Not everyone can travel the country sharing rad trail running videos with the world. Those who do are a rare breed and we are so excited to have them join us for the 2018 Trail Running Film Festival tour! Get to know all the MCs coming to your home town this fall, to celebrate the sport of trail running through film.
Name: Yassine Diboun
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Affiliated organization or business: Wy'east Wolfpack
Shows Yassine will MC in 2018: Portland, Chicago, Columbus, Cleveland, Athens, Boston, Brooklyn, Rochester, Pittsburgh
Favorite hometown trail run: I would say the Timberline Trail around Oregon's tallest peak: Mt. Hood. It's 42 miles w/ about 10,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain, and circumnavigates the iconic mountain that towers over Portland. It is my favorite because it is so diverse. There is glacier travel on the east side, meadows with wildflowers that makes you think you are frolicking in the Alps, stunning views of the snow capped peak, lots of fresh spring water and glacial melt, very runnable trail, and waterfalls. I could go on and on, but I have done this loop at least once almost every summer since 2009. Also, the Pacific Crest Trail passes through Mt. Hood and shares the TImberline Trail for several miles. In 2016 I ran/hiked the entire Oregon PCT which was one of my greatest athletic accomplishments and it always brings back great memories of that when I do the Timberline Trail.
Favorite post run food and drink: Ice cold Ginger Kombucha, and Burrito!
Tell us a little about your involvement with trail running and how you got connected to the Trail Running Film Festival: I have been trail running and ultra running since 2007 and when I moved the PNW in 2009 I fell in love w/ it even more. I raced a lot and one of my first races in the PNW was Orcas Island 50k, where I met James Varner and many other friends. Since then I have raced and volunteered at countless races and events and have become an integral part of the running community. I absolutely love it! Because I own my own business and have a bit of more flexibility and the fact that I have been on the Inov-8 (sponsor of Film Fest) team as an ambassador since 2007, James asked me if I'd be interested in emceeing the Film Fest in 2016. I had a great time and am grateful and honored to be asked again in 2018.
How would you describe your trail running philosophy?: Trail running is about much more to me than just competing. It is a part of my spirituality. I feel free and alive when I am in the trails/mountains. It is my therapy, my mood elevator, and makes me a better person, husband, and father. I feel that there is something deeply embedded in our genome as humans that when we are out in nature participating in self propulsion that everything takes care of itself.
What is your favorite trail running film and why?: So many to choose from! I am biased because I am in the movie! but I would say, "One Step At A Time" by Pursuit Films. It was featured in the 2016 and documents our journey on the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
What are some aspects about MCing the Trail Running Film Festival that you enjoy the most?: Meeting so many people from different parts of the country and going for runs w/ people, seeing their local trails. I also love all the different theaters and chatting w/ people about their respective racing endeavors. After each Film Fest city I can see how folks are inspired and motivated and I like to think that I am a small part of bringing that "fuel for their fire"!
What value do you see in the Trail Running Film Festival?: I think the Film Festival adds value because it inspires and motivates folks to get moving. Maybe it's not running an ultra but just to do more with their lives other than working and paying bills. I do think it's a great way to market Rainshadow Running races and I've met people at the races that have attended the movie film fest in different parts of the country who came out and visited the PNW races. It also provides a sense of community and coming together for each local community. I mean, what runner doesn't love a good trail running movie night?! :)
Name: Mallory Brooks
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Affiliated organization or business: Spectrum Trail Racing and Rogue Running
Shows Mallory will MC in 2018: Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston
Favorite hometown trail run: McKinney Roughs
Favorite post run food and drink: homemade pizza and a local craft beer
Tell us a little about your involvement with trail running and how you got connected to the Trail Running Film Festival: My husband and I own and direct the Spectrum Trail Races and the Rogue Trail Series. We also coach a group of amazing trail blazers at Rogue.
How would you describe your trail running philosophy?: Stay focused; be bold!
What is your favorite trail running film and why?: Gary Robbins's film about the Wonderland Trail. When training for the FKT of that trail, I must have watched it a dozen times.
What are some aspects about MCing the Trail Running Film Festival that you enjoy the most?: Making people laugh and inspiring them to get out there and explore!
What value do you see in the Trail Running Film Festival?: These films show that anyone can do big things, if they just set big goals then show up.
Name: James Varner
Hometown: Winthrop, WA
Affiliated organization or business: Rainshadow Running and Outdoor Arts and Recreation
Shows James will MC in 2018: San Francisco, Healdsburg, Monterey, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Salt Lake City, Bozeman, Spokane, Seattle, Bellingham, Chatanooga, Atlanta, Knoxville, Washington DC, Baltimore, Asheville, Bend, Denver, Ft. Collins, Auburn
Favorite hometown trail run: Rainy Pass to Harts Pass on the PCT -- it's about 50k with less than 6000ft of elevation gain but it's all up high in the heart of the rugged North Cascades.
Favorite post run food and drink: Beer and pizza
Tell us a little about your involvement with trail running and how you got connected to the Trail Running Film Festival: I'm a runner, volunteer and race director. I created The Trail Running Film Festival. It started at our Orcas Island 50k and 25k races as just a bunch of folks hanging out the night before the race watching trail running DVDs on the TV. Eventually the crowds around the TV got too big and we started showing the films in theaters all around the country instead.
How would you describe your trail running philosophy?: I feel like we're all an experiment of one always ongoing. Each run is different, how you feel, the weather, the place, the folks you're with or not with, how far you go, how fast you go. It's always something new and it's never boring if it's boring you're not paying attention to the right things. But it's also a shared experience-- meaning all of us who run trails share something in common and we have a common bond through the experiences we have.
What is your favorite trail running film and why?: That's a really hard question, I've seen so many, probably over 200 films... One of my favorite classic trail films is "The Runner" by JB Benna about ultrarunning legend David Horton's record-setting run of the 2600 mile Pacific Crest Trail. A more modern favorite is the short by The African Attachment for Salomon Running TV "Trail Dog". I could mention so many others...
What are some aspects about MCing the Trail Running Film Festival that you enjoy the most?: I love sitting in the audience at our shows and listening and watching everyone's reactions to the films, the ohhhs and ahhhs and tears, laughs and cringes. I've watched the same films night after night for months but in each new city it's a new experience for me.
What value do you see in the Trail Running Film Festival?: The Trail Running Film Festival is a fun way to bring the community together and celebrate the sport. And it's a great way to support the ever growing and improving filmmakers who are making these interesting and inspiring films for our community.
Name: Colton Gerhart
Hometown: Boise, ID currently by way of Coudersport, PA
Affiliated organization or business: Rainshadow Running
Shows Colton will MC in 2018: Boise
Favorite hometown trail run: Dry Creek in Boise, this lush 14ish mile loop with varying terrain that a little something for the kid in each of us :)
Favorite post run food and drink: Pizza, ice cream and beer, obviously :)
Tell us a little about your involvement with trail running and how you got connected to the Trail Running Film Festival: I was introduced to trail running back in 2015 when I was taken to my first Rainshadow event. I fell head over high heels in love with the atmosphere, the people, and the crazy. The rest is history and I’m glad to be back hosting some shows for the Film Festival!
How would you describe your trail running philosophy?: Constant forward progress.
What is your favorite trail running film and why?: One Step At a Time. It never gets old and still brings tears to my eyes.
What are some aspects about MCing the Trail Running Film Festival that you enjoy the most?: Meeting new people in the different cities.
What value do you see in the Trail Running Film Festival?: Community growth and a central location to meet like minded individuals in your area.