Desert Runners (2013) Poster

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A Bit of a Jog - Just a Stroll
westsideschl11 August 2015
The ultra-marathon runs themselves are worth max stars. Filmed in 2010 in: 1. Atacama, Chili desert (driest). 2. Gobi desert, China (windiest). 3. Sahara desert, Egypt (hottest). 4. Antarctica (coldest, and precipitation is very low). Each run is over about a five day period (each night is recovery time) and totaling, ball park, 150 miles each. Great quotes, "What the hell am I doing here?", "Marathon is too conventional." Most impressive, and we know this from so many human endeavors, are the lengths we go to to help others. (Yes, there are also many examples of "me-firstism".) The most poignant helping was between Lisa and Samantha, and there were others.

The film reminds me that obsessions can result in paying a price, if not sooner, then later down the road. Missing from the film was the financial cost for each runner to participate, and the overall cost and challenges of promoting the runs. Also missing was more on the death of one of the runners as well as backlash from a Lisa Tamati criticism (warranted or not). Also why, she and others, failed to complete the four desert runs in a year goal. She just disappears from the film.
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An Amazing Story of the Endurace of the Mind and Body
dansandini5 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Recommended 7/10 in documentaries from me. I'm trying to figure out when the fun starts. Is it when the guy begins dry heaving and can't hold food or water down for 15 hours, or when the guy has 13 blood blisters on one foot including one the size of a golf ball (close up HD), or when the woman gets raped and they take her back to site of the violent sexual assault so she can finish. I'm trying to imagine that conversation: "hey can some give me a lift back to the place I got raped?"

A true story of amazing human endurance. As a marathoner, completing 4 x 250 km desert marathons in a single year is literally "mind blowing." One of my favorite scenes is this guy who limps in half dead shivering and vomiting. In the interview he speaks of his biggest fear: that his body would simply shut down. That his conscious mind would no longer be able to will him forward. Spoiler alert: at 56 he goes on to be the oldest guy to ever finish.

A special moment is Samantha who is the the youngest woman ever to complete and makes her personal best in the 250 km on Antartica of all places. I would want nothing more than a hot meal and my own bed.

Good doc. Streams free on Netflix. Don't miss it. Hat tip my friend Deb!
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