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Movies of the Month: 2006

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June 2006:

Send payment to:                                                      Carrousel Productions, P.O. Bo 1216, Athens, AL 35612

Olympic Cowboy
The "Bullet" Bob Hayes Story

Just last month Justin Gatlin tied Asafa Powell’s 100 meter world record mark of 9.77 to bring into question who is the "World’s Fastest Man". In the early 1960’s there was no controversy as one man claimed this title without question. His name is Bob Hayes and this production is "The Authorized Biography of the Fastest Man on Earth" which features Bob telling the story of his life. Although his running career was short, ending at the age of 22 to join the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League, he showed the world what some would still say today may be the fastest race of all time (read an article by Justin Clouder entitled "The Greatest 100m Runner of All Time").

This video is a conversational interview of Bob’s life as he personally goes to a variety of locations (Gilbert High School, Florida A & M, Florida Sports Hall of Fame) to answer the questions posed by correspondent Linda Fritz. He talks about his upbringing and family, tells stories of his running and football career, and discusses both his successes and struggles that he faced in life. Several coaches and teammates influences are revealed as well as very difficult periods of his life when he was incarcerated. Personal stories are told about the people who influenced him most as well as events such as having to borrow shoes from Olympic teammate Tommy Farrell when his pair was misplaced. Dramatic reenactments, newspaper clips, newsreel images and numerous interviews from those close to Bob allow the chronological tale to be told.

Three races are featured and discussed by Hayes: The USA Russian meet held in Los Angeles, California; the Olympic 100 meter final where Hayes runs in lane one, and his come from behind Olympic 4 x 100 meter relay where he moved from fifth place to win by the margin of 3 meters in a world record time of 39.06.
  • "Getting down in the starting blocks I looked up at my mother and tears are rolling down her face with happiness and my hero Jesse Owens and his wife Ruth were hugging my mother because my father did not show up."
  • "A highlight was the Men’s 100 Meter with Bob Hayes in the far lane, streaking down the cinders like a bazooka shell to take the dash handily. Bob’s powerful technique is shown in slow motion as he wins the race in 10 seconds flat and ads another gold medal to Uncle Sam’s bag."~ Ed Herlihy of Universal Newsreel
  • "By hand clock I was timed in 8.4 seconds (during the 4x100 relay) and by electronically I was timed in 8.6 and that is the fastest 100 meter ever been run by man. So now they don’t call me the world’s fastest human, they call me the greatest sprinter in the history of running."
  • "I was always seen around a real strong winning tradition and Florida A & M and the Dallas Cowboys jut put the icing on the cake."
Originally released in 2001, this video is still available from those that made it possible, director and editor Tom Rost, and producer Harrison Tyner. With a run time of 68 minutes this autobiography is sure to cast into light a sprinter who had his up and downs and is still today the only person to have earned both an Olympic Gold medal and Superbowl victory ring. Carrousel Productions offers this production for sale in DVD ($20) or VHS ($15) format (add $3 for shipping and handling). I would encourage you to establish contact with them (256-232-3676) prior to sending a money order or cashier’s check to:
   Carrousel Productions
   P.O. Box 1216
   204 Durham Dr.
   Athens, AL 35612

Postscript: Bob Hayes (12-20-1942 to 9-18-2002) An obituary can be read at Sports Illustrated. His autobiography entitled Run, Bullet, Run: The Rise, Fall, and Recovery of Bob Hayes was released in 1992 and can be purchased through Amazon.com. A seven foot tall bronze statue of Hayes is located at A. Philip Randolph Park in Jacksonville Florida.


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May 2006:

Order at Amazon.com

The Runner
David Horton’s 2,700 mile run of the Pacific Crest Trail

What would it be like to run each day, just run, to chasing a record, a dream, and then to get up and do it again and again. This is the what David Horton, a 55 year old professor from Lynchburg, Virginia, along with a group acting as crew, set out to do on the Pacific Crest trail starting June 4, 2005. This is not the first time Horton has reached for his limits as he previously ran the Appalachian Trail in 1991 as well as across the United States in 1995. Although an experienced runner, it is hard to anticipate the numerous obstacles one will encounter on the trail, not to mention the effects of physical and mental exhaustion.

