“’You don’t have to be a runner,’ I say to them. ‘When you’re about to make an important decision about your own life or someone else’s, a decision that might change your life forever, before things escalate, go for a run.’”

Dustin Martin, a young Diné (Navajo) runner and educator, travels with other indigenous twenty-somethings all summer long to conduct running camps in Indian Country. Through the organization he leads, Wings of America, Dustin counsels youth on Reservations where the rates of suicide and violence are astronomical. He preaches running as a traditional antidote and as an essential part of what it once meant to be indigenous.

Dustin also traveled with me two summers ago to the Kalahari Desert, the ancestral home of the San Bushman tribe. Once proud persistence hunters (chasing animals to exhaustion), the San were forcibly relocated from their homes in 1998 after minerals were discovered under the Kalahari. Dustin was aghast as he witnessed a repetition of what happened to Native Americans 150 years ago.

We were there to participate in perhaps the last San persistence hunt – and, at their request, to film it as part of a larger feature-length film entitled 3100: Run and Become, which is being released in August in the following cities.


8/17-8/23:      Santa Fe

8/24-8/30:      Albuquerque

8/31-9/6:        Scottsdale, Sedona, Flagstaff

9/7-9/13:        Seattle, Portland, Bend, Eugene

9/11-9/13:      Boulder

9/14-9/20:      Denver.

The film came together in an exceptional way. Focusing on the world’s longest official running race, the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race (60+ miles a day for 52 days), the movie interweaves narratives that illustrate how and why humans can and do run such distances. We travel from the Kalahari to Mount Hiei (the home of the 1000 day monks) and to Dustin’s own homeland, the Navajo Nation, where Wings of American Board Member and champion ultra-runner Shaun Martin is working to revive running as a form of medicine.

“This film shows how every great a runner can become when he transcends his limits. Running is a school for life and shows how to become a better human being.” Tegla Loroupe

“You get up and run every morning as the sun is rising because you run to celebrate life. You run because it is a form of prayer. You're speaking to Mother Earth with your feet. You're breathing in Father Sky. You're telling them, you're asking them for blessings. You're showing them that you're willing to work for that prayer for those blessings.” Shaun Martin

We hope you can join us in this journey to share with the world the spirituality of transcendence and ancestral wisdom inherent in running. Run and Become.

To find out more about the film: please email: sanjay@illumine.com