1 Day. 100 Miles. The idea sounds impossible to most of us, but that’s the challenge Ashley Lindsey faces in Solstice, which documents her attempt to finish the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The world’s oldest and most prestigious 100 mile trail race, Western States runners travel from Squaw Valley to Auburn, battling bitter cold, stifling heat, and their own mental and physical limitations along the way. From mountain peaks to river canyons, runners climb over 18,000 vertical feet and descend nearly 23,000 feet on this ultimate challenge for long distance runners.
“Solstice” takes us inside Ashley’s experience as a rookie attempting to run 100 miles for the first time. Featuring appearances by Gordy Ainsleigh, Topher Gaylord, Anita Ortiz, and Ken “Cowman” Shirk, this is a story of one woman’s attempt to prove that “impossible” is just a word.
With Solstice, Director Andy Hofman takes an unconventional approach to the traditional documentary; it’s unlike any other film about running. The goal was to create something that gives the viewer a peak into what the actual experience of a rookie attempting to finish a 100 mile race looks and feels like. Keeping the audience in the moment as much as possible, he stays away from tangential story lines like the history of the race, how Ashley trained, etc. His plan was to create an “impressionistic” look at her experience which hopefully conveyed what it might have felt like to her. From mountain peaks to tranquil alpine forests to sweltering canyons, Andy focuses on the changing environments and the passing of time to tell a visual, as well as emotional, story.
Solstice has proven to inspire and motivate a range of viewers from runners training for their first 5K to veteran ultra-marathoners. Additionally, this film is aimed at anyone who is striving toward a goal that at one time seemed unimaginable, whether it’s to finish a race, write a novel, open a restaurant… whatever it may be. Through Ashley’s story, Solstice will challenge its audience to attempt something they always felt was impossible to achieve in their own life.