Saturday, March 7, 2009
"Beyond the Epic Run" movie review
I saw this movie weeks ago and promised I'd review it, but then life promptly got in the way. It's very annoying when things don't go exactly as I want them to... things like winning the lottery or suddenly becoming a "front of the packer" in my races! But I digress...
Beyond the Epic Run is opening in 12 cities this spring and if you enjoy documentary types of movies all about people pushing to the limit then this is very much worth your time and money. The movie tracks a husband and wife running through 37 countries, 25,000 miles over 5 years, just Serge running and Nicole riding a motorcycle next to him carrying all their gear. Most of the footage is what Serge and Nicole took themselves along the way interspersed with scenery footage taken later. In so many ways this was an incredible, inspiring movie but in other ways it didn't get deep enough into the nitty gritty for me. They went though some terrible hardships, both of them contracted malaria and Nicole almost died, they were robbed, they had to re route at times to avoid civil wars, they lost their charity sponsorship, Serge got hit by a car, and on and on. But for me, as a sick & depraved ultrarunner, I was looking for the blistered feet and the complete breakdown of body and soul, which was touched on but not deep enough for me. It's an epic adventure movie rather then a running movie, and since I showed up expecting a running movie it threw me for a bit.
My only other complaint had to do with the "experts" that peppered the movie. The director pulled in different doctors, runners, etc to give short "oh wow isn't that amazing" speeches, but really the movie doesn't need it. The level of running that Serge did doesn't need a "celebrity" runner to point it out.. it speaks on its own. The guy went through 64 pairs of running shoes, 100 pairs of socks and ran essentially 970 marathons, (that's a marathon every other day for 5 years!!) That's a level of dedication and crazy I can only dream about.
The scenery was breathtaking and it made me want to rush right out and buy a bunch of plane tickets to places I never thought I'd want to visit. The sold all their possessions to take this journey, but wow would it be worth it!
The pure, raw emotion in this movie was absolutely inspiring. Seriously, see this movie if it comes to your town but go in knowing that it is an amazing adventure movie and not a movie about running... which means it's safe to take non running friends and family too!