Fifty follows an amateur runner as he tackles his first ultra marathon in the mountains. The challenging 50-mile (80 km) course runs along an ancient Indigenous pathway and is part of the historic HBC fur brigade route.
Filmmaking is a lot like trail running. It takes a while to get where you’re going. In 2018, after watching Free Solo at the Banff Centre Mountain Film + Book Festival, we were inspired to make a film about challenging your limits. We settled on running an ultra marathon in the mountains. We chose the Brigade Trail Race because it’s a gruelling course but not in a Barkley Marathons kind of way.
The process of producing our short documentary soon became all about training. “A 50-miler is typically not a distance that you can do off the couch,” says endurance athlete and coach Gary Robbins. “There’s no faking it at that point and training is completely necessary.” Not faking it meant six months of running, climbing and cross-training. You also need to practice consuming and digesting endurance energy gels and other fuel, while running.
Planning and logistics were a vital component as well. This became even more important when we learned the Brigade Trail Race was on hiatus for 2019. That meant we had to crew our own race, which wasn’t really a race. It was more of an adventure challenge featuring two people who enjoy running in the backcountry.
“I SUPPORT LOCAL RACE DIRECTORS” A fundraising initiative to support local races and race directors, brought to you by Gary Robbins and Geoff Langford of Coast Mountain Trail Running.