Breathe in, breathe out. The heart is throbbing restlessly. Sore muscles hurt with each move. A challenge beyond human capability. Three runners. 240 kilometres. 52 hours of continuous struggle against the mountain trail and human limitations. Without a moment of sleep. Runners is an insight into the depths of human motivation to achieve the unachievable.

The film captures three runners during one of the most difficult ultramarathons in Europe, but most importantly, their struggle against themselves. Great ambitions, traumatic childhood, search for the meaning of life.

Runners portrays a successful banker, a mother of three, who runs the ultramarathon shortly after delivering her youngest child, and a man for whom running is the last thing left in life. All of them meet at the start line, and discover themselves during this punishing race.

Runners is an insightful portrait of the global phenomenon of running, brought to the extreme. It is an attempt to answer the question of to what lengths one is willing to go in order to assuage pain, feel momentary relief and make sure to leave a mark in this world.

The film shows the details of each move of the portrayed athletes: their bold pace at the beginning of the punishing race, the moments of doubt and crisis, their trips on the trail and naps in roadside ditches, the painful and humiliating attempts to overcome the limitations of the body, their failures and victories. It is a record of poignant corporeality, which stands in the way to achieve the longed-for goal. Runners is also a tribute to the beauty of nature, invaded by humans in their pursuit to make their dreams come true.

Runners is a profound, undoctored insight into the world of the portrayed characters. It shows their daily life which stands behind their life choices and motivations to participate in such an extreme challenge.

Łukasz Borowski
Łukasz Borowski
Marcin Latanik
Maciej Cieślak
Wajda Studio
Telewizja Polska S.A., EC1 Łódź Miasto Kultury, Studio Filmowe Kadr

Łukasz Borowski »

Director and screenwriter. Born in Lodz. Graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration and Lodz Film School as well as Wajda School’s DOK PRO Documentary Program in Warsaw. His first short documentary 3 Days of Freedom won over a dozen awards at film festivals in Poland and abroad. The documentary Runners is his first full-length film.