Running on the Sun
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"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.Read more ›
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.
I'm a middle of the pack ultrarunner and it has become a tradition that before races and some long training runs I watch this documentary. The people profiled in it (ranging from a young British woman who has "always wanted to do a bit of running" to a man who lost his leg and arm clearing landmines for charity) are all the models of courage and determination.
I've watched this documentary so many times I feel like I know the people in it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The DVD stops five minutes before the end. I cleaned it and it's still won't play. Do I have an y recourse?Published on January 21, 2014 by Debra Shepack
This movie was very helpfull to get an idea on how to crew for a runner in Bad Waters
I crewed last week and it helped.
Awesome how people can achieve these things. I have run full marathons but it is nothing compare to what these people doPublished on June 17, 2013 by Diego
I've wanted to watch this for quite some time now, but have never seen it for less than $80 used on Amazon. Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by Nathan T. Herzog
Cool movie....ah.... I mean hot movie. I rented this movie and watched it twice over the weekend. If you are into running at all you will probably find this movie very... Read morePublished on June 14, 2010 by Canoeist
As an avid runner I was interested in watching this movie. I was in awe at what these people were able to accomplish. My husband who is not a runner enjoyed the film as well! Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by mbeaty77
I thoroughly enjoyed this running documentary. The viewer followers a select group of runners as they traverse 135 miles of the most grueling weather and terrain. Read morePublished on November 24, 2009 by Brian Hawkinson
This film is great. Documents a few runners that are going to run the 135 mile ultramarathon. It starts from their training for the race to the end of the race. Read morePublished on November 16, 2009 by P. Martinez