36 Minutes + Extras
Available on DVD
Meet ultrarunner Anton "Tony" Krupicka as he tells his story of his running and prepares for and competes in the Leadville Trail 100 mile race. In the five weeks prior to Leadville he logged 1,000 training miles. This biographical documentary is similar to the runner’s life, simple and straightforward with a bit of personality. On the screen you see a lot of trail running in some beautiful and remote locations while a soundtrack plays between interview comments. There is no narration, on screen prompts, or extra commentary; it’s mainly Tony sharing his thoughts and experiences while you see him taking on the distance in the great outdoors. You get to hear how he started running and chose to do his first marathon at age 12. Even the traditional 5K and 10K racing distances found in college seemed too short for this runner. You can really tell that he loves what he is doing and has chosen a lifestyle that he can balance with his running. You learn about his training methods and the way he looks at a variety of topics from injury to shoe modification to spending hours alone on the trail.
From the low point of wearing a boot to heal a stress fracture in his foot to watching the awards ceremony after his 16:14:35 Leadville victory, Tony shares his perceptions that shape his world. He is sponsored by La Sportiva and is a double major in philosophy and physics, so there is more going on than just piling up miles after miles. Through it all he puts in the work needed to be confident in his ability to withstand the demands that are required to attack a 100 mile race. Here are some quotes provided by the interviews:
"In a 100 mile race you are running all day so during training I try to recreate that over a series of days, weeks, and months of cumulative fatigue of running a lot and then getting used to feeling like crap all the time...what it comes down to is sheer mileage. I try to average four hours a day."
"On a lot of my shoes I end up having to slice off part of the heel in order to make the height between the fore foot and rear foot the same and the reason that does is it frees up your ankle joint to act as a cushion instead of your fat pad on your heal."
"I’m in this for the long haul. I want to run my entire life so I can’t constantly put in 35 hour weeks of running. I think those weeks, well maybe not necessarily for everyone, can give me a lot of confidence going into a big race."
"If I can get a few people to realize there’s a different way of thinking about things, both in running and life in general ... I’d be happy with that."
The DVD extras are full of a host of different perspectives that are well worth checking out and it would have been good to see many of these features inserted into the main film. There are 19 interview questions, some serious and others just for fun (and maybe best described as bloopers). There is a section on running at Colorado College, a Division III school, which has comments from head coach Ted Castaneda and some of the cross country athletes. There is also a trailers sections as well as an interview with his girlfriend, Jocelyn Jenks, who is also a runner whom you see in a supportive role during the main film. Lastly, a particularly interesting and well done section listing over 20 of the places where the filming took place (Colorado, California, Nevada, and Utah) that comes complete with the route location with elevation, and ranking for difficulty and remoteness of the trail. This film was brought to you by the crew at NegativeSplit.net, the same group who released Five Thousand Meters: Nothing Comes Easy in 2004. You may visit the official website at NegativeSplit.net or stop by ZombieRunner.com where you can also place an order for this DVD.