"Massanutten: Two Runners, 100 Miles" is a documentary filmed at the 2006 running of the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 (MMT) ultramarathon, near Front Royal, Virginia. The course follows roads and rocky trails with 19,000 feet of climbing. Runners have 36 hours to finish.
Gary Knipling, 62, is a gregarious 9-time finisher taking on the MMT for the 10th time. Kerry Owens, 43, is a steadily improving ultramarathoner, returning for her third run. Gary appears to be everyone’s friend as he greets and laughs with the other runners. Kerry at first seems quieter and more focused, but by the middle of the race her true personality comes out.
By following two runners throughout the course, some of the social aspects are emphasized as well as capturing the spirit of what ultrarunning is to the people involved. The idea was not to show that the race wasn’t difficult, but to show the many other aspects of these long distance events- camaraderie and deep friendships between the participants, enjoyment of the challenge and support among the competitors. Some other films have emphasized the grueling agony of the runners. Yes, that can be there, but the whole experience is another thing altogether. The race becomes a mental challenge as well as a physical challenge. Competitors become supporters for each other.
Gary and Kerry, along with numerous race volunteers, pacers and crews, show us the reality of competition in a 100 mile race, making this documentary a realistic picture of what this event is like.
View the results of the 2006 race.
Visit the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club official website
Read Anstr Davidson's (of VHTRC) "biased" review of the movie.