I was glancing at my YouTube homepage today. Due to the number of ultra running and barefoot running training videos I watch, there’s almost always at least a few running things recommended to me. A full-length documentary caught my eye. I have a soft-spot for documentaries anyways, and this was one about ultras, a topic I find extremely intriguing.
So began my evening with “Finding Traction.” It’s a 55-minute documentary about Nikki Kimball, an elite long-distance runner, who attempts to break the men’s and women’s records on the the 273-mile Long Trail. Nikki is obviously a stunning athlete with an incredibly strong will.
The movie itself is… okay. Prepare yourself for almost an hour of Nikki Kimball’s backside as she runs through the woods, interspersed with shots of her team talking about the difficulty of what she is attempting in tense voices.
This is 55 minutes showing what took her five days to complete. Even so, about half the documentary cuts away from that to give you back story on Nikki or for her to tell you what she hopes to accomplish through her running. Which all goes to show: it turns out watching someone run over ten marathons in a row is INCREDIBLY BORING.
There are snippets of Nikki completely losing her mind, which is to be expected from someone who is putting in an intense athletic effort and also depriving herself of sleep. If you are a person of little compassion you may find these segments entertaining.
For the rest of us “Finding Traction” offers an insight into what it takes for a human to achieve something of this intensity. It was cool to get to know more about such a dedicated runner, and it made me feel a little better for pushing through my long run this morning.
So if you’re already into this sort of thing or are morbidly curious about ultra running I would recommend you check it out. It’s free, and if you can split your attention you can probably get a little work done at the same time.