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Movie of the Month: 2007

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June 2007:

Order DVD at Amazon.com

Dancing the Bear
A 100-Mile Journey of Personal Exploration

The Bear 100 was first held in 1999, yet the messages delivered in this independent film are ageless. Although dozens of runners are featured from footage taken during the 2004 and 2005 races, the main focus is on two women athletes, Kelly Bradbury and Mary Workman. In addition, several montrail sponcered athletes (Karl Meltzer, Hiroki Ishikawa and Ty Draney) also share their rich experience with both the trails in general as well as this particular event. With 21,000 feet of of elevation gain, runners have 35 hours to complete this 100 mile loop course in Bear River Range National Forest located in southeast Idaho. The panoramic views and dynamic colors of the fall trees are etched by the passing runners as voice overs are often used to tell about the unique culture of ultra trail running, including comments on overcoming hardship, crew members, adjusting to the darkness, feet care, aid stations, pacers, and appreciation of the great outdoors.

  • "I fell in love with the mountains and couldn’t even think about my life without them. Just going and running in them has become somewhat who I am. Not so much as I think of myself as a runner, it’s more of something I have to do just in discovering myself. That’s what it’s about for me is connecting to the Earth, breathing the smells, it’s become a daily exercise in awareness." ~Kelly Bradbury
  • "The reason I love running these long distance races is for the adventure. It takes you to a place inside your soul that not many people experience. It is spiritual. I love nature. A 100 miles of beautiful trail through God’s gorgeous country invigorates me, inspires me, and as long as the highs are higher than the lows, it makes the lows worth it and your highs keep you going." ~Mary Workman
  • "Stay focused and disassociate because it’s not going to last. The deal is, no matter whatever it is, the bad or the good will both pass so you just have to stay the course. It’s only momentary." ~Errol "The Rocket" Jones
  • "Use every strategy you have, every resource you have, to beat the mountain. Just realize, when you have nothing else, you can do it on willpower alone. The race is the enemy. You have to overcome the race. These other people who are running, they’re not the enemy, they’re not competitors, they are friends on the trail. The race is what competes with you. The race is out to beat you, so you have to beat the race." ~Phil Lowry
  • "I never really thought about anything other than I’m just out here and I’m going to keep moving. You get into that single purpose mindset and just keep doing it. And it also helps to have a pacer who can cheer you up and kind of coax you along the way. And things start to go wrong, and it’s almost universal whether it’s the fastest runners or slowest runners, your body starts to break down in unusual ways and you start to have little problems and you have to start dealing with things going wrong" ~John Medinger
Like any test of endurance, this film goes through a host of aspects, some predictable, many not, that ends with satisfaction in the journey taken. Both an elevation map as well as course route are provided. Although the 54 minute film does not come with any extras or bonus material, it does provide chapters corresponding to many of the main checkpoints. This DVD is available new at Amazon.com and if you find after watching this film that you want to pursue this race yourself, visit the official Bear 100 website to learn more about this event.

See other Ultra Running films.



Bill Bowerman

May 2007:

Order at OPB.org

Bill Bowerman

With the 2008 USA Track and Field Olympic Trials returning to Eugene, Oregon this next Summer there is no better time to reflect upon one of the greatest coaches to have graced Hayward Field. Bill Bowerman spent 24 years as head track coach at the University of Oregon (4 NCAA titles, 33 Olympians, 16 sub-four minute milers, and 64 All-Americans) yet he may be just as well known for his innovations in footwear, track surfaces, and training methods for the average jogger. Although maybe not intentioned, this production rides on the heals of Kenny Moore’s extensively researched and well written book, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. Moore is just one of the former athletes interviewed, as well as co-workers, friends, and family members. The scope spans Bowerman’s family history , childhood (such as his twin dying at age 2), his own athletic pursuits, military service, coaching six State Championship teams at Medford High School, community involvement, some of his research into exercise, and numerous tales of antics that commonly follow an icon of his stature.

