The Trail Running Film Fest (Presented by Rainshadow Running)

Last night my husband and I had a little “date night”, and took in the Trail Running Film Festival.  This is a traveling film fest, put on by the awesome people at Rainshadow Running.  They put on some premier trail running events in the Pacific Northwest – many that I have been drooling over for years (think waterfalls, mountains, amazing scenery, amazing trails…. Making the trek to one of their races is on my short list of things to make happen, for sure).

I had heard that the Trail Running Film Fest would be headed to Hartford, CT for a showing.  Often these events skip over our lil’ ol’ areas, so I was super excited to see a screening so close!!  It was great to catch up with some fellow Shenipsit Striders and our other outdoor friends, and make some new ones. 

The films were screened at the Spotlight Theatres in Hartford.  This was a great location.  Easy to get to from the highway, easy parking in an adjacent garage.  The theater is relatively new, with extremely comfortable seating.  Super bonus – the attached bistro and bar in the lobby, with a great beer selection… and you can take your beer and food into the theater!  Win!!!  So awesome to be able to sip on a local brew (Two Roads Brewing White IPA for me) while watching trail running films.  Perfect!  We will definitely come back here.


Front Street Bistro, in Spotlight Theatres lobby (image from Hartford Magazine)

The films were separated into two “acts”.  An hour(ish) of movies, brief intermission, and then another hour and a half of films.  All together about 3 hours.  The films were great!  There were some brief previews of other longer films, such as 100: Head/Heart/Feet (a film about a New England runner training for and running the Vermont 100.  This flick has been on my radar, and we are hoping to find a screening sometime soon!).   
We saw some short films about some amazing races and events (Mt. Marathon, Alaska;  Barkley Marathons (insane!), Gorge Waterfalls 50k (a Rainshadow Running event that looks amazing). There were also films showcasing some amazing runners on equally amazing trails (Rob Krar sharing his struggles and running the Grand Canyon in “Depressions”; Jason Schlarb and Jeremy Wolf running in Patagonia;  Darcy Africa racing Hardrock 100.  A really funny foam-rolling short called “Roll Out”.   The two longer “feature films” were great as well – “The Crossing” documented trail running as a protest against the attempted encroachment of open-pit gold mining into Baja, Mexico. 

My favorite film of the night was the last one – “The Long Haul”, a feature film documenting Hal Koerner and Mike Wolfe’s FKT attempt of the John Muir Trail.  You felt like you were out there with them!  A through-hike or fast pack of our country’s long trails is tops on my bucket list – Long Trail, Appalachian, PCT, JMT…. drooling!

Overall, this was a great event, and I am already looking forward to future screenings.  Great movies, great location, great atmosphere.  It is a new event and I’m sure it will grow in scope and size as time goes on, which will likely make for sell-out crowds as momentum gains.  I think the Wednesday screening day probably kept the crowd down some, as I’m sure many people had trouble making the 6 pm start time on a weekday with work and school obligations.  

Great job to Rainshadow Running for putting together a fantastic film fest, and taking it on the road!  Lust-worthy trails to remind us what dirt looks like on the big screen during this snow-pocalypse of a winter was certainly good for the soul 🙂

Thank you to all of the sponsors of the event, who made the night possible through their support of the tour, and for donating prizes for the intermission raffle!  Thank you to Territory Run Co., Ultimate Direction, Rainshadow Running, and Ultra Signup, the tour sponsors.  And of course, a big thanks to Coach Al at Pursuit Athletic Performance for helping to make this local event happen.  

As if the great time we had wasn’t enough, my husband won a raffle prize!  He (ok…. we… ok probably me) is the proud new owner of an Ultimate Direction AK (Anton Krupicka) Race Vest.  SWEET!!!


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