Released on DVD January 19, 2006 this production travels in the desert sun, over snowbound mountain passes, and through the forests of the Pacific Northwest. A variety of perspectives are shown in revealing interviews with friends, family, and Horton himself. Director JB Benna, a PCT thru-hiker, knows what aspects of this story need to be shown to explore the secrets contained along the trail. A special feature called SimulStatTM allows for instant maps, statistics, and journal entries for each day of this endurance quest.

Quotes from runner David Horton:
  • "Once you make a commitment, you have to fulfill that commitment."
  • "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. I know there will be a certain amount of pain."
  • "Basically I’m beat to death, but I don’t care. The hard part is the emotional part. The hard part is the mental part."
  • "I’ve suffered a lot. But through suffering I think we can have a better impression of who we really are, and what we can do, and how we can affect other people."
After 66 days on the trail, and with a new time record established, David was finally able to return home. If you want to own this 77 minute DVD for yourself you can purchase it from Amazon.com and visit JourneyFilm.com where you can view a trailer. You may also read a 17 page Log (in PDF format) of Horton’s trip. If this type of running inspires you to seek out other ultra resources, one place to start is from Extreme Ultra Running.com, a site that Horton helps host and is a practical place to start for all levels of interest into the ultra scene. Dream, run, challenge yourself, and find out if you have what it takes to also be "the runner".

See other Ultra Running films.


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April 2006:

Order from YukonImages.com

Yukon Arctic Ultra
The World’s Coldest and Toughest Ultra Race

Just as you are thinking that winter is behind you for the season, here is a video that will likely make you think that you never saw winter over the last 6 months. Join 30 athletes as they set out along the Yukon Quest Trail to travel either a marathon, 100 mile, or 300 mile race distance. Eight nations are represented as these athletes set out on the third annual event. With mean temperatures in the -20° celsius (-4 degree Fahrenheit) range, and with marathon distances between checkpoints, these competitors haul their own gear to facilitate survival on the trail.

This 2005 DVD release puts you right into the action as this race starts in Whitehorse the day after the dog sled race sets off on their journey. There is little previous introduction as to the preparation of these athletes, yet the intensity growing as each event gets completed and the longer distances remain. The marathon has the top three runners finishing within nine minutes of one another with the winner coming in at 14 hours, 46 minutes. This time alone may illustrate to you the conditions encountered up the hills and through the valleys in this harsh, yet beautiful, territory.

  • "I could not get the rest of my clothes off. Everything was frozen solid. You really think you’re going to die."
    ~Michael Odenwald (Germany)
  • "But it’s hard, very very hard, and a few times you just want to say ‘I give up’ and go home on the snowmobile; but for some reason you don’t." ~ Tammy Reis (Canada)
  • "The hardest day today. The hardest for my foot. The longest distance between checkpoints. 17 hours, I never stopped for 17 hours. Very cold in the Yukon, very cold." ~ Stefano Miglietti (Italy)
  • "There is no easy way, unbelievable, nothing is easy here." ~ Thomas Muhler (Germany)
This 54 minute event documentary was made by Yukon resident Werner Walcher who brings a picturesque point of view to this environment. Several long shots, pulling away from the action, demonstrate how remote and vulnerable these runners are when out on the snowy path, remote woods, or frozen waterways. The music is used well with two especially memorable tunes by local Yukon artist Barbara Chamerlin entitled "Run Too Fast" and "Walk A Mile". With race maps, volunteers, and race director Robert Pollhammer all contributing, you really get a sense of the tasks at hand for all involved. To obtain this title contact the filmmaker at YukonImages.com and then when you have completed your training this summer go to the race site at ArcticUltra.de to submit your entry if you dare to try this race experience for yourself.

