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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Feb-17 > LIGHTNING, CAMERA, ACTION

LIGHTNING, CAMERA, ACTION

The new feature-length documentary I Am Bolt takes a behind-the-scenes look at the fastest man on the planet. David Smyth met up with its directors to talk ice baths, vomiting and Manchester United

I AM BOLT

Spoiler alert! There’s a new film out about Usain Bolt, and I can tell you exactly how it ends. The man they call “Lightning” defeats the baddies, wins all the medals and returns home to Jamaica covered in more glory than a Magnum ice cream is covered in delicious chocolate.

It was a slight problem for British brothers and co-directors Ben and Gabe Turner: how do you give a documentary film the required dramatic tension when practically everybody in the world already saw your finale in Rio, August 2016?

Besides that, how do you maintain interest in a protagonist who has barely put a foot wrong since his first spectacular trio of gold medals in Beijing 2008? Even the cheesiest Hollywood blockbuster puts its hero in grave peril before the obligatory happy ending.

“With a guy like Usain, who’s given so many interviews and had the same questions constantly asked of him, it’s not interesting to make a film telling you stuff you’ve heard again and again,” admits older brother Ben, 39. “We wanted to find out what HE wanted to say about his life. What’s it like for him to be this dominant athlete? He’s the fastest human being in the world so to get into his perspective and find out what it’s like to be him – that’s fascinating to me.”

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About Men's Running

For any of you reading this magazine for the first time, I hope this will be the beginning of a long and exciting journey, both with MR and with running. For me, though, it’s also an ending of sorts: this is my last issue as editor of the magazine (sob, sob). From narrowly beating a steam train over 14 miles to being trounced by a horse over 24, via near-death at the Ennerdale Horseshoe and elation at the London Marathon, it’s been quite the three years. The best part, though, has been interacting with the MR community, in person and online, and hearing about the countless ways in which running has improved your lives. From weight-loss heroes to those who have used running to improve their mental health, ours is a sport filled with inspiring stories of self-improvement. When I spoke with Paul Sinton-Hewitt recently, the founder of parkrun told me he started the event because “I wanted to be with people – and running is about people.” And what a strange, brilliant, eclectic bunch we are. Having the chance to meet many of you, and put together a magazine about a subject as universal and life-changing as running, has been a great privilege. Thanks for reading.
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