Written by James Hallett
As the Trails In Motion Film Festival [TIMF] continues to attract enthusiastic trail runners from around South Africa, I chat to film maker Andrew King from D4 Productions about one of his most recent productions called Mountain of Greatness, a film that premiered at TIMFF and has gone on to evoke unlimited emotion amongst the audiences of the Cape Town and Johannesburg screenings.
James Hallett (JH): Let's begin by talking about the origins of the project. Tell us a bit more about how this project came about and how you were first introduced to the Kilimanjaro Stage Run?
Andrew King (AK): I had first heard of Simon in the Killian's Quest video where Simon openly showed Killian all of the information that he needed to beat Simons own record for a non-stop ascent and descent of Kilimanjaro. For Simon it was entirely about the respect for the mountain and had nothing to do with is own ego and his desire to protect his record. At the time I remember thinking that this said a lot about his nature as a person, so when I was given the opportunity to document the 8-day stage run around the base of the mountain through a collaboration project, I didn't hesitate to get involved.
JH: As the concept to the project continued to grow and evolve from there on, what were some of the ideas you initially came up with on how to present this film and were they different to the end product?
Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2013 10:45
Written by James Hallett
I first met Marshall Ulrich in 2012 when he travelled to South Africa to compete in his first ever Comrades Marathon, a race he later told me he had been lining up for almost 20 years. Having read his book entitled Running On Empty (an emotional story about his run across America) a few months prior, it was a surreal interlude to say the least, one I will never forget. How can one relate to a man that has achieved so much, not only through his running endeavours but also through his adventure racing and mountaineering expeditions? Was it possible to fathom the distances, the hours he'd spent on his own two feet, the countless blisters (not to mention the surgically removed tone nails)? I felt lost for words yet seemingly overwhelmed with questions which I wanted to ask him.
Fortunately for me he spent some time at our house in Pennington on the South coast of KwaZulu-Natal while he enjoyed a restful break post Comrades with his wife Heather. This gave me the time to consolidate my thoughts and pose my hundreds of questions and comments calmly and over the course of 3 days. I even got to chat to him "on air" in a Go Trail LIVE cast interview ahead of his circumnavigation of Death Valley in California.
I recently found out that my good friend Marshall Ulrich is soon to be inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame and although having only spent a few short days with him in 2012 chatting about his extreme achievements, it is fantastic to hear that the day is finally upon him and us, the greater running community who should all be appreciative and inspired by his willingness not only achieve great things, but also by his intent on sharing them with us.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 15:17
Official South African Skyrunning Association press release
A new ultra-distance race has hit southern Africa’s trail running calendar with the announcement of the Lesotho Ultra Trail, to take place in northern Lesotho on 30 November.
Created by well-known KZN race organiser Andrew Booth, the 68km race will traverse mountainous, rocky trails combining steep ascents, descents, some contour running and loads of single track, will be hosted by Maliba Mountain Lodge, just one hour south from the Free State town of Clarens.
Sanctioned by the South African Skyrunning Association (SASA), the event will be recognised by the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) as Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon®, earning it the potential of being placed in the global circuit of ultras on the international trail calendar.
Defined as mountain running up to or exceeding 2 000m, where the incline exceeds 30% and where the climbing difficulty is not more than 11˚ gradient, the sport of skyrunning has taken the trail running world by storm in Europe, America and Asia over the past 20 years.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:06
Words > Daniel Rowland
In the cool morning breeze I shivered a little. I was a little terrified of what lay ahead: 250km in the driest desert on earth across brutal terrain. Amongst the competitors my feelings were shared, but they weren't based on the same underlying thoughts. I didn't hold a fear of the unknown. One year ago I was standing on the same start line. Six months ago I was running sections of the route and trying to acclimitise to the heat and altitude. I knew exactly what was coming. Exactly how hard it would be. Exactly how far I still had to go. That’s why my stomach was churning.
Six long and difficult hours into ‘The Long March’, I started to free-wheel down the dune to checkpoint four. It was starting to get hot as I pushed on in the afternoon sun. This was the first and last time I would be running in the harshest hours that the desert had to offer. And I knew that this was where the race would be decided. I had imagined the sensations of running it a thousand times, but now I was facing reality. It was tougher and hotter than I had visualised. I kept running and trying to rid myself of last year's demons: of breaking down and walking and spending an eternity in the endless, dry riverbed. I ran on, taking in calories and emptying my water bottle. I suffered, but I never walked.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 11:34
As our world becomes more cluttered with things that aim to distract us from the purity of life, isn't it funny how by connecting oneself with your surrounding environment in the most simplest of ways can remove the "noise"?!
Well known Canadian ultra runner Adam Campbell demonstrates in this, the latest short film from Canadian apparel specialists Arc'teryx, how running in SILENCE is something we should all learn to enjoy, a place where one is at peace with our inner emotions and the often overwhelming intracacies of life.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 08:15