(All photos in this post were taken by photographers at Trails in Motion and made available for download on the internet. Thanks for this great service, guys!)
On Thursday, the Husband and I had a hot date. Actually I lured him there under false presences.
The Trails in Motion film festival is an annual outing for me – I went in 2014 and 2015! It’s an evening of short trail-running films, it’s always a good night out. This year however, when I saw it mentioned on social media, the organizer talked about ‘big name Salomon guests’. Bearing in mind that the TNF trail races were happening in Marin this weekend and that I’d heard my running heroine Emelie Forsberg saying she was hoping to run TNF, I jumped to the conclusion that Emelie would be coming and bought tickets immediately. I then persuaded the Husband that if Emelie was coming, her boyfriend Kilian Jornet (one of Ironballz’s heroes) would also be coming. So before we knew it, we were excited to meet Kilian and Emelie and persuade them that we should all be friends.
Two days before, it emerged that Emelie wasn’t running TNF after all and thus wouldn’t be coming, and obviously Kilian wouldn’t be there either. Which left Ironballz less than thrilled at the prospect of an evening watching films about trail running.
But off we went. The evening was held at Sports Basement in the Presidio -it’s always slightly chilly, so we wrapped up. The Big Name Guests were Ricky Gates and Kasie Enman, so that was still pretty exciting! The films were excellent…here are a few of our favourites.
Kroger’s Canteen is a Salomon short film about one of the aid stations at Hardrock. It was lovely and the footage of the San Juan mountains was staggering.
Shandi Kano’s Be Bold is a very short, three-minute film about a girl whose obsession with running turned unhealthy, and who, after escaping the Boston bombs, turned off her gadgetry and turned to the trails. The footage is beautiful, the girl is ridiculously pretty and I found the whole thing quite inspiring. ‘If we can prioritize what our soul really needs, everything can change’.
The Last Time I Heard True Silence was very moving indeed. It’s 22 minutes long and it’s the tale of a young marine who returns from Iraq struggling to adjust back into ‘normal’ life, his ears constantly ringing with the sounds of explosions. Running trails and ultras helped him deal with his anxiety and calm his soul. This is worth watching both for his slightly bonkers approach to running in the forest at night (!) and the cutest ever clip of a kid running that made everyone go ‘ahhh’. Really worth sitting down and watching with a glass of wine.
This Is Your Day was cracking. It’s the tale of the 2015 Western States, focussing on Rob Krar, Caroline Boller and Karl Hoagland. It’s 50 minutes long and covers their preparations and their race day happenings. I think everyone in the room loved this, because Western States is dear to the heart of Bay Area runners. I was intrigued by the marital and familial dynamics of the runners, of their levels of preparation, of the determination that gets them through suffering on the day. For example, Rob Krar’s preparation included practicing pouring ice into his arm-sleeves. They practiced different ways of doing it to find the most efficient method. In contrast, Caroline Boller’s team packed a headtorch with a dead battery, leaving them scrambling round to find another head torch that worked. Interesting stuff. I did warm to Caroline Boller though, being in her 40s. At one point, she said ‘Running has shown me that this body still has a lot left in it‘. As another old girl, I rather liked that.
Ironically, the highlight of this film comes at the end as 70-year-old Gunhild Swanson races the clock to be the oldest woman to finish Western States. I’d bet that 90% of people in the audience, if not all, knew the story already – we knew the happy ending – but everyone was leaning forward, willing her on as the clock ticked and the tension rose. I was not the only one who wiped away a sneaky tear at the end.
Trails in Motion 2016 has nearly come to an end – there are only a few showings left, but we did see a trailer for Trails in Motion 2017 and the films look jaw-dropping, so I shall start working on Ironballz for another date night!