Over the weekend I finally got around to checking out the new Ginger Runner movie, Where Dreams Go To Die. Having already seen the Barkley Marathons documentary (and loved it!) and knowing the outcome of Robbins’ two races at the Barkley in 2016 and 2017, I wasn’t expecting to be surprised by the race, the coverage, of the characters. What was I hoping for? An up close look at the race, the preparation for the race, and some behind the scenes footage, too.
And I got all of that.
The Barkley is no ordinary ultra so there’s not a lot of footage of the race in progress. Indeed, the restrictions on filming at the race mean that there is precious little in-race video at all. In the campsite, though, and in the preparation for the race, there is plenty of interesting tape, and it makes for a well told story.
Also interesting: the technical side of things. Both Cécile – who normally is not a fan of running movies in general and ultrarunning movies in particular – enjoyed the technical proficiency of the film. There are some transitions and swipes that are especially good, and I turned to Cécile at one point just to comment that I hadn’t seen that sort of thing before and that – for a film produced by an independent film maker – it was pretty impressive stuff.
There’s some great footage of the others in the race around Gary Robbins but it’s his story that is the centerpiece of the film. I don’t want to jump into anything that might be considered a spoiler here but the film is worth watching even if you do know how things turned out. It didn’t wreck things for me to know how it would end, the storytelling is good enough so that – even knowing the ending – you remain interested about how the film will get there.
It’s available online right now for about $7 and it would be attractive to anyone interested in running, ultrarunning, or a good story about taking on a challenge that is at the edge of what a human can accomplish.