Thursday February 9 held the first screening of the film Unbreakable: The Western States 100 in Boulder at the Dairy Center for the Arts. The event brought out everyone from Olympic 1500m runners to Ultra legends to running fans alike and sold out 2 nights at 250 seats each. Organizer Buzz Burrell gave a quick introduction and commented “This is a great opportunity to get the running community together” before starting the film.

It’s amazing to me when a documentarian has the chance to be at the right place at the right time. Stories like Running with the Buffaloes, the Spirit of the Marathon and now the 2010 Western States 100 when four of the biggest names in the sport put on the most competitive race in its history. You couldn’t have scripted a more intense battle. Three runners pushing the pace, pushing each other on the quest to win one of the biggest titles in Ultra running.

"Running up to Emigrant Pass out of Squaw Valley with Geoff, first thing in the morning. There was an incredible layer of fog hanging out in Squaw Valley and then the spectacular view of Lake Tahoe directly behind us." - Anton Photo: Luis Escobar

I’ve heard the story a few times before from previous talks, but to watch it unfold on film was amazing. The cinematography was often times beautiful as when Geoff Roes is summiting peaks high above his hometown of Juneau, Alaska, to crazy, as pacers often carried film cameras and were right there alongside as Killian Journet would blaze down the trail. And for Boulderites, it was nostalgic as Anton danced along the trails of Chautauqua, the Boulder Creek Path and his favorite local ascent: Green Mountain.

The story was well told, cutting from the unfolding race to delivering the backstory of the main characters including Gordy Ainsleigh the first man to run the course in 1974 who decided to run after his horse went lame.

After the film and a short break, the program resumed with an interactive discussion with three of the main characters in the film Boulder area locals: Geoff Roes, Anton Krupicka, and Nick Clark who lives in Fort Collins. Questions to the panel were seeded initially by Running Times editor Brian Metzler, Adam Chase and Mike Sandrock and included, “Have you ever dropped a pacer” and “What inspires you” before being opened up to the public, where questions ranged from “What socks to you like” and “What’s your nutrition plan” to “How long does it take to recover” and “Do you have a specific training regiment

Running Times Trail Editor Adam Chase poses a question to the panel

(Editor’s note: I will try and put these Q&A in a follow up post)

Immediately following most of the crowd stuck around for a deep schwag giveaway from Running Times Magazine.

I liked the community spirit and shared passion for running was inspiring and infectious and had me wanting to go hit the trails immediately! The highlight was meeting and chatting with Anton for a bit. Love that he asked me what I’m training for. All 3 had a great no nonsense, just run approach to the whole thing. They run because they love running.” – Running fan Dave Lehn attended the Thursday night show.

Sports Nutritionist Dina Griffon had this to say about the event, “As a runner heading into ultrarunning, I was inspired by the humbleness of the ‘elites’ & totally stoked to pursue this sport!

More photos:

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The event also served as a fundraiser for the Boulder Outdoor Coailtion, which promotes stewardship, access, and appreciation of Boulder County’s public land.

You can view some great images of the 2010 Western States race on Anton’s blog: http://antonkrupicka.blogspot.com/2010/06/western-states-images.html