  • "I was a school teacher and an athletic coach. I think I was a good coach, but I was a good coach because I was a good teacher." ~ Bill Bowerman
  • "Everything we touched, everything we ate, everything we wore. Everything, even the women we loved, he wanted to improve." ~ Kenny Moore
  • "Don’t over train. In track and field I call it the ‘Hard/Easy Principle’ because if you work hard you have to rest, you have to recover." ~ Bill Bowerman
  • "He had the ability to tell you what you needed to work on to improve performance with the least amount of effort." ~Wade Bell
  • "If you have finished a race knowing that you have done your best, whatever it is, your a winner. That is what he tried to instill." ~ Barbara Bowerman
Bowerman was well known for the invention of the waffle sole and his involvement in the foundation of Nike. He also conducted community wide events and wrote his first book, Jogging, in 1967 that introduced the nation to the concept of fitness. If you want to bring this production into your own home, visit Shop.OPB.org to place an order. This 29 minute DVD was made with the cooperation of Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Historical Society as a segment of Oregon Experience Series. The writer, producer, and executive producer is Nadine Jelsing with Scott Simon providing the narration. Although Bill Bowerman died peacefully on December 24, 1999, at the age of 88, in his home town of Fossil, Oregon, his legacy will continue.


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April 2007:

Order at McMillan Running.com

Jack Daniels
The Art and Science of Running

Here is your chance to get many questions answered and concepts explained that may have been puzzling you for years. Watching this DVD is just like having a front row seat at a coaches clinic hosted by Dr. Jack Daniels, who has been honored as NCAA Cross Country Coach of the Century, and Runner’s World magazine described as the World’s Best Coach. You may know him best from his book, Daniels’ Running Formula, and this presentation is the ideal supplement to his written work. If you have ever had a hard time understanding or explaining VO2 max, lactate threshold, issues of blood chemistry, or limiting principles of performance, here are the answers (as science can best explain at this time). Daniels provides you clear and informative explanations of these fundamentals based on years of testing runners in the lab and his extensive coaching experience.

This clinic was held in the summer of 2006 and it took about eight months to craft the information into four distinct chapters: Principles of training, physiology of training, 5 ingredients of success, and bonus material. With each chapter broken into 8 to 15 scene selections, you can navigate directly to the material that interests you the most or that you want to review again. When Daniels writes on the white board, you see him doing so in the corner of the screen while the easy to read professional graphics are predominantly displayed. It is as if he brought an interactive power point presentation, a very nice feature that more instructional DVDs should utilize in the future. In addition to being professional and informative, this presentation is fun, engaging, insightful, and plain old entertaining at times.

Here are a few quotes from Dr. Jack Daniels:
  • "You often reach limits and you can’t train harder hoping to get better because training harder might impose so much more stress that you don’t have enough time to sleep. The benefits of all the stress come during the rest. They don’t come during the stress. You stress yourself, then you rest so your body can build up resistance to that kind of stress. So the rest is really really important."
  • "You do what you are capable of doing and don’t worry about the other people. If they have something go wrong that’s their problem. You didn’t beat them, they beat themselves. I call it concentrating on the task at hand."
  • "You could call your lactate profile a measure of your endurance because it tells you what intensity, or what speed of running, you can endure for a period of time without trouble."
  • "So I always say, if you are going to go run try to get in 30 (minutes) because you get the biggest return (aerobically) for the time spent."
If you are looking to improve your own coaching ability or personal running performance then obtaining this DVD will be money well spent. Visit McMillanRunning.com to buy your copy and then start examining your workouts, individual differences, and the art and science around what you choose to do to improve running performance. After seeing this DVD you may even have a new perspective on breathing, altitude, injuries, attitudes, maximizing efficiencies, rest, lactic acid, and a host of other elements commonly discussed in running circles all over the world.


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March 2007:

Order at ZombieRunner.com

Runners High
It’s 26.2 miles from Oakland to anywhere they wanna go.

Running a marathon is a life changing event. Take this challenge to young adults who are still in high school, and watch the impact that reaching for a goal can have. Each year a program called Students Run Oakland sign up more than 50 participants who commit to training for the Los Angeles marathon. This 86 minute documentary focuses on four main participants, Fred, Marvin, Ebony, and Alma, who each find themselves struggling with all the emotions of being young while training for what seems like an impossible goal. To meet the requirements set by the program, these runners need to learn almost every aspect of how to conduct themselves and fortunately there are outstanding coaches to guide them along the way.

