Words: Tori Leckie / www.fitchicksandfastwomen.com | Photos: © Anthony Grote
With a gaping hole in my foot remaining from the recent Dube races, time on the trails was minimal last week, so the chance to watch them on the big screen came as a fitting compromise. You see, it
was Durban’s turn for the 2014 rendition of the Trails in Motion Film Fest and with that came two glorious evenings of tales from the trails.
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DAY 1 We absorbed the beauty of tree-lined trails in Trails and Tribulations before watching a further two short films; Emilie Lecomte’s GR20 Record and Race Across The Sky, about Leadville. Leadville is pretty much an Ivy League race in the world of trail events. It's a hundred miler with relentless ascents and levels of altitude that can only be likened to running with a sock in your mouth.
Trails in Motion is a little like the world-renowned Banff Film Festival (BFF), but still in its infancy and focused only on trail running. BFF now tours in more than 30 countries so watch this space, perhaps Trails in Motion will follow suit. I was at BFF last
year in France (the tour timed perfectly with running a gorgeous 65 km trail race between vineyards in the Beaujolais region) and both festivals share the same unquenchable spirit for adventure. The idea behind Trails in Motion is to capture the true spirit of trail running and showcase a collection of the best trail running movie content from our global playground of trails.
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A break from the big screen came with a guest appearance by Iain Don Wauchope. Before moving to these parts, I didn’t know of Iain, but it didn’t take long to see why he’s an athlete of note, with some impressive victories behind him and a refreshingly real approach to juggling the demands of training, life, work, play and family. I reckon every trail runner could benefit from his insight, experience and wisdom. Finally, we watched JB Benna’s Unbreakable, a truly awesome feature film about the iconic Western States race in 2010. Featuring the world’s true greats when it comes to ultra running, Anton Krupicka, Kilian Jornet, Goeff Roes and Hal Koerner, the film chronicles the race, the runners and their lives. It beautifully captures the physical and emotional roller coaster that goes hand in hand with long-distance races and demonstrates the sheer mental strength required to pull you through when the going gets tough. Having just finished reading Jornet’s book, Run or Die, it was great to see him in action.
Iain Don Wauchope, an athlete of note with some impressive victories behind him.
DAY 2 Same, same but different; more incredible trails shot in different corners of our planet. The highlights for me were these: Running the Edge was about Scott Jaime’s epic 2013 traversing of the 486-mile Colorado Trail. Setting a new FKT, the film conveyed the harsh realities of such pursuits and the brutal determination required to get through them. If I remember only one section of the film, it will be when Scott talks about how such huge challenges don’t change us, but they sure as hell allow us to discover who we really are.
In the High Country stars the iconic Anton Krupicka. Beyond his absurd weekly mileage, precision approach to training and resulting awe-inspiring achievements, Anton has a beautiful mind with an aspirational philosophy towards life, motivation and personal growth. When he spoke of how long days in the mountains are nothing if not an intense self-examination, it resonated.
When he talked about how the trails inspire us to look closely at ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses and where we belong, I’ve no doubt every one in the room connected. www.doitnow.co.za • 3
With running comes reason And last but not least, The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBF), a stunning race in Borneo, which I ran in its inaugural year in 2012. Based on Mount Kinabalu (13,435 ft / 4,095 m), my last visit, when I was 11, had been to embark on a grand mountain adventure with my dad, so it was great to return and reminisce! The route was stunning - think villages and fields, rice paddies and cabbage crops, rivers and bridges, red dirt tracks and lush green jungle. The entire course swung between insanely vertical climbs and technically steep descents, with the mighty Kinabalu summit never far from eyeshot.
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Events like Trails in Motion are so uplifting. They bring together all those with a shared love for running in beautiful places, those who understand how much dedication, commitment and focus it has taken just to get to the start line. They unite those who might otherwise be divided by cultures, countries, creeds or colour. In a world sometimes driven by exclusion, the trail community embodies inclusion, and in a world where we increasingly suffer from disconnection, the trail community brings us total connection. I think many first take to the trails in a quest for physical fitness, but soon after discover that the physical benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. They are our playgrounds for self-discovery. In fulfilling our passions we discover our purpose. With running comes reason! Next stop on the tour is Joburg, in April, so get hold of your tickets whilst places remain. â€˘
For more information on Trails in Motion, visit trailsinmotion.co.za
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