next time out, or if you are an experienced trail runner you may find yourself wanting even more of the technical depth that is revealed along the way. Released in April 2005 by Seattle filmmaker Riley Morton, this is his fourth feature film in a series of high intensity outdoor challenges. He combines the music from four local groups: Tosca, Blue States, The Sharpshooters, and Lettuce to round out the production. Amazon.com offers this DVD for sale or you can also visit the website at Lenticular Pictures.com where you can watch a trailer as well as order the DVD to see this film for yourself.

Postscript: Skye and Zac partnered up one year later and returned to the Wonderland Trail. At the end of this film learn the outcome of their second quest.

See other Ultra Running films.


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August 2005:

Order at Amazon.com

Saint Ralph
Finding yourself on the starting line of life.

Coming to a theater near you, with an official release date in the United States starting August 5th. This is a delightfully entertaining film, the summer hit for all you running film fans. A sports comedy drama that you should not pass up. Set in a Catholic school environment, the story follows fourteen year old Ralph who is seeking a miracle to save his mother from a coma. Played by Adam Butcher, Ralph is "sentenced" to the cross country team by the headmaster after getting in trouble for watching a women in a shower at the public pool (thus the PG-13 rating for brief nudity). Ralph later concludes that if he performs an impossible running feat that it might be the miracle needed to save his mother’s life. The cross country coach, Father Hibbert (Campbell Scott), recognizes his running talent and invests in training him as he sets out to win the 1954 Boston marathon.

The running sequences are some of the best shot, and no wonder with the writing and directing credits going to past Detroit marathon winner Michael McGowan (2:18:11). No one aspect of running is labored, instead a range of running methods and techniques are explored in a charming manner. Realism of the time far outweigh any running cliches that are commonly seen in feature productions. Training progression, hill repeats, intervals, nutrition, weight training, volume, pacing, and racing strategy are all interwoven into this tale. Two other races are used in preparation for the marathon goal, each with it’s own lesson being delivered.

  • "Me winning the Boston marathon could be a miracle. God told me." ~Ralph
  • "Like the martyr, I’m embracing pain." ~Ralph
  • "I’ll coach you on one condition, you don’t mention miracles." ~Father Hibbert
  • "Most marathoners would say that about mile 20 they pray for any help they can get." ~Father Hibbert
  • "This is a battle of wills, sure determination... You have just been a part of sporting history."~Race Announcer
A striking aspect of Saint Ralph, is that in addition to the running, are the numerous relationships that are developed and explored. Strong ties, conflicts, dreams, temptations, and challenges give real meaning to each person working from their perspective and giving their most. This production is giving back to the running community by teaming with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society "Team in Training" group and the summer Nike Running Camps where it will be shown. Filmed in Ontario Canada, this 98 minute feature is available for pre-order at Amazon.com for it’s December 13th, 2005 home video release and you can find more information at the official web site Saint Ralph Movie.com. Cross your fingers and hope that it is coming to a theater near you, as this big screen production will bring you a big smile.


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July 2005:

Order at Amazon.com

Racing Against the Clock

Inspiration comes from various angles in this motion picture documentary. Writer, producer, and director Bill Haney of Uncommon Productions introduces viewers to five women, ranging in age from 50 to 82, who have their sights set on representing the United States in the Masters World Championship. Their athletic accomplishments are many; however, it is the way they have lived their lives to make the athletics possible that is the truly amazing aspect of these unique stories.

The five featured athletes are:
  • Margaret Hinton, former cow-girl and current nursing home resident: "When I was in high school girls were not allowed to play outside activities. We crossed our ankles, pulled our dresses below our knees, and kept our mouth shut."
  • Leonore McDaniels, political refugee: "Athletics has increased my self confidence tremendously. We never had rewards."
  • Jacqueline Board, single mother and sharecropper’s daughter: "Running let me think clearer. It gave me the ability to find the strength to go further, to do better. It made my will stronger."
  • Pat Peterson, three-time cancer survivor: "Knowing that all your friends are running in a world competition, and I’m lying in a hospital bed half dead, that gave me more incentive to get healthy."
  • Phil Raschker, oldest athlete to be a finalist for the Sullivan Award for top amateur athletes: "If I’m healthy and trained I don’t have any competition in the U.S. so going to the Worlds for me is the ultimate. That’s what I train for. That’s what I live for."
The 80-minute film includes footage from three primary venues, all shot during the spring of 2003. The first stop is during the National Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, Massachusetts, where late Everett Hosack, then age 101, is also seen competing in the sprints. Next is the Senior Olympic National Championships, held in Norfolk, Virginia, where 30,000 people qualified by placing first or second in their state competitions. This event is just weeks before the Masters World Championships and is used to select the team to represent the United States. Finally, they are off to the 2003 Masters World Championships in Puerto Rico, a competition featuring 2,700 contestants from 78 different countries.

If you want to see a spectacular demonstration of pure athleticism and triumph over adversity, then this is one film you will want to add to your running movie collection. Your soul will fill with inspiration and delight. Amazon.com offers this title for sale or to read more about this production visit the official site: Racing Against the Clock.com where you can view a trailer, read press comments, and view their numerous film festival appearances.

Postscript: September 2007:
Phil Raschker has won 58 World Championship gold medals since she started competing in World Championship Meets in 1983. She has received the USATF Outstanding Female Masters Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award 13 times since its inception in 1979, the USATF Outstanding Female Combined-Events Masters Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award eight times since its inception in 1991, induction into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame in 1997, and induction into the National Senior Games Hall of Fame in 2005.

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