To take non-runners to marathon finishers in four short months requires exceptional coaches and volunteers. Coach Alphonzo Jackson and executive director Spencer Hooper have just the right mix to provide motivation, routine, structure, and guidance for many life lessons that come over such a short period of training. These runners seem to encounter struggles at every turn. Making practice, obtaining gear, improving fitness, and dealing with injury are all standard problems needing to be addressed during marathon training. Additional problems also have to be overcome such as where to stay at night, keeping in school, handling relationships, and the need to exert enough effort to accomplish what appears to be overwhelming tasks.

  • "Preparation is the key to success." ~Coach Alphonzo
  • "I like challenges and I know I can do anything that I set my mind to so I decided to join this program because I wanted to prove to myself and other people that I could do it." ~Marvyn
  • "If you go out too fast you are going to die, but if you go out easy and pace yourself and get yourself in a good rhythm you are going to be fine." ~Coach Alphonzo prior to the 13 mile qualifying run.
  • "Let me tell you somthin’. I think that you have done more than you thought you could do. But you ain’t done as much as I think you can do. You ain’t done as much as you can do." ~Coach Spencer
  • "They don't have any concept of what they are getting themselves into. That’s why it changes them so much because it’s like ‘Wow, this was a little bit more than I thought it was, but I actually did it.’ That’s the whole philosophy about running a marathon." ~Coach Spencer
This documentary has been shown at major festivals around the world (San Francisco, Austin, Urbanworld in NY, Hot Docs in Toronto, DOCNZ, India) and look for additional screenings during race weekends throughout 2007. If you have completed a marathon you will find your own story coming through in universal messages on the screen. If you have wondered if you could conquer the marathon distance then this story has several messages that you can take away and learn from. Like life, the marathon throws challenges and opportunities where one may least expect it. You can learn more about this production that was directed and produced by Justine Jacob and Alex D. da Silva at the official web site, www.RunnersHighFilm.com, where you can also view a trailer then place your order at ZombieRunner.com.


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February 2007:

High Hurdles
World Class Track & Field Series

There is none better than Renaldo Nehemiah and Coach Jean Poquette to share their insights into the high hurdle event. This 36 minute video tape covers the scope of the event including: eight components of technique, the start to the first hurdle, drills, flexibility, strength, weights (over a dozen lifts), and speed. As Coach Poquette is talking you will see Nehemiah demonstrating each method. The camera shots are isolated, often from the side and front, and most in slow motion to make it easy to pinpoint the element being described. Three qualities are noted for athletes seeking success in the high hurdle event: Technique, strength, and speed.

There are numerous elements that you will not find in any other hurdle video. For example, examining the lead foot rotation to obtain the best angle (thereby reducing the center of gravity over the hurdle), explanations of "back and forth" drills, and the use of "jamming" for speed development. It is also recommended that speed work not consume a large amount of time at the high school level since there is a high frequency of competitions. This is a one tape that cannot be recommended too highly and if there is only one hurdle tape on your coaching shelf, this should be it. Both coach and athlete alike will want to study this presentation again and again to get maximum benefit.

The four major components of technique:
  • Lead Leg: "The lead leg is the most important element in the mechanics of hurdling... The knee of the lead leg should drive towards the hurdle with the foot trailing behind the knee. The foot of the lead leg should not get ahead of the knee until the knee drives up higher than the hurdle and the foot now prepares to the action over the hurdle."
  • Trail Leg: "The motion of the trail leg is a rotational motion with the knee leading the action until the leg comes completely up around in front of the runner... The foot of the trail leg remains below the knee throughout the motion. The knee of the trail leg comes close to the armpit area as it rises to clear the hurdle and then rotates into the first step."
  • Lead Arm: "The purpose of the lead arm is to assist in the forward drive into the hurdle and to maintain balance. The lead arm extends towards the hurdle at the same time as the lead leg... The elbow of the lead arm should initiate the backward pull of the lead arm."
  • Trail Arm: "While the lead leg is driving up and forward, the trail arm is drawn back with the elbow initiating the action. The trail arm remains at an angle of approximately ninety degrees and the hand of the trail arm comes back to the trunk of the body... If the trail arm is drawn back during the lead leg action it can then be used to "punch" forward and provide upper body thrust as the trail leg drives through."
Rehaldo Nehemiah is the only high school athlete to break 13 seconds in the high hurdles. After two years at the University of Maryland he left to sign a contract with the Puma. This was followed by three world records between 1979 and 1981, and also being the first man to break 13 seconds (best of 12.93) over the 42 inch barriers. Nehemiah turned his attention to football with the San Francisco 49ers for a short period (earning a Super Bowl ring) and was later reinstated as an amateur in 1986 when he returned to hurdling. He was far from over with his specialty event as his best time in 1991, when this video was completed, was 13.19. This tape had been made available from the producer, Championship Productions.com, however they discontinued selling VHS tapes in the summer of 2007. We can only hope that this is on a list of specialty tapes worth reformatting to DVD to bring back for distribution. Some of the visuals used in this production are also found on a still available DVD, Hurdles with Walter Curry, although the voice overs are different.


