Directed by JENNIFER STEINMAN
The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.
A diverse group of non-professional runners of various ages attempt to complete the most difficult ultramarathon race series on earth. Their dramatic journey takes them across the world’s most picturesque yet brutal landscapes, pushing their bodies, hearts and spirits through a myriad of external and internal obstacles. DESERT RUNNERS delves into the mindset of ultra-athletes, and the complex ways in which human beings deal with both heartbreak and triumph.
Imagine being dropped off in the middle of one of the largest, driest deserts on earth and over the next six days you will have to run, jog, walk or crawl 250 km through the incessant heat (up to 48’ F), over sand dunes multiple stories high and down razor-sharp rocky cliffs. You must do this carrying everything you need to survive — clothes, food, emergency medical supplies, sleeping bag — in a 20-pound pack on your back.
Now what if you do this not just once, but four times… in one year! And through the four most treacherous deserts: the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara in Egypt… and then, a grueling footrace across the single most inhospitable landscape in the world: Antarctica.
The brave competitors you will meet are not professional athletes but ordinary people like you and me who have decided, for a variety of personal reasons, to take on this extreme physical challenge.
Ricky, an ex-professional baseball player, from the US is naturally athletic and experienced, but this time his own body might prove to be his most formidable opponent yet.
Samantha is a Type-A driven law student from Australia. She dreams of being the first woman and the youngest competitor ever to finish the “Grand Slam.” But unexpected events amidst the chaotic nature of the desert challenge her ability to control life’s circumstances.
Dave is an ageing Irish businessman, who’s young at heart and usually able to “pull anything off.” In the middle of the desert, he must ask himself a painful, personal question: does getting older really change what you are capable of?
And Tremaine, a British bodyguard trained to kill, has come to run these deserts in honor of his wife who died suddenly leaving him alone with two young children. Will being pushed to the physical extreme break him down completely… or heal him?
“Desert Runners” delves deep into the psychology of these ultramarathon athletes, revealing the mindset necessary for human beings to succeed at the “impossible.” Not everyone will finish. People get hurt, tragedy strikes. Ultimately, they celebrate the emotional victory of crossing the finish line, forever changed from the inside out.