The Desert RATS Stage Race is an intense 150-mile race set in the challenging deserts of Loma, CO and Moab, UT. Providing endless views, this is considered one of the toughest stage races in the United States. In the captivating video “A LONG WAY FROM NOWHERE: 150 Miles at The Desert RATS Stage Race,” viewers are given a unique glimpse into the motivations and mindset of ultrarunners who willingly subject themselves to the physical and mental trials of this grueling race. From extreme heat to sickness and exhaustion, the runners face numerous challenges, but they also discover the power of camaraderie and support. Pushing themselves to their limits, these remarkable individuals embark on a transformative journey, gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. Encompassing everything I love about the ultra running community along the way. So check out the ultra running documentary and my review below.
A LONG WAY FROM NOWHERE: 150 Miles at The Desert RATS Stage Race
About the Desert Rats 150 Stage Race
The Desert RATS race, organized by Gemini Adventures, taking runners from Loma Colorado to Moab Utah. This Moab trail marathon takes participants through a stunning landscape, where they face ancient obstacles along the Kokopelli Trail. More than just a race, Desert RATS is a journey of self-discovery through the backcountry desert. The race covers approximately 143 miles over six days, making it the longest-running stage race in North America. With a dedicated medical staff and experienced support crews, the race ensures the safety and well-being of the participants. While some aim to race competitively, others seek to test their limits both mentally and physically.
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Total Stages 5
- Stage 1 – 19.8 Miles
- Stage 2 – 38.7 Miles
- Stage 3 – 9.3 Miles
- Stage 4 – 41.4 Miles
- Stage 5 – 26 Miles
Diverse Personalities and Strategies
At the start of the film, we are introduced to the motivations and mindset of ultrarunners participating in the Desert RATS Stage Race. Starting with the race director, Reid Delman, who’s deliberately designed an event that pushes runners to the very core of their being.
Different personas and strategies emerge as the runners prepare for the Desert RATS Stage Race. From Phil Pinty’s Macho Man alter ego to runners carrying flags symbolizing their military background. Or another runner’s experience coping with the loss of a spouse to cancer, emphasize the transformative power of running. Each participant brings their unique story and approach to conquering the race. First-time racers, like Amy, feel a mix of excitement and trepidation, while others, such as Ushka, seek personal growth by stepping out of their comfort zones.
As the participants gather at the starting line, anticipation mingles with silence as they prepare themselves for the arduous journey ahead. Running and racing become personal challenges that inspire and push these runners to surpass their own limits.
Overcoming Adversity: Healing and Transformation
Like most documentaries, we’ll follow along as a few runners share their experiences leading up to and during the Desert RATS Stage Race. Including things like their military service and the subsequent healing they found through running. The film does a great job of featuring a mix of different personalities. Providing a little bit of something for everyone.
Day two of the race proves particularly transformative for many of the runners. Testing the runners’ endurance under scorching heat and challenging running conditions. As the documentary progresses, we witness the physical and emotional toll the race exacts on the runners.
Participants battle exhaustion, sickness, and more. With some facing sickness and vomiting. Many will be forced to withdraw from the race due to safety concerns. However, driven by the desire to push themselves and test their limits, many runners persevere. Using the unwavering drive from their inner passion and the support from loved ones to sustain them. These runners exemplify the connection between the race and life’s challenges.
Photos From The Documentary
Closing Thoughts on – “A LONG WAY FROM NOWHERE: 150 Miles at The Desert RATS Stage Race”
Within the grueling environment that the Desert RATS Stage Race places athletes in, the runners find solace in the camaraderie and support they offer one another. In acts of selflessness, even the leaders set aside their own competitive drive to help struggling runners finish. These moments of encouragement become the most rewarding aspect of the race and the film.
The documentary “A LONG WAY FROM NOWHERE: 150 Miles at The Desert RATS Stage Race | Ultra-Running Documentary” offers a profound glimpse into the motivations and mindset of ultrarunners as they undertake a grueling stage race. Through extreme physical and mental challenges, these runners push themselves to their limits, embracing new experiences and forging ahead despite pain and suffering. This documentary showcases the power of camaraderie and support, as well as the transformative nature of such endeavors. With the Desert RATS Stage Race serving as a crucible for self-discovery and growth. Where runners learn invaluable lessons about human resilience, determination, and the strength that lies within. Lessons that will serve them long after they stop running.