Last week I saw the encore presentation of HOOD TO COAST (2011), a journeyman's film akin to SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON (2007) at the Fenway 13. Following four teams through the drama of the race (198 mile relay race from Mt. Hood down to the beach, hence the name) the filmmakers were then able to magnify each teams' own personal drama with universal topics ranging from aging, mortality, health, adventure, coping mechanisms, to competitive edge and joy of sport.
As much of a fan as I am of H2C and SPIRIT, I knew going into the Mt Washington project that I would not be doing a journeyman's film. I would not be shadowing a runner. It's been done. The challenge has been to find a new way to show the race and its drama. A new way of linking the story from one mile marker to another. Admittedly, I'm on the proverbial edge of my seat wondering if Suzy Smoker is going to make it through mile 1, let alone 26.2 miles of the marathon. Will Old Man Joe crush his already arthritic knees on that downhill? Can College Boy Wonder break the record? The finish line is always the end, isn't it?
Or is it?