Last Thursday was trail running night at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. They had a line up including a mix of presentations by local runners and 7-minute and 30-minute films. Jesse and I decided to check it out with a few friends.
The place was packed when we arrived. We shuffled around the booths while I signed up for every free stuff draw I saw and checked out the latest gear and races on display. After about 10 minutes should-to-shoulder with other trail running enthusiasts, they finally opened the doors to the theatre. There was a very talented singer, Annie Becker, and upright bass player, “Stand Up Steve,” on stage performing while people trickled in and got seats.
By the time the show started, the theatre was full. Ean Jackson, a very accomplished ultra runner, introduced himself as the MC, made a number of running puns, and started the show.
Presentation – Gary Robbins: Running from Rhinos
In “Running From Rhinos” Gary will talk about his recent exploits in South Africa where he finished 2nd at the notoriously difficult Salomon Skyrun.
Film – Home (dir. Dean Leslie, South Africa, 2014, 7 minutes)
Anna Frost reconnects with her identity and roots as she questions what running means to her.
Presentation – Liz Decario: Running the Kokopelli
Liz gives us the tales from her 240km run from Loma, Colorado to Moab, Utah.
Film – The Ingenuous Choice (dir. Maxime Tournier, France, 2014, 7 minutes)
“We can never have enough of nature”. Discover how Anton Krupicka experiences mountain running and challenges himself running ultra distances on the trails.
Presentation – Nicola Gildersleeve: How I earned a FKT
In 2004, the first person to run the 180 km Sunshine Coast Trail non-stop set the bar at 43 hours and 50 minutes. A decade later, Nicola Gildersleeve broke the record by 10 hours.
Film – Wainwright Record Attempt (dir. Alastair Lee, UK, 2014, 31 minutes)
North American Premiere
The unassuming Steve Birkinshaw is one of the great fell runners and fittest men ever to exist. He attempts to link all 214 Wainwright hills in England’s Lake District in under 7 days.
Film – Travailen (dir. Dean Leslie, South Africa, 2014, 27 minutes)
Travailen follows the entire story of Ryan Sandes and Ryno Greisel’s attempt of the Drakensberg Grand Traverse in 2014. The only certainty is struggle.
The films and presentations were all great and got my super stoked on trail running, but my favourite was the Wainwright Record Attempt film.
It was truly inspiring to follow Steve Birkenshaw on his attempt to run all 214 Wainwrights in under seven days. It was not only a personal challenge, the journey also helped raise money for a couple MS charities that provide support for his sister that has MS. The film was very well done and I highly recommend checking it out.