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The Best Ultra Running Documentaries to Watch Right Now

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If you’re an avid runner or just a fan of the sport, you’ll love these ultra running documentaries. They feature some of the toughest and most dedicated runners in the world as they attempt to conquer some of the most difficult courses out there. From 100-mile races to 24-hour endurance challenges, these runners push themselves to the limit and beyond.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration to get out there and start running yourself, or you just want to marvel at the dedication and tenacity of these athletes, these are the best ultra running documentaries to watch right now.

1. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

Release Date: 2014

Run Time: 89mins

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime

This film takes a closer look at the Barkley Marathons, exploring the history of the race and the colorful characters who have attempted it. If you’re looking for a true test of human endurance, It tells the story of the world’s most difficult race ‘The Barkley Marathons’ which is a 100 mile race that takes place in the backwoods of Tennessee and is known for its extreme difficulty. The race is so difficult that only 15 people have ever finished it and has a 60 hour time limit. The race is known for its tough conditions, including cold weather, high elevation, and rugged terrain. The documentary follows the stories of several runners as they attempt to complete the race. The Barkley Marathons is an inspiring story of human endurance and determination.

The film also interviews race founder Gary Cantrell, who explains the history and philosophy behind the race. The Barkley Marathons is an inspirational film about runners who push themselves to their limits in pursuit of their dreams.

The Race:

The Barkley Marathons is an annual ultramarathon race held in Tennessee, United States. The race is considered one of the most difficult and challenging ultramarathons in the world, with only a handful of runners ever finishing it. The race covers a total distance of approximately 100 miles (160 km), with runners having to navigate through a difficult and rugged course. The race is named after its founder, Gary “Lazarus” Cantrell, who came up with the idea for the race while on a hike in the nearby Barkley Mountains.

2. Unbreakable: The Western States 100

Release Date: 2015

Run Time: 89mins

Where to watch it: Youtube

Almost everyone has heard of the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, but the Western States 100 is often considered the most difficult of the three. The race starts in Squaw Valley, California and runs 100 miles through the Sierra Nevada mountains to Auburn. The course is notoriously difficult, with an elevation gain of over 18,000 feet. But that doesn’t deter the 500 or so runners who attempt the race each year.

The film follows the Western States 100 endurance race from the perspective of four of its top male runners: Geoff Roes, Hal Koerner, Anton Krupicka and Kilian Jornet one of the greatest mountain runners.

“Unbreakable” is an intimate and beautifully shot film that provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the minds of some of the world’s best ultra runners. It’s a fascinating look at what drives these athletes to push their bodies to the brink in pursuit of extreme physical feats.

The athletes featured in “Unbreakable” are all highly accomplished runners who have repeatedly won or placed high in some of the most prestigious ultra marathons in the world.

The Race:

The Western States 100 is one of the most gruelling ultra-marathons in the world. Every year, runners from all over the globe descend on the tiny town of Squaw Valley, California, to attempt the 100-mile course through the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Despite the challenge, the Western States 100 has an almost 100% completion rate. In fact, in the nearly 50 years the race has been running, there have only been two years where no runner has reached the finish line.

So what makes the Western States 100 so special? And what keeps runners coming back year after year to attempt the challenge?

Here are five things that make the Western States 100 unbreakable:

1. The Scenery

The Western States 100 course takes runners through some of the most stunning scenery in the world. From the start line in Squaw Valley, runners will wind their way through forests, meadows and rivers before climbing up into the Sierra Nevada mountains. The views from the top of the range are simply breathtaking.

2. The History

The Western States 100 has a rich history. The first race was held in 1974 and was won by Gordy Ainsleigh, who ran the race in 23:59. The course has remained largely unchanged since then, with only a few minor changes to the route.

The race is held on the last Saturday of June, and runners have a 30-hour time limit to complete the 100-mile distance.

Approximately 350 runners start the race each year, and around 200 finish within the time limit.

3. 15 Hours | with Amelia Boone

Release Date: 2018

Run Time: 8mins

Where to watch it: Youtube

This film is a great look at the world of ultra marathon running. It follows Amelia Boone as she attempts to break the female course record at the Western States Endurance Run. This race is 100 miles long and takes place in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The documentary follows her preparations for the race and then follows her as she runs it.

The film does a great job of showing both the physical and mental challenges that come with running an ultra marathon. It also shows how much dedication and training is required to be successful at this type of racing. Amelia Boone is an impressive athlete and her accomplishments in this race are very impressive.

