Guest blog by Ian MacLellan
I am a runner myself and ran a number of the USATF-NE Mountain Running races three years ago. Hill sprints were always my greatest skill in high school cross-country, and my mom will tell you that I always liked taking the sketchy ways up and down mountains, so mountain running was a good fit for me. I’m also a proud New Englander and wanted to give back to the local running scene in any way that I could.
Mountain running is a very hard sport for spectators to watch and engage with. It doesn’t happen in an arena, so spectators must climb up the mountain themselves just to catch the runners a handful of times. Fans must combine those brief glimpses with finishing times to learn about what happened in a race.
After my own races, I always want to tell people about everything that happened during the race (mostly how I really wanted to drop out, but didn’t), but people think about times, not stories. I’m fascinated by running literature, because there is so much drama that a final finishing time and a race photo don’t say anything about. Writers can cram this drama into the retelling of a 400-meter race, and I wanted to try and make a documentary film that did the same. I wanted to share those little moments to show what drives the elite mountain runners up those hills (hint, it’s not money) and what is stopping them from succeeding.
I also made a very short film on my dad finishing the 2013 Boston Marathon and hope to make more running features in the future.