The 8 Best Documentaries About Ultra Marathons

Oct 10, 2023 | Best Of, Sports

If you are a fan of running, or if you simply love watching documentaries about inspiring people and life-changing challenges, then ultra marathon documentaries are the perfect choice for you. From thrilling accounts of long-distance runners’ journeys to stories of courage and determination in extreme conditions, these films capture the human spirit at its best. Here is a list of some of the best documentaries about ultra marathon that will leave you mesmerized and inspired. From gripping films about competitive athletes to raw accounts of personal journeys, this list has something for everyone.


1. Ryan Crawford – Against The Tide | An Ultramarathon Documentary

Ryan Crawford has positioned himself as a rising star in the ultramarathon scene, with two stand-out events in Brisbane. In 2020, he tackled AAA Racing’s 200-mile Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and their incredible Loop of Steel (LOS) challenge – which requires competitors to complete 6.87 km loops in under an hour until they can no longer keep up.


2. ONE MILE OUT | Official Documentary

Experience the incredible adventure of Chadd as he sets out to run 250 miles through Northern Arizona in the 2023 Cocodona 250! Follow his journey with ONE MILE OUT and get an inside look at ultrarunning, while also learning about the highs and lows that come along with it. Special thanks to Barbell Apparel and Hoist for making this possible, and to Macademic Media for their amazing work in bringing this story to us.


3. Desert Ultra | An Ultra Running Documentary

Experience a unique journey through Uganda! Follow a multi-national group of runners as they navigate the country and race across 250km of scorching hot Namib desert trails. Feel the heat, push past your limits and join them on an adventure of a lifetime. Navigate the rugged terrain whilst carrying all your supplies for 5 days, no rest days included! Reach the finish line of the 90km/50 mile final stage and discover an incredible culture full of captivating stories, remarkable footage and unique insights.
Watch it here:


4. TAKING ON THE DRAGONS BACK – The Toughest Mountain Ultra Marathon Race in the World

Heading into uncharted waters, two friends were determined to conquer an ultra-marathon unlike any other. The Dragons Back Race in Wales was the ultimate challenge – a grueling five day race across some of Britain’s most rugged and unforgiving terrain. Through torrential rain, fierce winds, and thick fog they had to battle for victory. With miles of treacherous mountains and treacherous terrain to traverse, the two racers pushed themselves to their limits and beyond. Now join them in this incredible documentary and experience what it’s like to take on the Dragons Back! Witness their courage, endurance, and dogged determination as they push through the challenges of this extreme race.


5. From 280lbs To Ultra Marathon Runner

James Dunn’s story is an incredible one. Just six years ago, he was 280 pounds and struggling with his health. But he made a bet with himself that would change his life forever—he would turn it all around and become an ultra marathon runner! Fast forward to the present day, where he has achieved this amazing goal. He has taken part in some of Europe’s toughest ultra runs, including the UTMB de Martigny-Combe à Chamonix.James set out on a journey to transform his life. His hard work and dedication paid off as he worked tirelessly to shed the excess weight and get himself in shape for endurance running.


6. Badwater 135 miles Ultra Marathon

Run through Death Valley, scale two mountain ranges and crest the summit of Whitney Portal – this is what the Badwater 135 miles Ultra Marathon is all about! It’s not for the faint-hearted or unprepared. But if you’re feeling up to it, follow my journey as I take on The World’s Toughest Foot Race.From punishing desert heat to treacherous terrain, I’ll have to dive deep into my mental and physical strength reserves. The challenge is great but the rewards will be even greater – it’s a chance to push myself beyond what I thought was possible! Join me on this incredible adventure as we explore the beauty of Death Valley and brave its extremes at Badwater 135 miles Ultra Marathon – the ultimate test of strength.


7. Gobi Desert Ultra marathon race -250km

The world’s most grueling race awaits brave challengers in the Gobi Desert every year. A 250 km long Ultra Marathon, this is a competition that will push physical and mental boundaries to the limit. Challengers from around the globe arrive in China with determination and courage, ready to take on the harsh climate and stunning landscapes of this incredible location. It takes an immense strength of will to complete this race, and those who do become part of a unique community. With the Racing the Planet desert series, every year around 200 runners gather to prove themselves against the unforgiving elements.


8. Running the Tarawera 100 mile Ultra Marathon from the back. CHASING POUNAMU

The Tarawera 100 Mile Ultramarathon is a grueling yet rewarding journey. Follow the story of one runner as he battles his inner demons and pushes himself further than ever before. CHASING POUNAMU is an inspiring documentary that delves into the mind of a back-of-the-pack ultra marathoner on a quest for redemption. Through stunning cinematography and intimate interviews, viewers are taken on an emotional journey of resilience and courage as they witness the runner’s mission to overcome personal challenges and complete the race. This unique documentary offers insights into what it takes to compete at a high level among some of the world’s toughest athletes.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B