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The Mountain Runners

[ONE NIGHT ONLY] Combining Ken Burns-style documentary methods with some pretty campy re-enactment footage, Todd Warger and Brian Young's The Mountain Runners is a history lesson examining an event that makes modern-day Iron Man competitors seem like fun-runners. The event in question is Bellingham, Wash.'s Mount Baker Marathon and its 1911 origin story, when competitors boarded trains and prototype racecars, zoomed up the mountain and sprinted to the peak in tank tops and climbing boots. It's a crazy tradition, and using archival footage, voice-over interviews and insights by endurance runners, the directors capture it with gonzo glee, helped along by some digitally altered footage of actors making the ascent. Along the way, there are train wrecks, high-altitude rescues, dementia and other perils, all presented by filmmakers who recognize the batshit craziness required of these athletes to transform such a dangerous activity into a tradition. It lags at times, but The Mountain Runners nonetheless captures what it takes for seemingly normal men to drop logic in search of a bitchin’ trophy and town pride.

Special Note

NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 24
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Critic's Score: B
  • Directed by: Todd Warger [Director], Brian Young [Director], Todd Warger [Screenwriter], Brian Young [Screenwriter], Todd Warger [Producer], Brian Young [Producer], Steve Nelson [Executive Producer], Lyle Jansma [Cinematographer], Keith Kingslien [Cinematographer], David Lowrance [Cinematographer], John Scurlock [Cinematographer], Brian Young [Film Editor], Jen Barker [Film Editor]
  • Watch the trailer

Show Times

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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