Muti for the mind, body & soul

Posted on March 28, 2014

395926053_640My first thought when sitting down to write this was to liken the SA’s Trails in Motion film festival to a multi-day stage race. But then I realised this was a pretty silly idea. Over more than a day, the events may span, but there were no lows, only highs, no GU brews only beer brews and no moments of having to really dig deep, other than those raised by the sheer temptation to make a quiet exit and go clock up some miles… such were the levels of motivation and inspiration on the night.

Trails in Motion is a little like the Banff Film Festival but still in its infancy (although watch this space: great growth to come!) and focused only on trail running. I was at BFF last year in Lyon… the tour timed perfectly with running the Beaujolais Village Trail… and both share the same unquenchable spirit for adventure.

The idea behind Trails in Motion is to capture the true spirit of trail running and showcase a collection of the best trail running movie content from our global playground of trails. What an awesome job it must be watching the submissions and picking the best from the rest?!

Last night was Day 1 of 2 here in Durban.

We absorbed the beauty of tree-lined trails in Trails and Tribulations before watching a further two short films… Emilie Lecomte’s GR20 Record and Race Across The Sky, about Leadville. Leadville is pretty much an Ivy League race in the world of trail events… a hundred miler with relentless ascents and levels of altitude that can only be likened to running with a sock in your mouth.

A break from the big screen came with a guest appearance by Iain Don Wauchope. Before moving to these parts, I didn’t know of Iain but it didn’t take long to see why he’s an athlete of note with some impressive victories behind him and a refreshingly real approach to juggling the demands of training, life, work, play and family. I reckon every trail runner could learn a lot from him!

Finally, we watched JB Benna’s Unbreakable, a truly awesome feature film about the iconic Western States race in 2010. Featuring the world’s true greats when it comes to ultra running… Anton Krupicka, Kilian Jornet, Goeff Roes and Hal Koerner… the film chronicles the race, the runners and their lives. It captures beautifully the physical and emotional roller coaster that comes hand in hand with long-distance races and demonstrates the sheer mental strength required to pull yourself through when the going gets tough. Having just finished reading Jornet’s book, Run or Die, it was great to see him in action.

Events like these are so uplifting. They bring together all those with a shared love for running in beautiful places, all those who understand how much dedication, commitment and focus it has taken just to get to the start line. They unite those who might otherwise be divided by cultures, countries, creeds or colour. In a world sometimes driven by exclusion, the trail community embodies inclusion, in a world where we increasingly suffer from disconnection, the trail community brings us total connection.

To borrow a local word, Trails in Motion was for me, muti (Zulu word for medicine) for the mind, body and soul.  It captured the essence of why we do what we do and left me lying in bed long after the evening had ended, dreaming about when next I shall be treading the trails…

Bring on tonight’s dose!



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