Overall, I thought this was a great documentary about ultra marathon running. It provides a good overview of what these races are like and showcases the athleticism and determination of one of the best runners in the world.

4. Finding Traction

Release Date: 2018

Run Time: 145mins

Where to watch it: Youtube

In “Finding Traction,” ultra marathon runner Nikki Kimball sets out to cover the length of Vermont’s 273-mile Long Trail in a single push, deeming the effort a quest for “traction.” The film follows her training and preparations, as well as the race itself, providing insight into the ultrarunning community and the motivations of those who choose this challenging pursuit.

While at times slow and meandering, “Finding Traction” is ultimately an engaging look at one woman’s attempt to do something seemingly impossible. Kimball is an articulate and likable subject, and her passion for running is evident. The film also offers a fascinating glimpse into the culture of ultrarunning, which is populated by determined athletes who push their bodies to the limit in pursuit of physical and mental challenges.

5. Behind Courtney Dauwalter & Francois D’haene’s Ultra-Trail Races at Hardrock 100 and UTMB

Release Date: 2021

Run Time: 51mins

Where to watch it: Youtube

Ultra-trail races are not for the faint of heart. The Hardrock 100 and UTMB are two of the most difficult ultra-marathons in the world, and only the fittest athletes can complete them. Courtney Dauwalter and Francois D’haene are two runners who have had success at these races.

Dauwalter is a self-proclaimed “ultra running junkie.” She has competed in dozens of ultra-marathons and has won many of them. In 2017, she set a new course record at the Hardrock 100, finishing in just over 33 hours.

D’haene is no stranger to success either. He is a three-time winner of the UTMB, one of the most challenging ultraruns in the world.

6. LIFE IN A DAY | The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run 2017

Release Date: 2021

Run Time: 51mins

Where to watch it: Youtube

LIFE IN A DAY is a documentary about the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, one of the most difficult and prestigious ultra marathons in the world. The film follows a group of runners as they attempt to complete the grueling race, which winds through the Sierra Nevada mountains from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

The runners are a diverse group, ranging in age from 20-somethings to 60-somethings, and representing a variety of countries and backgrounds. Some are experienced ultra marathoners, while others are taking on the challenge for the first time. But all of them share a common goal: to cross the finish line.

The film chronicles the runners’ training, preparations, and ultimately, their race. It’s an intimate look at the physical and mental challenges they face, as well as the camaraderie and support they find among their fellow runners.

LIFE IN A DAY is an inspiring film for anyone who has ever dreamed of accomplishing a challenging goal. It’s a reminder that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

7. WHERE DREAMS GO TO DIE – Gary Robbins and The Barkley Marathons

Release Date: 2021

Run Time: 51mins

Where to watch it: Youtube

Ultrarunner Gary Robbins is a world-renowned trail runner, and he has completed some of the most difficult races in the world. However, the Barkley Marathons has always been one of his biggest challenges. In this film, we follow Gary and his team as they attempt to complete the Barkley Marathons, and we see firsthand just how difficult this race can be.

If you’re looking for an ultra marathon documentary that will inspire you to push your limits, then you’ll want to check out Gary Robbins and The Barkley Marathons. This film is an incredible look at one of the most challenging ultra marathons in the world, and it will definitely motivate you to push yourself to the limit.

8. ZACH | In Relentless Pursuit Of His Best: The Journey of Ultrarunner Zach Miller

Zach Miller is one of the most accomplished ultrarunners in the world. He’s run some of the most difficult and iconic races on the planet, including the Badwater Ultramarathon, the Leadville Trail 100, and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Zach is also a two-time winner of the Western States Endurance Run, one of the most prestigious and difficult 100-mile races in the world.

Zach’s journey to becoming one of the best ultrarunners in the world has been an incredible one. He’s had to overcome injuries, set-backs, and doubts to get where he is today. But through it all, Zach has remained focused on his goals and has never given up on his dreams.

Now, in this inspiring documentary, you can follow Zach on his journey as he prepares for and runs some of the most difficult ultras in the world. You’ll get an inside look at his training, his mental preparation, and his race strategies. You’ll also hear from some of the people who have been closest to Zach throughout his career, including his coach, his family, and his friends.

If you’re an ultrarunner, or if you’re just looking for inspiration to pursue your own dreams, this documentary is a must-watch. Zach’s story is one that will motivate and encourage you to never give up on your goals.

9. Western Time | a Western States 100 Film

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