|Charlie Engle and Marshall Ulrich in "Running America"|
Friday, April 26, 2013
"Running America" only in Digiplex Theaters May 3 - 9
May 3 - 9
In "Running America," ultra-marathoners Charlie Engle and Marshall Ulrich, the only person in the world to complete the Triple Crown of Extreme Sports, team up to press the human physical and mental strengths to their limits on a record breaking run from San Francisco to New York.
The challenge: run 3,063 miles in 46 days, starting in San Francisco and running to Times Square in NYC. To accomplish this record-breaking milestone, they have to run close to SEVENTY miles per day!
Patience, perseverance and faith drive them as they experience extreme fatigue as well challenging and dark moments of self-doubt and injury.
"Running America" follows the highs and lows of their incredible feat as they run the equivalent of 117 marathons over 52 days. Their epic run is their quest to reach out to ordinary Americans around the country, raising awareness for the United Way and drawing attention to childhood obesity.
Charlie Engle, the star of “Running the Sahara,” became one of the first people to run across the entire Sahara desert over 111 days, all 4,300 miles. Ulrich, has completed 116 ultra marathons and reached the top of all Seven Summits on all seven continents.
“Running America” is the eighth film in the DigiNext series, a curated series of independent films fresh from festivals around the world. "Running America" will debut exclusively at Digiplex Theaters across the country. Digiplex will donate 30% of ticket sales to OneFundBoston to aid victims of the Boston Marathon attack.
Exclusive Q&A with ultramarathoner Charlie Engle:
1.How long did it take to plan Running America?
I first had the idea for Running America sometime around 2003. In truth, every ultra distance runner thinks about doing this run. It is an iconic symbol of freedom and there is a long tradition of running from coast to coast. Like most of my painful ideas, Running America sat dormant for years but it was really always there, just waiting for me to commit. That happened in 2007 when I decided it was time to get serious. I had just completed my run across the Sahara Desert and I knew I wanted to start planning the next thing. As it turns out, the logistics planning was equally as hard as the physical undertaking itself.
2.How did you train to run 70 miles every day? –Running America presented a problem for me physically. I needed to run almost 500 miles per week to set a new record. But to run that much in training was just not possible or healthy. So I focused more on just trying to be healthy. Experience had taught me that my body would adapt to the stress during the run but to beat myself up further before the run just didn't make sense. As it turned out, I was not able to stay healthy before the run due to the stress of preparation and training. I was working and training for 18 hours every day and I
contracted a bad staph infection. If I had to do it again (and I just might), I would try to delegate much more of the logistics to others and just focus on my physical health.
3. How did you feel when the doctor told you that you would do permanent damage to your leg if you didn't stop? Did you consider continuing anyway?
The moment when the doctor told me I had to quit is forever etched in my mind. It brought out a mixture of emotions for me because I was desperate to continue but I was in so much pain, I just couldn't see a way to finish this run. I was severely depressed at this point of the expedition. I felt like I was letting down so many people but I had accept what the doc was telling me. All my toes on my right foot were numb at the time and I knew he was telling me the truth. Through my sadness over the situation, I was still able to see that this was an opportunity if I just looked at it the right way. I needed to accept that things had changed and that my job now was to support my fellow runner and to find a way to make something positive out of this mess.
4.How did it feel to run with the kids in Sydney, Iowa?
The day that I ran into Sydney, Iowa is one of the best days of my life. These kids didn't care about any records or injuries or sponsors. All they wanted to do was run and to me acknowledged. I literally felt a weight lifted from my heart when I met these kids and ran into Sydney. At that moment I knew that everything was going to be alright if I just kept moving forward. Those kids saved me.
5. Do you plan to try again to set the Running America record?
I think about trying again every day. I have so many places I still want to run across in the world but I can say for sure that I will try again to break this record. There is a reason that the record has existed for 33 years now. It's simply the most difficult running record on the world to break. That's the very reason I am so drawn to it. All the odds are against anyone ever being able to break it. But just because something may seem impossible, that doesn't
mean we shouldn't try.
May 3 - 9
Only in Digiplex Theaters