THE HUMAN RACE is an inspirational full-length documentary about six runners, ages 50-90, as they each train for the biggest race of their lives. These six participants will cover quite the spectrum of over-50 athletes: from the fiercest elite runners you can imagine to newer runners attempting their first 5K. As they prepare, we will see them attempt to clear every hurdle – literally and metaphorically. But make no mistake, these runners are not “cute.” They are dedicated, they are fierce, they competitive and, honest to God, they could probably outrun you.
Why do we feel that this is such an important message? According to the U.S Census Bureau, 40.3 million Americans are age 65 and older. That number is expected to more than double to 89 million by 2050. The skyrocketing costs of healthcare are of huge concern to the country at large, but the older portion of our population in particular. Harvard Business Review proposes that prevention (exercise and diet) is “the key to both better health and lower health-care costs over the long haul. In the long run, it is more important than addressing the high cost of new technologies and drugs or their inappropriate overuse.” Simply put (and study after study has show this): billions of dollars in national health care costs could be saved if people exercised as often as recommendations call for.
According to Dr. James Fries from the Stanford University School of Medicine, “exercise is the single best way to elongate the active and vital years of life and decrease the total amount of lifetime disability”. Dr. Fries conducted a thirteen-year study involving 528 runners and 423 non-runners, and the results were amazing. His study showed that running actually delays age-related disabilities by almost two decades and that runners are seven times less likely to require knee replacement. Contrary to popular belief, running doesn’t lead to increased hip, back or knee problems and prevents fractures of the hips and spine. But his biggest finding? Runners are half as likely as non-runners to die early.
We hope this film will not only inspire people of ALL generations to get moving, but will also show an often underestimated or ignored demographic in the fierce light they deserve. We want to shake up the stereotypical views of aging. We want to clear up the misconception that running is bad for knees and joints. We want to help people learn how to stretch middle age into their 90’s. We want to help lower national healthcare costs. But our biggest goal? To prove to everyone that it’s never too late to start.
Hi. It’s Liz Vassey, the director of THE HUMAN RACE. I just wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who helped make this project a reality. I recently finished putting together the closing credits, and there were so many people involved in the making of this film. I am truly grateful for each of you. This movie started off as a passion project and since has evolved into something very real and, I hope, very meaningful. I can’t wait to share it with everyone soon.