Desert Runners (SIFF 2014)

Fascinating overview of ultramarathon participants enrolled in the 4 Deserts Grand Slam: Running the four desert ultramarathons (Atacama, Gobi, Sahara, and Antarctica) all in the same year. Following individuals through traiing and competition gives a glimpse into their backgrounds, reasons for competing, and hardships they encounter in the quest to conquer the globe.

Provided Film Synopsis
There are marathon runners and then there are the four ultramarathon runners who form the heart of Jennifer Steinman’s dynamic and suspenseful documentary. Steinman focuses on the Grand Slam - four desert marathons across the dunes and tundras of Chile’s Atacama, China’s Gobi, Egypt’s Sahara, and Antarctica over the course of one year. The racers, who hail from 35 countries, range in age from 25-year-old Samantha, a law student from Melbourne, to 56-year-old Dave, a marketing manager from Cork. If Ricky, a London-based American management consultant, works in a conventional office, Tremaine, a British security specialist, spends his days teaching fighting techniques, but all share a passion for running. Dave sees it as a way to keep old age at bay, while Tremaine runs in memory of his late wife, but everyone has his or her own reasons. While running through blazing heat and freezing cold, the competitors battle dehydration, heatstroke, blisters, and worse. In addition, they must carry all their necessities on their backs, but since finishing trumps winning, friendships also form along the way. The risks, however, are substantial enough that what might seem brave and inspiring to some will seem downright lunatic to others.

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • Jennifer Steinman
  • Cast Members:

    • David O'Brien
    • Ricky Paugh
    • Samantha Gash
    • Tremaine Kent
  • Countries:

    • USA
  • Languages:

    • English
  • Genres:

    • Documentary