Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Running on the Sun|
Actors: Adam Bookspan, Angelika Castaneda, Eric Clifton, Maria De Jesus, Jack Denness
Director: Mel Stuart
Genres: Sports, Documentary
Ever think about running 135 miles through Death Valley?
Joe Sherry | Minnesota | 03/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A film by Mel Stuart
"Running on the Sun" is a documentary dealing with the Badwater 135 Ultra-marathon. While an ultra-marathon is defined as any race with a distance longer than a marathon (26.2 miles), Badwater is a grueling 135 mile race beginning in Death Valley (Badwater, California, elevation 282 feet below sea level) and ascending to 8000 feet by the race's end which includes an 18 mile stretch where the elevation rises over 5000 feet. With temperatures reaching 125 degrees in the middle of the day, the Badwater 135 is perhaps the nastiest race in the world. Only forty runners were invited to run Badwater in 1999.
This documentary focuses on a cross section of some of the competitors to give an accurate portrait of what Badwater is and what Badwater does to a person. From a Marine to a man with a prosthetic leg to a 68 year old man to the current record holder of Badwater to a woman from England who put herself into debt to make it to Badwater, "Running on the Sun" has an interesting cast of characters. But then anyone actually willing to attempt Badwater probably has to be an interesting person. So many of these runners are just ordinary people with an extraordinary drive, passion, and commitment. Very few runners are actually trying to win the race, or break a record, but rather they are seeking the incredible personal accomplishment of finishing (60 hours or less) and perhaps even chase the goal of finishing in under 48 hours and thus earning the symbol of pride: The Badwater Belt Buckle. Only those few who can finish in under 48 hours can earn that belt buckle (and they do "earn" it).
"Running on the Sun" touches upon why someone would run Badwater and what it takes. We see graphic footage of the feet of some of the runners and it isn't pretty. The film shows the joy, the pain, the pride, the disappointment, and the accomplishment of running Badwater. This really is an impressive documentary about an incredible endurance race. I'm impressed all the more because I'm currently training for my first marathon and while 26.2 miles seems like a long way, Badwater is 5 marathons back to back, plus a little bit more. Not to mention the whole Death Valley thing. It's beyond my comprehension as a runner.
There is something in "Running on the Sun" to recommend the movie to anyone. Runners will get to see something that is probably beyond their dreams or even desire, but they will surely appreciate the effort. Other endurance athlete can also appreciate what the competitors of Badwater are attempting. Those who are simply curious will see a film about perseverance and accomplishment through adversity. This is an inspiring and awe inspiring film, though I imagine many people won't get why someone would do this.
Who'd've thought WATCHING people run would be so watchable!!
K. Kelley | McAlester, OK USA | 11/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We're runners and would usually prefer to BE running, than to WATCH running. But, this is an excellent film. It's well-done and kept our interest throughout. It was painful to watch at times as these folks suffered along trying to do 135 miles, but yet, we couldn't take our eyes off. Highly recommended if you are a runner of any distance."
ultrarunnermeri | SE PA | 12/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a long distance runner, this movie was extremely inspirational and made me feel not so wacky with my running distances. :)
The documentary starts out with snippits of some of the participants and then goes into the prerace meeting. Even before they reached the starting line i was moved by the movie. I have never raced Badwater, but have raced enough to know what emotions you feel at the start and to even begin to imagine how they feel starting off on the Badwater 135 is overwhelming.
The remainer of the film chronicles several runners from the front of the pack on back. Also you see a lot of interaction between the runners and their crews and their families. It is moving to see how different each person deals with the trials and tribulations of the ultimate ultra. To see them sweating in the desert before the race even started, wow.
Then, comes the end of the movie and it is emotional to see each and every runner cross the line and break the tape. Amazing.
The extras on the DVD were interesting too.
If you are a long distance runner, marathon on up, you should definitly watch this. If you are interested in endurance sports or crazy athletes, this movie is a highly recommended one. Amazing. I finished it and wanted to watch it all over again."
Mark Bauman | Bloomsburg, PA United States | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this film. And I don't think you need to be a runner to marvel at what these folks put themselves through. The Badwater event has intrigued me for a couple years now. I've hovered over the "BUY NOW" button on Amazon for a while but I'm thankful that I finally made the purchase. I consider myself an ordinary distance runner. Nothing special. I simply try to go from point A to point B. But these folks are in a class all their own. The film is very well done with a good bit of backstory on some runners including some of their training strategies (which were incredible just by themselves). It also takes the viewer through the highs and deep lows of the Badwater experience, leaving nothing out. Highly recommend."