Postscript: Seven of the runners who competed in 2005 returned for the 2006 Yukon Arctic Ultra where the total field doubled in size to 60 entrants from 12 countries. The 2006 marathon was won in 15:27, showing that the 2005 race conditions were about as good as can be expected in the Yukon. Good luck to everyone headed North in 2007.

See other Ultra Running films.


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March 2006:

Order from Coach Hoddle

The Ultimate Sprint, Hurdle, Relay,
and Conditioning Video

Here is an all encompassing instructional video that will be a prized possession of any youth, club, or high school track and field program. Coach Bryan Hoddle (2004 Head Coach, USA Paralympic Track & Field Team) is joined by five award winning athletes who demonstrate the various skills as they are being outlined. The group is made up of decathletes Gabe Garrett and Doug Sells, sprinter Brian Parris, and two female sprinters/long jumpers Razi Mason and Lakeesha Cockrell. Each section of the video progressively builds on the last with a host of topics that include goal setting, nutrition, mechanical principles, warm-up, active mobility drills, hurdle tips, testing protocol, sprint training, baton drills, medicine ball work, exercise ball, block work, sprint problems and solutions, and warm-down.

Two of the most often overlooked parts of a workout, the warm up and warm down, encompass about 30 minutes of this production. 37 warm up drills are demonstrated (dynamic active, wall dynamic activity, and active mobility drills with hurdles) and 20 warm down activities are shown and explained. By incorporating these drills into the daily workout routine, common injuries, like shin splints, can often be prevented. There is also performance benefits by increasing joint range of motions in the hip area that can best be achieved doing isolated activity found in these drills. The drills presented are safe, effective, and can be used with athletes of all ages and ability level including the five baton drills, 12 medicine ball activities and 11 tasks with the oversized exercise ball.

Quotes from Coach Hoddle:
  • "Today I’ll be telling you not only the ‘whats’, but I’ll be telling you a lot of the ‘whys’. Remember, today kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care."
  • "The rear block is usually at a steeper angle than the front block in order to present a surface that is perpendicular to the direction of the force application... You need to be thinking about the first movement, not the gun."
  • "We emphasize post-stretching at the end of practice to relax the body and shut down the central nervous system. Again, some of the benefits are prevention of injury, promotion of circulation, and increased range of motion."
  • "I hope you find this tape informative. I hope that some of the drills and techniques that we’ve used, you’ll be able to fit into your program."
This 2002 VHS release runs for approximately 85 minutes and can be ordered directly from coach Hoddle. Visit his website at HoddleSpeak and click on the "products" button to obtain the contact information or combine it with other track and field productions offered by Amazon.com. By bringing coach Hoddle’s vast experience of coaching speed events into your workouts, you are sure to watch your athletes progress and improve as they enjoy their sprint workouts to a whole new level.


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February 2006:

Order at Amazon.com

Four Minutes

"Ladies and gentleman, here is the result of event number nine, the one mile. First, number 41, R. G. Bannister of exeter and merton colleges for the Amateur Athletic Association with a time which is a new meeting and track record, and which subject to ratification will be a new English native, British National, British all-comers, European, British Commonwealth, and world record. The time, 3 minutes..." Track Announcer Norris McWhirter.

You may have heard some negative comments about this ESPN film when it was originally broadcast October 6, 2005, yet the bottom line is that it is a film that can entertain you, if you allow yourself to enjoy the story. However, if you are the type that wants to nit pick this production then there are quite a few opportunities to criticize the body types and technique of the runners, fictional characterizations (coach Archie Mason & Annabelle), or a lap counter that counts the wrong way. I would recommend that folks relax and enjoy the entertainment value of this production that is "based on the true inspirational story" and written by renowned sportswriter Frank Deford. The real reason this DVD earns the right to be featured here is the excellent set of bonus features that last about an hour and were not originally broadcast.

