This Is Your Day (Film Review)

An “Official Selection” at the Danish Adventure Film Festival in 2015, this emotional documentary follows three runners as they train for and then tackle the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run in Auburn, California.

The Western States Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Following the historic Western States Trail, runners start near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, climb more than 18,000 feet and descend nearly 23,000 feet to the finish. According to the event’s website, “runners experience the majestic high country beauty of Emigrant Pass and the Granite Chief Wilderness, the crucible of the canyons of the California gold country, a memorable crossing of the ice-cold waters of the main stem of the Middle Fork of the American River, and, during the latter stages, the historic reddish-brown-colored trails that led gold-seeking prospectors and homesteading pilgrims alike to the welcoming arms of Auburn.”

Filmmaker Myles Smythe superbly captures varying aspects of this alluring, arduous and rewarding terrain as he follows the eventual 2015 champion, Rob Krar, as well as veteran long-distance runner and publisher of UltraRunning Magazine, Karl Hoagland, and relative newcomer to running and racing Caroline Boller.

Each runner has their own reasons and motives for tackling this extreme race. Throughout the film, they repeatedly demonstrate the indomitable will of the mind, the powerful capabilities of the human body and the value of relationship. They are unique individuals who have singular training techniques and running styles. However, they all have one thing in common: the love and hands-on support of family and friends. Smythe weaves the stories of runners, spouses, parents, children and friends into a stimulating journey that leaves every viewer inspired to find the courage and strength to cross the seemingly unconquerable finish lines in their own lives. //

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