The Sheffield Adventure Film Festival has steadily grown since its launch in March 2008. Featuring such sports as climbing, mountain biking, caving and just about any adrenaline fuelled you can name; the festival features films, including premiers, Expert Night talks and presentations from many who have achieved in a variety of lesser known action sports. In 2011, running was introduced for the first time and Accelerate been Accelerate had to be involved. 2012 will be no exception.
As ever the festival is gathering interest and momentum. The 2012 trailer has a very definite ‘action’ theme once again and has to date received around 80,000 plays and tickets have been selling fast. The theme music has a very local feel, with a track from up-coming local band Hey Sholay.
Running Expert Evening:: Ultra Running & Beyond…
The Festival kicks off proper on the 9th March and as usual is preceded by a series of ‘Expert Evenings’. The second of these is ‘Ultra Running and Beyond’, 9th February, 8.15pm. With well over half the tickets already sold it is already proving popular.
Clair Maxted, the editor of Trail Running Magazine, will be your congenial host, as she introduces each of the experts and then leads the audience through a ‘Question and Answer’ section. The ‘Experts’ are each recognised in their respective field, all are winners and bring a range of differing experiences to the evening. This includes the extremes of racing from ‘Ice’ to ‘Desert’, ‘Solo Records’ to ‘Expedition Style’ Racing and of course what it takes to Win. Sleep deprivation, race preparation and planning, training (despite family and a hectic work life), nutrition and pacing are amongst the topics that are likely to be covered.
The experts are Nik Cook (journalist, ultra runner and adventurer), Stuart Walker (record holder for solo crossing of Hadrian’s Wall and upcoming ultra runner), Dan Shrimpton (winner of Hardmoors 50) and Caroline Bullard (UK leading Multi Day Expedition Racer).
I’ve heard a few of the stories from ‘The Four’ and I reckon the evening should prove to be interesting for any ultra runner or expedition racer. Personalities are such that a little fun will be guaranteed and it wouldn’t surprise me if a little of the madness of this type of racing didn’t come to the fore… I for one am looking forward to the exchange of ideas coupled with a little banter…
Film Première:: Unbreakable: The Western States 100
Showing for the first time in the UK on the 9th March, 7pm. Unbreakable tells the story of four of the worlds greatest 100 mile racers as they come head to head for the first time. This documentary style feature film looks at each runner, their background and their race preparation. Hal Koerner, two time defending Western States champion, and running store entrepreneur from Ashland, Oregon. Geoff Roes, undefeated at the 100-mile distance, an organic chef from Juneau, Alaska. Anton Krupicka, undefeated in every ultramarathon he has ever started, a graduate student living in Boulder, Colorado. Kilian Jornet, the young mountain runner and two time Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc champion, from Spain.
Critically acclaimed, this film, I suggest is unmissable. The filming is excellent and the story of the race is well documented and throughout the film is informative, beginning with the history of how the race came to be. The runners pedigree is covered (each is interviewed) and the watcher is acutely aware that there is a passion for running amongst the four but also a race that will be hard-fought ahead of them. The film leads you through the race and as the tension grows there can only be one winner. The finish of the race left me aghast at the quality of these runners and the surprise that awaits is well worth waiting for…
If you are passionate about running, I will be very surprised if you don’t enjoy this one and come back for more…
If you would like to see the official trailer: Here…
Talk:: World’s Ultimate Running Races
Immediately following Unbreakable, 9.15pm, ShAFF will be welcoming World Mountain Champion (2000), Angela Mudge and one of the top British fell and mountain runners Jethro Lennox.
They will be taking you through their racing exploits from around the World and also detailing some of the more interesting races from around the globe. The races are featured in their new book the ‘World’s Untimate Running Races’.
Mudge is considered by many to be greatest living British Mountain and Fell Runner and for this reason alone probably makes this evening talk unmissable.
Talk:: Charlie Spedding – From Last To First.
Saturday 10th March, 5.30pm, sees ShAFF welcome the last British Olympic Medallist in the Marathon, take to the stage. Charlie Spedding, is still the English Marathon Record Holder, has won both the London and Houston Marathons and is also acclaimed for his Bronze Medal at the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Quiet and unassuming, Spedding is considered by many to be the ‘Runners Runner’ as he worked hard to reach the top, through determination, dedication and planning. His personal best of 2:08:33 (London, 1985) is the second fastest ever by a Briton and today still remains the English record.
In my humble opinion Charlie Spedding has never received the recognition he so richly deserves. The Los Angeles Olympic Marathon was billed as one of the all time great races for no other reason than it included all the current leading marathoners, of that period, toeing the start line. The race was won by Carlos Lopez in a new Olympic best time and in coming 3rd Spedding took the scalps of Seko, Ikangaa, De Castella and Salazar, amongst others.
In 2009 he published his book ‘From Last To First’ and in it details his Olympic Marathon and his ‘running story’ that led to that race. His evenings talk at ShAFF will follow a similar pattern as he explains the changes he made to become a better runner. If his book is anything to go by, this talk should be both inspirational and informative for any serious runner. His description of the Los Angeles Olympic Marathon has been acclaimed by many as ‘one of the best’. Spedding continues to be well informed and has a fair opinion as to why his record still stands, despite the World Best moving on so rapidly.
Spedding hails from the North East and today works as a pharmacist. He is also a regular commentator on Radio 5 Live and his dry wit has many chuckling long after the race has finished.
Charlie Spedding: The Runners Runner. I wouldn’t miss this talk for all the tea in China and I like tea!
The Sheffield Adventure Film Festival takes place from 9th to 11th March and the Running Expert Night on the 9th February.
Full Programme details can be found Here…