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A fine running movie with a real runner in it -- Bruce Dern.
If you love to run, really run, then you appreciate the joy of running. Nothing gets you closer to that true spirit than trail running, especially over beautiful terrain like that shown here. As I understand it, Bruce Dern is truly a devoted runner himself -- and he was chosen because no actor -- no matter how good otherwise -- who didn't really like to run, would be right. This film celebrates the Dipsea Race in Marin County, or the Double Dipsea -- a real event for some 40-50 years. It's not called that directly in the film, but otherwise the other things, the location, the handicapping by age, etc., is based on the Dipsea.. So, yes, it's a bit sappy, story-wise, but the sheer fun and adventure of the sport come through -- as opposed to the mad, adrenaline-driven competitiveness of track running (which has its place, too, God love it). The gloriousness of the scenery after running uphill for three or four miles: It's all here, guys! If you know the area, if you've been to the top of Mt. Tamalpais (you can drive there, for you tourists) -- once you top the ridge, then you can see the Pacific and run on down to it. So this film deserves its niche among the running community as a special film -- better than the many attempts to celebrate the great 3-mile champ from Wash/Oregon who died in a car crash -- Prefontaine, I think, was his name. There have been two films on him, both interesting, but just not enough real running in 'em. Maybe you've got an injury, can't run for a month or two -- you're going nuts because of it -- well, this film may provide some solace, help you feel like you're back out there on the trails. Or remind you what it's all about.
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