There is a traditional selection of bonus features that are commonly accepted as part of most current releases: Deleted scenes, outtakes, on the set: Four Minutes, audio commentary, and enhanced trivia track. Four additional items make owning this release a true delight. There are original interviews with both Roger Bannister (run time of 12:00) and Chris Chataway (11:30). Next there is an outstanding 15 minute short entitled "Barrier Breakers" that was assembled by Cappy Productions and covers the world stage at the time including race footage and interviews with both American Wes Santee and Australian John Landy (who ran 3:58.0 on June 21, 1954 in Turku, Finland). Last, but not least, is a complete original film of the actual running of the four minute mile as provided by BBC Television (6:10). Although this footage is not brushed to perfection, it is by far the highest quality of the race that can be found in today’s marketplace.

Quotes from Sir Roger Bannister:
  • "I can remember when I was a child running barefoot on the beach and feeling the sand under my feet, the wind in my face, and a sense of joy that I could run fast."
  • "I always believe in races rather than time trials, but by 1953 it became perfectly obvious that the four minute mile stood in the way of these events."
  • "I was not run at all for five days and so felt so full of running that I couldn't believe that he was going fast enough, so I shouted ’faster’."
  • "The pain that you get in your legs is counteracted by the excitement of what you hope you're managing to achieve; and the crowd, of course, were then making a great deal of noise anyway, and that I suppose feeds into one’s excitement."
You can order this 2005 release in DVD format from Amazon.com. Enjoy the movie for what it is, entertainment, and relish in the bonus features that will give you both a look back into history as well as a personal insight into these record setting men that removed the psychological barrier know as four minutes. For additional information you can visit the official movie site at ESPN.com to learn more as well as view a trailer.


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January 2006:

Order at Spinervals.com

Runervals 3.0 Cheetah Fast!
with Coach Troy Jacobson

This is one of a series of five treadmill workouts to help you get the most out of your indoor running. It is evident that Coach Troy has been meeting the needs of athletes, after being a professional triathlete himself, for well over a decade. In this interval session you will be led through speed and strength work consisting of tempo running, two pyramid sets, and building repetitions. Like most of the workouts in this series, the difficulty rating is appropriately ranked a "9" on the 1-10 scale. After a short warm-up (you may want to do a bit more on your own) you jump right into the work with four other very fit runners that include: Amanda Gillam, triathlete and personal trainer; Greg Cunningham, triathlete and triathlon academy coach; Joanna Zeiger, US Olympic triathlete; and Kristen Till, sales rep and runner.

Like all Runerval workouts, in the lower right hand corner of the screen is where you will see the current speed and percent incline of the treadmill (changes from an established base pace). In the lower left hand corner you will see the remaining time left in the workout. In the upper left corner you will see a perceived effort bar graph from 60% to 100% that adjusts as the tempo and exertion change between sets. Perceived effort can be noted even more if you have a heart rate monitor in use during these sessions. All these cues may sound like a lot of information on the screen, yet each element is helpful and keeps you on track as the workout progresses. Coach Troy gives ample cues so you know what to expect and prompts you to "roll into" each change as the music shifts tempo to match your running intensity. Be sure to have a water bottle and towel available as the sweat will be pouring as you go through these sets.

If you are driven, success oriented, and want to put in some hard work to reach your goals, then take to your treadmill (or elliptical) and let this DVD, and others in this series, lead the way. To place an order, and start becoming more focused in your treadmill workouts, visit Spinervals.com where for a short time the VHS versions of the first three in the series are half price. In closing Coach Troy states: "Thank you for joining me in this Runervals treadmill workout. Doing this type of interval session once or twice each week as part of your normal training schedule will do wonders for your strength and speed in preparing you for the 5k, 10k, and even the marathon."

Brief notes on each workout in this series:
1.0- For the beginner, including 12 x 1 minute intervals.
2.0- Tempo running with 4 sets of various intensity running.
3.0- Two sets of Pyramid repeats to build speed and strength.
4.0- 15 x hill repeats with increasing speed and elevation.
5.0- 5 x 1 mile repeats with short rest in improve lactate threshold.


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