High-Country-poster-webI am looking forward to seeing the new documentary, “In The High Country”, which is the result of a yearlong collaboration between mountain runner Anton Krupicka and filmmaker Joel Wolpert. The 30-minute film will be shown in Shepherdstown, West Virginia on Friday, October 11, and the screening will be held at the historic Shepherdstown Opera House and hosted by movie sponsor Two Rivers Treads. Anton and Joel will be there. Raffle prizes from two of the other movie sponsors, Ultimate Directions and New Balance, will be given out.

Shows at 6pm and 8pm will be FREE to the general public complements of Two Rivers Treads, the Shepherdstown Opera house, and Wolpert Films.

The following day, October 12, is the fifth annual Freedom’s Run.  Join my kids and the local runners from our town as well as those from nearly 20 states.  You will see plenty of flat and minimal shoes in this race.  We should try to do a study this year. Five years ago my friend Lois Turco and I founded the event. I have directed it from the beginning.  Freedom’s Run is the most difficult thing I do all year, and seems far more challenging than actually running in a race.  Our race was given recognition in Runner’s World as a “Top 25 Half Marathon” in Feb 2013. View a course tour with my minimalist running friends Dustin, Cody, and Paul.  Cody ran the full marathon with a GoPro last year.

The event features a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids run. The courses are encased in National Park land, with some brief detours through the country roads and preserved historic towns. Events finish in historic Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 4.59.05 AMShepherdstown (my home town), and there will be a post-race Oktoberfest party—and it’s only 60 miles from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. All proceeds from Freedom’s Run return to the community to support fitness trails at local schools and activities surrounding our history and heritage. We are currently assisting the funding and building of our fourth school fitness trail at CW Shipley Elementary.

A little more about the “In The High Country” and filmmaker Joel Wolpert

Filmmaker Joel Wolpert is a fellow West Virginian and friend. Joel lives in a small town called Belington. We both love natural movement and living.  Joel shot the Running Times cover last year of my legs in that classic Jim Fixx pose. Joel chased after me on a skateboard to get interior shots for Running Times.  Not many have the talent to ride the long board like Joel, but taking pictures at the same time is another level.

Joel also filmed the video “Are You Ready to go Minimal”  Both are linked here.  And he shot the recent NRC video “Going for a Run”.   He was a partner for the video section of Efficient Running USAF (see our Youtube Channel).

See Joel’s site here for some amazing stills and running videos.  Joel weaves in nature, music, and movement.

Two Rivers Treads is honored to sponsor the movie.  I embrace Joel’s work and the free spirit of Anton Krupicka (who I have not met yet).  I feel Anton and I are connected in the early days of the minimal movement.  We were both taking hacksaws to shoe bottoms to level them.  Anton has been instrumental in the  New Balance Minimus design and refinements.  As we sit behind our desks and answer email, I think in some we all wish we could be like Anton.  Wake up every day and run the trails in Colorado.

And here, in Joel’s own words, is a description of his film: “In the High Country” is an impressionistic Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 5.53.09 AMmountain running film: a visual essay about a life in the mountains. It looks at running from a new perspective, both visually and in the style of running. This kind of movement blurs the lines between running and climbing, between human and mountain. One way to learn our place in the world is through millions of accumulated steps: on gravel roads, glacial creeks, and over high mountain summits. Each stride imprints the terrain more deeply in the mind. The importance of any specific event falls away in the face of an ever-building accumulation of understanding. The film follows Krupicka’s evolution in running from his roots in Niobrara, Nebraska, to the Roost, his pickup truck home, and the miles in between; from itinerant shenanagins to speed soloing on the Flatirons.   

Come join us this October in Shepherdstown for two days of fun. And if you can’t make the movie showtime, it will be available as a DVD or contact Joel for a possible showing in your own town.