lunedì 19 aprile 2010

The guy is an absolute force of nature


I purchased this DVD not knowing what to expect. I have minimal knowledge of ultradistance running, let alone the rigours of trail races. The DVD as the previous reviewer states deals with Marco Olmo a worker at the UNICHEM industrial site, who in his late 50s has an unprecedented resume of race victories and mentions under his belt; most notably he is placed in the top ten runners of the Marathon Des Sables four times in succession. A mean feat when age is factored in.
What was extremely humbling was Olmo's modest and self-effacing demeanour. Through numerous snippets of the film he comes across as reflective/philosophical, humble and yet extremely determined to win the tour of Mont Blanc, a feat he achieved 2 years in succession. His wife can be seen as a staunch supporter ferrying his energy drinks to different checkpoints. There is nothing celebrity about this runner that is the beauty of this film; he has no sponsors, does not eat a strictly prescribed diet and places highly in races for his need to take vengeance, to succeed as Mont Blanc may prove to be his last ever serious race. The undercurrent of this film also deals with poverty, of living lives where options were and are few and one man's absolute determination to show strength in a discipline he very clearly has a gift in amidst a life he clearly finds limiting.
I rate this documentary very highly. The subject matter brings to the fore a man whose positive influence subliminally attracts the attention of the viewer. At the beginning whilst he signs a sizable stack of postcards for a school presentation, upon questioning by the pupils he (roughly from memory) asserts "Influence? If we were to talk about influence like George Clooney, my influence will be so low as to reach the depths of hell." Not quite in my opinion, this film shows what modest, but extremely determined people can achieve.
(Posted on 12/03/2010)