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January 2007:

Order at RunFam.com

Run Like Hell

Not very often is there a running film that one can watch over and over at a variety of levels and still come back for more. However, that is exactly what 2004 Olympic steeplechaser Anthony Famiglietti, better known as Fam, has done in this dynamic short film. Part biography, part training tool, and full time entertainment, the balance has been achieved in a unique presentation that will keep the track and field fans chattering about this film for years to come. If you didn’t pay attention to the steeplechase before, you likely will now. This film opens with...

to run like hell is to defy the logic
of everyday man and to CHOOSE pain.
The pain is not a means to success in
some sensationalized sporting event
meant to market athletes and sell
their talents to the masses. The pain
IS the success.
Once you prove that pain cannot
dominate you, you can
RUN LIKE HELL.
-fam

Narrated by Fam, you get to hear the story from his own point of view. Starting with "how it all began", you move through progressions in high school, college (Appalachian State University and University of Tennessee), and beyond. With a sprinkling of interviews with his family, coaches, agent, fiancé, and revealing self-disclosure, you see how an elite athlete was developed over many years with hard work, focus, and desire. Fam has competed in all levels of competition and with altitude training in Flagstaff, Arizona, 2006 became another great year with four new PRs: 27:37.24 10k debut, 3:55.71 mile, 3:35.83 1500m, and 13:24.47 for 5000m.

  • "One thing about Fam that came across right away was his desire to get better and be great ... He sets his goals first and then trains to that level ... He can do a lot of it on his own and he’ll train hard anywhere and anytime and that is what makes him successful." ~ Coach George Watts
  • "He’s got a fire in him that makes him. He puts his all into what he does." ~ Angela Famiglietti
  • "I pretty much do train completely by myself. As far as any tempo runs that I do in the park, or my base training phase, or workouts on the track here in the city, everything is done by myself. And when I say by myself I’m not just sayin’ I’m the only athlete working out there. There’s no coach out there with a stopwatch, there’s no other athletes on the track doing their own thing, it’s just me." ~ Fam
  • "When he races he gives his all and you can see it in his face, you can see it in his eyes, and he’s not ever going to give up." ~ Karen Underwood
  • "My overall workout style is to run hard on the hard days and run easy on easy days. You know you’re alright until you start seeing colors, then you know you’re in trouble. I usually see like green patches with purple lightning, that means I’m in oxygen debt. Lets get some visuals going." ~ Fam
This DVD is fast paced with frequent editing and music changes that is raw at times. Shaky camera work, shadows, as well as low sound levels are present, yet this fits right in with the eclectic range of presentation. Just when this production could settle, it moves forward in another engaging mix, often with humorous weaves and new insights. Released in December 2006 you will need to order this 51 minute film directly to enjoy it again and again. Visit Fam’s official web site at RunFam.com to place your order, view multiple trailers and photo gallery, and keep up on current news.

Extras include:
  • Steeple Drills: Fam demonstrates six essential drills for improved hurdle form. (6:43)
  • Outtkakes: More opportunities to continue laughing. (4:47)
  • "Worst Diet Ever": Discover Fam’s secret food choice. (1:25)
  • Rieti, Italy 1500: Complete race (home video) with a 24 second last 200 for Fam. Bernard Lagat wins. (3:37)
  • Stanford Invite 10k: Fam’s debut with Alan Webb and Dathan Ritzenhein battling it out up front. This home video footage contains a clear soundtrack with the stadium announcer providing good updates as well as crowd spectators using occasional adult language. Next time they should bring a tripod to the track. (27:37)


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