f Pickle Juice For Ultra Runners

Pickle Juice For Ultra Runners

2024 COUP
Still image The Ultra Pickle Project woman running on trail shown from the back

Pickle Juice For Ultra Runners

With The Ultra Pickle Project, director Jeff Wilhelm Berg took up the camera to dive into the community of ultra runners in the Midwest, USA. We learn about Superior, a 100-mile trail ultra run - a trail run that takes about 30 hours with no sleep, running through the night.

"It's hard on you. But the beauty of it is that it's a transcendent experience that's available to anyone who wants to work for it," says John Storkamp, race director.

Through interviews with the participants before the race, we learn about their different backgrounds and their journey in their all-encompassing love of running.

Stefanie Wenninger, a first-time 100er, is a mother of three and lives on a 5-acre farm in southern Minnesota. "I run long races to show my kids, especially my girls, that they can do hard things if they put their mind to it." Stefanie wakes up at 3 a.m. to get her training runs in before her kids wake up and she starts her full-time job on the farm.

We learn that the Superior is considered a #1 destination race.

Participant Scott Noerenberg talks about the training for the 100 mile. "It can take up your day, your nights, your work day. It is something you think of constantly." It consumes you.

What are the pickles all about? Runners report having races turned around by pickles and drinking pickle water. But how the magical nutrients work remains a mystery, as it's no one's favorite flavor, just the boost with natural electrolytes they need.

Also before the race, we learn about Gretchen Metsa, who grew up among seven children about an hour from the Canadian border in a rural area with no electricity or running water. As a child, she ran a 100-mile sled dog race in the winter. Now she leads this 100-mile ultra race.