Fifty | Trail Running Film

On September 1, 2021 we uploaded our short trail running film to YouTube. Thanks to the popularity of trail and ultra running, the film continues to gain traction around the globe. According to YouTube analytics, the majority of views are coming from United States followed by United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany. We’re also getting some great feedback from runners of all skill levels.

“Very inspirational, makes me want to go out run in the mountains immediately! Thanks for sharing, I really like the storytelling :)” – DerRunn3r

Trail running in the mountains can be difficult but proper training and preparation makes all the difference. Fifty is not about the fastest runner or about overcoming challenges. It’s about setting a goal and seeing it through. The film also celebrates the historic trail over the Cascades.

Fifty features interviews with Gary Robbins, endurance athlete and coach; Louise Blais, human kinetics professor; and Andrew Dingwall, Mighty Quail 100 km race coordinator and athlete. Fifty also features endurance runner Matt Fortuna who finished third in the 2017 Fat Dog 120 (29:06:10).

Official selection of Toronto Short Film Festival and Buenos Aires Running Film Festival.

An ET2media and Video Research Production.

Ridgeline Athletics: “My First Training Plan

Fifty Film Premiere

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.

ET2media and Video Research are proud to present Fifty, a short film about a long run.


“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.

Fifty Film Trailer

Fifty is a short film about a long run. The documentary follows an amateur runner (Erick Thompson) as he tackles his first ultra marathon in the mountains. The 50-mile (80km) course runs along an ancient Indigenous pathway and is part of the historic HBC fur brigade route. In 2017, Mountain Madness, the organizers of the Fat Dog 120, created the Brigade Trail Race along this route. The race was on hiatus in 2019 when we shot the documentary, so we recruited some friends to set up aid stations. They also crewed the film. The trail crew included Chris Stenberg, Jon Wilson, Richard Sullivan, Wells Gaetz, Brandyn Steele, Grant Stevely and Tarynn Liv Parker.

Matt Fortuna joined the run and helped ensure the success of the project. We also had valuable coaching advice from Louise Blais, Andrew Dingwall, Gary Robbins and Eric Carter. Thank you to our stellar crew and supporters for making this project possible. Special thanks to Similkameen Valley Planning Society, Mike Stohler and HümaFifty is an official selection of the Toronto Short Film Festival. The film will be online later in 2020.

Map: Hope Mountain Centre