How to Run 100 Miles

Brendan Leonard ran 100 miles and made a film about it. It’s as awesome as you’d expect.

Jayson and I were in a coffee shop in Denver in October 2016 talking about the idea of running a 100-mile race, and I said if we did it, I was going to make a film about it—but more about his life and philosophy, which is basically: persevere.

I’ve known him since we met working at an Applebee’s restaurant in 2000, when we were both 21. I’ve always wanted to tell his story, as sort of an elaborate thank-you card for 18 years of encouraging me, telling me to fake it until I made it, and generally talking shit and never letting me off the hook.

I thought making the film would be a little easier than it turned out to be, or at least easier than training for and attempting the race—but when you’re trying to tell the personal story of one of your closest friends, you really don’t want to screw it up. I personally shot about 30 hours of footage, interviewing Jayson in my kitchen, traveling to Iowa to interview and hang out with his mom, and running behind him with an iPhone 7 on a gimbal as we spent six months training for the Run Rabbit Run 100 in September 2017. I really hope this is the most chafing I’ll ever have to endure for a film project.


Brendan Leonard is a contributing editor to Adventure Journal. Follow him at his blog, Semi-Rad.
Showing 13 comments
  • Eibhlin Fletcher

    What a great little movie. Loved the grit, the laughter the real insight to what you go through. A favourite! Great work guys.

  • Daniel J Powell

    It got real dusty in my apartment right about the time you guys were finishing the race. Damnedest thing.

  • Blair Hyatt

    Great video.

  • Leonard Morgan

    great story!!!

  • steven


  • Alex

    Great job Brendan. Sweet story, well told.

  • Randy V

    Oustanding video! Excellent job describing the pains of 100 miles! Brought back some great memories!

  • max

    I can’t wait to watch this with my coffee tomorrow morning.

  • doug moore

    An inspiring story, well told. Really liked watching. Thanks Brendan. Thanks Jayson.

  • philippa

    Thanks so much for sharing that – I absolutely loved it

  • Cecil

    Just awesome! I am running my 1st 50 miler with the hopes to finish a 100 miler in the not so distant future. I am going to bawl when I finish just like you guys did. Awesome job!

  • Dan Murphy

    Finally got to watch this today. What a fantastic film, you really hit all the right buttons.
    Congrats on finishing and congrats on telling such a great story.
    Looking forward to seeing more from you.

  • Karin-Marijke Vis

    What an inspiring story. Love it! Well done (the run as well as the movie :-))

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