Sunday, July 30, 2006

What It Takes: The Triathlon Documentary

My Tri Team was fortunate enough to see a screening of "What It Takes", a new documentary that tracks four professional triathletes - Peter Reid, Lori Bowden, Heather Fuhr, Luke Bell - in the year leading up to the 2005 World Championship in Kona. Let me confirm what you can probably guess: if you do triathlons, you need to see this movie. Duh.

Although their mileage and hours are far beyond what most of us do, the film makes it very easy to relate to everything the athletes say about their training. One person refers to it as "the Fraternity of Suffering". Bad weather? Injuries? Not finding your groove for a race? Yup. Yup. Yup. And one thing I really like about the sport really hits home with this movie. If a football player talks about his Superbowl game, the best you can hope for is to say "I saw that game." But when these triathletes talk about their experience at Wildflower, you can say "yes, I ran that race too." (Well, I can't say that yet, but you get the idea.)

This may be more an observation than a criticism, but I think it's important to note that this is a movie about Ironman TRIATHLETES, and not the Ironman itself. I make that distinction because if you start watching Ironman videos, you begin to think that every race is nothing but people collapsing on the course and missing the cut-off times by 30-seconds. This makes for very emotional footage, not to mention all the ripping-out-your-heartstrings Physically Challenged stories out there. In "What It Takes", the athletes certainly have their own obstacles, but the footage isn't as dramatically camera-friendly as watching someone crawl over the finish line after 140 miles.

I'm not sure even the director knows yet how it will be released; possible theatrically through film festivals, maybe on TV, at some point on DVD for individual sale. But if you do get the chance to see it, go. The next morning you'll begin your Ironman training.

Official Movie Site, with trailer:


Blogger Steven said...

I've been looking forward to seeing What It Takes for months now.

I wish it would hurry up and come out already!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I am with Steven...hurry up...

I kinda like it when it is more realistic...Ironman I see on tv is too glamourtize. I like watching those emotional stories but they keep advertising Ironman as something to be fear and too much for modern day ppl.

I rather watch someone doing crazy long bike ride in the rain, in the sun and in the snow. I will get emotional to that....cause i've been there. (I haven't rode in the snow...not yet).

1:48 PM  

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