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The Speed Project has historically been run as a relay. The gruelling 340-mile race, described as ‘Unsanctioned, unhinged, underground and off the grid’, has no set route and no fixed rules, stipulating only that runners make their way from Santa Monica Pier, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada on foot. There are no formal registrations, no event permits, and the race lives and dies by the motto: ‘No Rules, No Spectators’.
The new short film SOLIS follows The North Face Explorer Team runner James Poole’s 2022 attempt to run self-supported through one of the hottest regions on the planet, over Mount Baldy, survive the blazing heat of Death Valley, and make it to the finish at the famous Welcome to Vegas sign.
Founded by runner Nils Arend in 2013 (or so the story goes, though the underground nature of the race means details are somewhat shady), The so-called ‘O.G’ Speed Project route climbed through the Hollywood Hills and Antelope Valley, past an enormous aeroplane graveyard at the edge of the Mojave Desert and the Inland Empire city of Barstow, and along the edge of Death Valley National Park, joining Route 160 into Vegas. Since its earliest incarnation however, runners have deviated and devised their own routes with one common goal – to arrive in Las Vegas as quickly as possible.
Typically, teams of six will assemble, following the format of one running whilst five rest, piling into vehicles and changing out intermittently over the course. For the first time in 2021, the most masochistic of runners were offered the chance to tackle the journey from LA to Sin City, solo. The winner that year took 118 hours.
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