This is dramatic coverage of the 29th running of the Western States 100 ultra marathon. From pre-race introductions, race start, running action, aid stations, and concluding at the finish line you will have the chance to make your own determination if these athletes are obsessed in their quest or just plain "mad". You will be drawn along as runners are featured as the day and miles pass along the course. There are no flashbacks or distortions of time as sections of the course are introduced with topographical and elevation maps along the way with course comments from Tim Tweitmeyer who has completed this course 20 times in less than 24 hours. 425 people start in Squaw Valley and are confronted with the 18,000 feet of vertical climbing and 23,000 feet of decent experienced in this wilderness passage.
Nearly 100 people are listed in the films credits and almost half are introduced on-screen as they explore various running related topics. With runners, medical volunteers, aid station workers, massage therapists, pacers, family members, and race organizers, the extent of the conversations are wide in scope and quite interesting. If you have ever considered ultra trail running there are sure to be some tips that you can pick up along the way to make your own journey more successful.
The athletes who are featured with personalized attention are varied and are presented in the following order throughout this production:
Catra Corbett-McNeeley: She has turned her life away from drugs with the help of her exercise program. With less than two years of running experience this is her second Western States 100."You’re out here in the middle of nowhere and it’s just such a spiritual experience."
Gordy Ainsleigh: He was the founding runner and first to complete the event in under 24 hours. With a wealth of experience his advice and energy are invaluable contributions to this production. "It’s easy to run at a pace that feels good and actually that’s setting a person up for disaster farther down the trail."
Simon Mtuy: From Tanzania, he works as a guide on Mount Kilimanjaro and is raising funds to rebuild a school in his village of Marangu Mbahe.
Emma Davies: Being an ultrarunner for nearly a decade, she uses her four children as race support during this, here fourth running of this course.
Scott Jurek: As a physical therapist from Seattle, he reveals his lifestyle that has resulted in three first place finishes in as many years. "There’s a lot that can happen in 100 miles. Things are gonna go wrong and there are going to be challenges that your going to face that you never anticipated and how you deal with them is the most important thing." As he seeks his fourth consecutive win will a course record be in his sights this year?
Bob Pearson: He has to control his diabetes by checking his blood sugar and providing insulin to keep his body capable of running. Will he maintain well enough to reach the finish line?
Clark Zealand: Being a runner since the fourth grade, will this post-collegiate runner be able to meet his goal of being a competitive entrant in his first 100 mile race?
19 runners are individually mentioned as they cross the finish line. This production is very well structured and presented and is complimented with nearly two dozen songs from three musical artist. Produced and directed by Susan Cohn Schultz, the founder of Jalapeno Productions, it has been featured at numerous film festivals including Ojai Film Festival, Woods Hole, Rome International, Hard Acre, and Everett Women’s Film Festival. You can check out a three minute trailer that is offered in quicktime or windows media format and to place an order form this DVD visit ZombieRunner.com. The DVD will come in a plain case without cover art, although the excellent contents gives you plenty of images to remember for a long time.