The Runner is a movie about David Horton's 2005 traversal of the Pacific Crest Trail — 66 days, 2666 miles, an average of more than 40 miles/day, from Mexico to Canada. It's lovingly photographed and features superb music by Cody Westheimer and Chris Lashelle. Unfortunately, like many other depictions of extreme "adventure" events, after a strong start The Runner plods: it becomes flat and uninspiring. Perhaps the film tries too hard to conjure deep meaning out of an essentially arbitrary activity? Maybe what counts is the great reality of being there, not merely seeing somebody else there? Or could it be that what's missing is the fun?

Nonetheless, wisdom and beauty appear at intervals during the journey. My favorite quote in The Runner comes from veteran ultrarunner T. J. Key of San Diego, who summarizes the experience of wilderness, of sheer Nature:

It simplifies everything. You don't need all the junk we have out there. You don't need all this technology. All you need is this beautiful background. What more could you ask for?

(many thanks to ultra-comrade Caren for lending me her DVD of The Runner; cf. CutTheVolume (5 Mar 2004), RunningOnTheSun (4 Nov 2005), AdventureRacing (22 Apr 2006), ... )

TopicRunning - TopicEntertainment - 2007-02-17

(correlates: RaceForTheSoul, Comments on HAT Run 2004, ReadLikely, ...)