Winter vibes. Nothing better than hitting the trails in a bit of wind, rain and chilly temps, and following that up with a hot shower, good food and some couch time. As trail runners, we need to make that couch time count! So we rounded up some of the most motivational, inspiring and touching Trail TV options for you.
Sounds a bit negative, right? It is pure gold. Published on 31 May 2018, this is a documentary created by Ethan Newberry (The Ginger Runner) that follows Canadian runner, Gary Robbins, during his two attempts at completing the infamous Barkley Marathons – a 100-mile event many consider the toughest endurance event, ever. You’ll enjoy a two year journey with some proper highs and extreme lows, and insight in to an event that has more elevation gain than the Western States and Hard Rock combined, and route marking includes pages ripped from books… it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Producers, The African Attachment, take the simplicity of a dog’s approach to life, and turn it in to a moving, somewhat spiritual little story. You’ll feel it, especially if you are one of the many trail runners who enjoy sharing single track with your best, furry mate. Set in the small village of La Motte-d'Aveillans in the South East of France which is the home of the winner of the #MyTrailDog competition, Gaëtan Ugnon-Fleury and his dogs, Pépite and Jolyn. “Trail Dog is an ode to the beauty and happiness that can be found in the simplest of things - friendship.”
Want to know what it takes to close the deal? Just how much do these pros throw down when they have left it all out there? Zach Miller's closing 2 minutes of his 2016 The North Face Endurance Challenge San Francisco 50 Mile victory. It’s beautiful.
Again, you’ll be transported to the front bunch, where most of us will never run. Hayden Hawks takes on the 2015 TNF EC 50 champion Zach Miller and one of the most stacked 50 milers on the ultra-marathon circuit. Banter, race strategy and mind-bending speed on trail.
Ai, Billy Yang knows how to move you. On June 25, 2016, a collection of trail and ultra runners toed the line at the historic Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run running from Squaw Valley to Auburn. Among the 350+ were 4 women vying for the win and a coveted top 10 finish which is recognized annually at this prestigious event; this is their story.
Why… would you want to run 100 miles? That far, on foot? “Using the historic and legendary Leadville 100 Mile Race as my backdrop and with the support of GU Energy Labs, I explore these ideas as I ran my 3rd 100-mile race at the "Race Across the Sky". Through the good, bad and the ugly - I attempted to unpack "the why" in running a 100 miles”- Billy Yang (legend).
Ok, this isn’t trail running… but it is one of the most interesting insights in to what it would take to break 2 hours in a standard marathon. It will have you asking, “where are the physical limits of humanity… and where are mine?” Three champion marathoners, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, and Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, along with an elite group of physiologists, work together to try and defeat all odds by breaking the 2-hour marathon.
There is a lot of great stuff happening on Salomon Running TV. This one has quirk, and is a total celebration of the joy of mountain running. Every 4th of July thousands of people descend on the small harbour town of Seward, Alaska to witness one of the oldest, fastest, hardest, toughest… and shortest mountain races in the world. For years, Rickey Gates has been churning out war stories and legends of the annual Mount Marathon Race to anyone that would listen. In 2015, in the race’s centenary year, Kilian and Emelie finally did…
All the feels… Again we’re deviating from trail specific content, but this will totally have you blaming the onions. This inspirational short documentary tells the unfathomable comeback story of Tim Don, the fastest Ironman triathlete of all time, after breaking his neck in a cycling crash. Humans are SO incredibly resilient when we choose to be.
So, kick back and enjoy some constructive couch time, then apply the wisdom, inspiration and motivation to your own running endeavours. And now that you are motivated… heads up that you can still enter the Helderberg Mountain Challenge for those seeking moderate to mainstream thrills and some savage climbs, or throw down the gauntlet and do both the HMC and the Marloth Mountain Challenge with a partial Mountain Challenge Series entry. That will change you. You might even want to shoot your own movie!
Words by Kim Stephens