“50/50” & “Running The Sahara”

1. I received a very early X’mas gift  from Jay Nacino aka Prometheus Cometh two weeks ago and it was delivered through courier system. The gift was a compilation of running films/movies recorded in two (2) CDs. Thanks, Jay for the gift. God bless.

2. The following films were recorded in those two CDs: Chariots of Fire; Without Limits; 50/50; and Running The Sahara. Having seen the first two films mentioned in widescreen, I was very interested to watch 50/50 and Running  The Sahara because they deal more on ultramarathon and multi-day stage runs. Both of these running events were filmed sometime in 2006.

3. I will not deal with the whole story of these films as every reader of this blog could easily browse or “google” the title of the films and they could get the details of these running events. 50/50 was made as a film and at the same time published as a book to document Dean Karnazes’ 50 marathon races, in 50 States in the US, in 50 days. Running The Sahara is a film about three (3) ultrarunners from the USA, Canada, and Taiwan traversing the African continent by passing through the Sahara Desert in 111 days.

4. What I like to point out and emphasize in these running events is the tremendous PLANNING involved to undertake such feats. Dean Karnazes took at least 3 years to convince The North Face in appreciating his plan to run 50 marathons, in 50 different States, in 50 days and another year to finally coordinate and arrange for the implementation of the said project. It was only when his book “The Ultramarathon Man” became a No. 1 Top Seller and his being a top contender in the 100-Mile Western States and Winner in one of the Badwater Ultramarathon editions that he became popular.

5. The planning and preparation for the three (3) ultra runners in 3 different countries in the Running The Sahara took also years. Moreso, with the logistics; production/film crew; and other administrative requirements preparations for the event. This film/event also tested the endurance of the support staff and film crew in order to finish the running event.

Kevin Lin (Taiwan); Ray Zahab (Canada); & Charlie Engle (USA)

6. These two running epic events were well-planned and documented. These films really inspire other people to seek their endurance limits and at the same time promoting some advocacies/charities to help less-fortunate people. So, if ever you plan to do such endurance run, whether an ultramarathon event or multi-stage/day run, you have to document it so that the INTEGRITY of the event is intact. A simple blog (with pictures) would do or inexpensive tracker/GPS device to record your event should be with you all the time during your run.


5 thoughts on ““50/50” & “Running The Sahara”

  1. I didn’t see 50/50 but I did see Running The Sahara and I found it quite inspiring – an epic run. The fastest guy wanted to quit first which just underlined what many marathoners and ultra-marathoners know – in the long distances it ain’t all about the speed.


  2. General, I fully agree that long preparation is very necessary. That is what I am doing now – planning for the Trans-Mindanao Solo Ultrarun, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela running pilgrimage, and the Trans-Philippines Solo Ultra-Run. I even have the tentative itinerary for these attempts, although I am not yet sure if I can do the Trans-Philippines, two months after the utrarun in Spain (it might be too much, and too ambitious). I am not yet sure if I can fully recover to attempt a 2,000 km ultra-run (Davao-Aparri) two months after an 800 km trek across Spain.

    I see that Trans-Mindanao Run as a test run/training for the Camino de Santiago ultra-run and the Camino de Santiago as a test/training for the Trans-Philippines Ultra-Run.

    You’re right, documentation is also important. I am planning to blog while running. In the Philippines, it would be easy to do that with the mobile blogging (the Globe broadband “tatoo”), although carrying the ultra-mobile personal computer would add to the weight of the backpack. I wonder if it is possible to blog through cell phone. I can also do what I did when I biked around the Philippines- go to the internet cafe. But there are remote towns, especially in the Cordilleras and Samar where there are no internet access.

    Mobile blogging in France and Spain during my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage might be more difficult. I hear that there are internet shops in some of the ‘Refugios.’

    I would like to purchase a Garmin 310 someday but I can’t find them here in Davao or in Cebu.

    I would be interested to get hold of a copy of the cd of the “Running the Sahara” and the “50/50” (I already have the book). This could be helpful in my preparation. Please inform me if it is availabe and also the cost. You can send it to this adress: Redemptorists, Bajada, Davao City.


  3. I have seen all the films and admire the work. The sole issue I have is the diet and hydration. I think Gatorade is a real joke and dangerous at best. The stuff is just chemical BS and has bad sodium content (heat pressed salt). When is the running community going to completely embrace raw veganism (no cooked food or dairy and meat) and proper hydration (1 oz. of water per pound of body weight and cut the sodas and nonsense beverages like Gatorade) insofar as the ultrarunners would have far less problems and enjoy their running so much more! And do so much better perhaps speed being an issue then (see “Born to Run” and the Tarahumara people).


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