Running on the Sun is a documentary about the Badwater ultramarathon. This race traverses 135 miles of desert, climbing from a few hundred feet below sea level to the top of Mount Whitney. The runners have to climb over 13,000 feet mixed in with about 4000 feet of descent throughout the course. The cut-off to be considered a finisher is 60 hours.

I enjoyed watching the documentary. It follows about a quarter of the people in the race as they prepare themselves in the months leading up to it, and then follows them as they struggle through the ordeal. Some of them finish, and some of them drop out. You get to see people passing out and hallucinating on the side of the road, or just throwing up now and again as they go along.

I got quite a few laughs out of some of the folk that were followed. Even in the middle of the ordeal, they managed to keep their sense of humor. A man in his late sixties finishes the race and informs his wife that she’s out of luck if she expects sex from him; he was not in the mood. After two days of running in 130°F heat I doubt that I would be in the mood either. At least he finally got his Murphy’s Stout that he had been chasing for the previous 50 miles or so.

This movie in no way made me want to ever go out and run the Badwater, but it was endlessly fascinating to follow along. The set was fantastic. Given that it was filmed on location during the actual race, you can not much beat the desert and the mountains for views. I highly recommend giving this one a rent and taking a look at it.