Launched this month, ‘100 Reasons: Running The North Face 100’ follows six ordinary people – mostly non runners – attempting to achieve extraordinary things and change their lives by running 100km through New South wales’ iconic Blue Mountain wilderness in under 24 hours.
Each runner has their own story to tell with very personal motivations: beating depression and obesity; forgetting about an embattled business and a first attempt failure; proving that if he can do this, the father of a Downs Syndrome child can do anything for his son; beating sleep apnoea…
Then there’s the ex-boxer battling a broken body and, of course, the elites pounding out finish times viewers will hardly believe are humanly possible over such distances.
In the pack of the more than one thousand competitors who take on The North Face 100 challenge every year, there are more than 100 reasons as to why they run it.
“We wanted to get under the skin of what drives so many people to want to put themselves through the torture of running 100km non-stop,” says director/producer, Chris Ord, who teamed up with renowned ultra runner, Lisa Tamati, to make the film.
“We were fascinated by the fact that most competitors in The North Face 100 are not your expected elite runners; most of them are like you or me, average people with normal lives and not necessarily of running stock. We delved into the competitor list and found that many were running as part of a healing or redemption process or to overcome personal demons. The result was usually life-changing.
“And while many people turn to sport or physical challenges when facing mid life crises, we discovered that there was something special about ultra running that was particularly cathartic for our subjects – they changed their lives in very powerful ways through the unique journey that running long distances through wild and tough landscapes demands of people. It’s a brutal journey to document but in the end a beautiful journey to follow as a storyteller.”
Indeed, the film delivers an unexpectedly emotional insight into the extreme sport of ultra marathon running and why ordinary people are taking it up in order to change their lives.
The North Face 100 began life six years ago with just over 200 entrants. Today it sells out in days with 1100 competitors. The event has been a harbinger of an explosion in ultra running, particularly on trail, the sport once seen as fringe now merging to mainstream as a growing number of runners take their passion off road.
Format: Widescreen 16:9
Running Time: 44 min approx.
An Adventure Types and Lisa Tamati Productions film.
Presented by The North Face and AROC Sports
Written, Directed and Produced by Chris Ord and Lisa Tamati.
Edited by Stuart Boone.
Field Production by Hugh Gormley and Ballyhoo Media.
Still Images: Tod Clarke/Aurora Images.