‘Mind and Sport with Lucy Bartholomew:’ A Film of Perseverance and Community

This short documentary film follows Lucy Bartholomew as she lines up for the 2024 Black Canyon 100k in Arizona.

By on March 11, 2024 | Comments

If you’ve ever shown up to a race, not had the day you were hoping for, and were left wondering what it was all for, the short film “Mind and Sport with Lucy Bartholomew” is an excellent reminder.

Australian ultrarunner and triathlete Lucy Bartholomew lined up at the 2024 Black Canyon 100k among the many women racing for a Golden Ticket entry into the 2024 Western States 100, and things didn’t go as planned. This film is the story of Bartholomew and her crew as they experience the highs and lows of an ultra experience.

Bartholomew made a name for herself early on in her career, including finishing third at the 2018 Western States 100. In 2023, she completed the rare double of finishing both UTMB and the Ironman Kona triathlon in the same year. With her eyes set on a return to the Western States 100, she lined up for the Black Canyon 100k with a support crew made up of women she’d met through her running journey.

In the film, Bartholomew’s coach points out that one great thing about Bartholomew is her desire to take on these challenges. She has an instinctive pull toward running, and it just so happens that along with that desire, she has what it takes to come out on top. But when things don’t go as planned, she also has the perspective to see what is actually important.

Her experiences feel relatable thanks to her relaxed attitude and ability to laugh through the tough times. While she takes her races seriously, she is also humble and willing to accept that even at your fittest, you can have everything go wrong and simply not have it be your day.

One of the most inspiring things you’ll witness her crew do for her is to acknowledge that what she is going through is hard and that’s okay. In ultras, it is often the little things that crew members and loved ones do that can make all the difference, and this documentary shows the difference that support made.

Lucy Bartholomew - Mind and Sport film - 2024 Black Canyon 100k - photo 2

A screen capture from the film “Mind and Sport with Lucy Bartholomew” about her effort at the 2024 Black Canyon 100k by Dylan Harris.

The film also highlights the ways that ultrarunning brings together people from all areas of the world and the deep connections that people can develop thanks to these shared experiences. With still relatively few women in ultrarunning, and specifically at the top of it, this film shows the importance of supporting each other rather than being intimidated by one another.

Something very beautiful about ultrarunning, and specifically Bartholomew’s outlook on it, is that it doesn’t have to be a win-or-nothing experience.

Bartholomew notes that the final race result is often not what stands out, but instead, it is all of the little pieces of the experience that she shares with others. And that’s the takeaway for most of us, too, that stepping up to the challenge, and perhaps even finishing it, is worth it because of the relationships we will build with others and the things we learn about ourselves.

Call for Comments

  • At the end of a race weekend, what are the most important memories that you take home with you?
  • How do you cope when races don’t go as planned?
Amber Nelson

Amber Nelson is a writer, trail and obstacle course runner, and lover of travel and new experiences. She’s been writing about all things health and fitness for about three years and especially loves writing about about anything running related. Running changed Amber’s life when she stumbled into it after a 100 pound weight loss. In her free time you can find her planning upcoming travel, listening to an audio book while running in the foothills of Boise, Idaho, or slowly chipping away at her PhD in social psychology.