60 hours in 1 hour 10 minutes!
Compliments to directors and film teams that can take epic, many hour, or many days event and deliver a compelling and engaging story within 1-2 hours. In this case, I recently watched a feature length documentary film, “Ultra High“, about a 137-mile mountain marathon in the Himalayas of India and it delivered a 60+ hours in 1 hour 10 minutes!
As an adrenaline junkie, pain purveyor and event director/manager, I was engaged from the first scene to the next and the time flew by, for me, that is. Watching the film I pondered how these athletes, during this competition, had competed for hours, many, many, many hours (they had to finish under 60 hours!). And! They were crossing mountain passes and peaks up to 18,300 feet! C’mon!
Six runners toed the starting line for the challenge. Supported by their crews, they put one foot in front of the other and faced HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema), hypothermia, exhaustion and ‘traffic’, (yes, there were vehicles on the crazy rock-strewn, partially paved roads).
I thought this would be a film about survival, which it was, but the director, Barry Walton, also delivers a race film story. From the starting line, Ray Sanchez looking to break the course record, moves out well ahead of the other competitors. As the story develops, trailing behind is Sharon Gayner, an asthmatic,who has sites on first place. I will leave the finish for your viewing pleasure.
Being someone who has managed and been a race director, each event presents many details to be prepared for, or respond to. “Ultra High” captured the logistical challenges that all managers/directors face, such as communications, safety, and traffic.; all above 10,000 feet. Barry Walton does not place the spotlight or emphasize these challenges however to those who have managed events they will recognize selective scenes.