The High Five: Ultrarunning Films

A new segment on our journal, join us for “The High Five” as we share a snapshot from a variety of running topics. From fuel favourites to destination races, running films to amazing apps, we’ve got you covered with a fast top five (and possibly some bonuses, too!) to get you dreaming, scheming, and, of course, running.

Today we are showcasing five must-see ultrarunning films. With some of us experiencing extra time on our hands these days and all of us staying at home way more, everyone is on the hunt for something to watch. Grab your favourite snack, a cold drink, and prepare to be inspired and entertained. And – as you’ll soon find out – it was so hard to pick just five, so a bonus list follows.

1. Coree Woltering On His Ice Age Trail FKT and Diversity (OutsideTV)

OutsideTV presents Coree Woltering

A shorter piece focused on Coree Woltering’s Ice Age Trail FKT. You may recognize Woltering from the uber-popular “World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji”. In this film from OutsideTV, we follow Woltering as he consumes 8,000 calories a day and spends over 21 days traveling 1,147 miles through Wisconsin. 

2. The Source (Dream Lens Media)

The Source by Dream Lens Media

Courtney Dauwalter is a household name with incredible achievements on her record, including first place female finishes at Western States (2018) and Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (2019) and first place overall at Moab 240 (2017). The Source explores Dauwalter’s source of will and is a brilliant look at one of the sport’s most fascinating athletes today. 

3. Western Time (Billy Yang)

A moving portrait of an incredible athlete, Western Time tells the story of Sally McRae (known on Instagram as @yellowrunner) as she qualifies for – and then races – the prestigious Western States 100 mile trail race. The film captures the essence of Sally – raw, hilarious, driven, and passionate. A mother and a wife, as well as a fierce competitor, Sally McRae’s story is one of resilience, triumph, and heartbreak. Keep the tissues nearby

4. Where Dreams Go To Die (Ethan Newberry)

Where Dreams Go To Die by Ethan Newberry

A story for the ages, indeed. Where Dreams Go To Die captures Canadian ultrarunner and multisport athlete Gary Robbins as he endeavours to conquer one of the most infamous, elusive races in ultrarunning: The Barkley Marathons. Where Dreams Go To Die is a cinematic masterpiece; director Ethan Newberry takes the viewer deep into the lore that is this legendary race. Consider watching the film with the bonus commentary for a second round to learn more about Newberry’s creative process. Nothing in this film is accidental.

5. Zach (Billy Yang)

The most recent film on this list, Zach was released by filmmaker Billy Yang on December 30, 2020. This film follows ultrarunner and The North Face athlete Zach miller as he trains, races, and reflects on his childhood. A beautiful film that will inspire anyone willing to put in the hard work of ultrarunning.

Bonus Picks

5a How Not To Run 55 Miles (BBC Radio 1): Reece Parkinson decides to take his first shot at an ultramarathon, The Montane Cheviot Goat. Located in Northhumberland, UK, this winter ultra is tough. So is Reece. Hint: There will have to be a part 2 to this.

5b Behind the Run Episode 1 -Yassine Diboun (Ethan Newberry): A raw portrait of Yassine Diboun, ultrarunner, coach, and business owner who shares about his battle with substance abuse.

5c Golden Hour (Austin Meyer): The final hour before the cutoff at Western States. Prepare to be floored.

5d Found on 49 (Summit Love): A deep dive into Jim Walmsley’s story and the tale of his one wrong turn.

5e LEADMAN The Dave Mackey Story (Billy Yang): A moving piece about an incredible athlete and his journey following a terrible accident that resulted in him having to have his leg amputated.

Enjoy the deep dive y’all are about to take into the wonderful world of ultrarunning documentaries!!!