Halfway through the new film “Running Out” about Lucy Bartholomew, she looks miserable. It’s dark, she’s been out of water for hours, her lips are crusted black and her face red, and she has gotten lost multiple times. But in the end, she makes it to Alice Springs, the endpoint of the 223-kilometer Larapinta Trail, setting the women’s supported fastest known time in the process.
Bartholomew has been a household name on the ultrarunning circuit since her breakout third-place performance at the 2018 Western States 100 at only 22 years old. However, Bartholomew has been running much longer than that — she began racing ultras with her dad at only age 16 in her home country of Australia, much to the ire of some in the running community who thought teenagers shouldn’t be running such long distances.
Bartholomew set out to prove people wrong, and she did, winning or placing near the top of multiple high-profile races, including taking fifth at the 2017 TDS and winning the 2017 Ultra-Trail Cape Town. After COVID-19 restrictions died down in 2021, Bartholomew set out to meet a new challenge: running the full length of the Larapinta Trail.
To complete the trail, Bartholomew needed a crew. She teamed up with filmmaker Bryan Hynes and photographer Josh Lynnot, who both filmed and photographed her along the journey, but helped her with food, water, footcare, and emotional support as well. The Larapinta Trail — running from Mount Sonder to Alice Springs, traversing exposed ridgelines, descending steep and rocky slopes, and crossing rivers (when there’s water available) — is a trail most spend weeks on.
Bartholomew finished in 2 days, 6 hours, and 23 minutes. While the official length is 223k, Bartholomew takes a few detours and adds an extra 25k to her experience on the trail, making her fastest known time even more impressive.
For beautiful views of an incredibly difficult and unforgiving route in the Australian Outback, and to follow the story of the woman who wanted to prove to herself she could do it, check out the new film, “Running Out,” which is available to rent or purchase on Vimeo.