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Running documentary takes you behind the scenes of elite marathon training

'A Time and Place' follows runners of the NAZ Elite marathon team during the final months leading up to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to train at the elite level or what it takes to make it to the Olympic Marathon Trials, you now have the chance to find out. The film A Time and Place goes behind the scenes of the Northern Arizona (NAZ) Elite marathon team, following six Olympic hopefuls leading up to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials that took place on February 29, 2020.

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The athletes in focus include Scott Fauble, Scott Smith and Sid Vaughn on the men’s side and Kellyn Taylor, Stephanie Bruce and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner Aliphine Tuliamuk for the women. With much of the commentary for the film provided by NAZ Elite head coach, Ben Rosario, A Time and Place gives you an in-depth look at the sacrifice, struggle and determination required to compete in the marathon at the elite level.

Flagstaff, Ariz., acts as the backdrop for the film, as the team trains during the final months leading up to the trials. Throughout the film, each athlete gives viewers a bit about their background and explains what qualifying for the trials (and, hopefully, the Olympics) means to them. You get the chance to watch the team push themselves through some intense workouts to give you insight into exactly what it takes to be an elite marathoner. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot of hard work.

While the film itself is very interesting, it does slow down in the middle a bit with a lot of footage of the team working out, but it’s broken up with insightful commentary from the athletes, who offer a candid look into their personal struggles, both mental and physical, leading up to the trials.

Finally, A Time and Place culminates with the trials themselves, which is, not surprisingly, the most exciting part of the film. It gives viewers a unique opportunity to watch the trials from the perspective of the athletes and coaches, and, of course, revel in the excitement of Rosario and the rest of the team as Tuliamuk has the race of her life. Watching her cross the finish line in first place from the vantage point of her coach is a truly thrilling experience, even through the TV screen.

A Time and Place is an eye-opening look behind the scenes of the lives and training of some of the best marathon runners in the United States, and allows viewers to feel the frustration of defeat and revel in the victories of athletes who spend months training for one career-defining day. While it does require a certain level of running-nerdiness to get into, it is a great film for anyone with a curiosity and interest in the world of elite running. The film will be available to stream for 24 hours beginning on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. for $15. You can watch the trailer and purchase tickets here.

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