The “Undefeated” crew films the start/finish line for the 2019 Canadian Death Race on Heritage Day long weekend.
Photo courtesy of Undefeated: Journey To The Death Race Facebook
A Grande Prairie-based filmmaker is putting together a 20-minute documentary titled “Undefeated: Journey to the Deathrace” about the Canadian Death Race and the daredevils who partake in the ultramarathon.Project lead Wade Whibley and his crew filmed the 20th annual Canadian Death Race where participants endured the elements in the Rocky Mountains near Grande Cache from Aug. 3 to 4.“The camaraderie among the racers was unbelievable,” Whibley said.“If someone goes down or gets injured, they do their best to help out.”Whibley first became interested in the Death Race after spotting a podium for the ultramarathon while driving through Grande Cache.“It’s 125 kilometres across mountains, so you go across three mountain tops, and it was like, ‘What would make someone ever want to do that?’” he said.“I like hiking and quading and stuff but to actually run it was a totally different scenario.”The crew interviewed multiple athletes prior to the event on July 26 and 27, filmed them during the race and then followed up afterwards.Whibley noted that each athlete had their own reasons for participating and unique experiences during the Death Race. One interviewee in the documentary was a cancer survivor who used the event as a “coping mechanism.”“The other fellow who we’re following, he encountered a grizzly bear last year,” Whibley said.“He almost got PTSD from it and so that was his big challenge this year was to kind of get past that spot where he had the interaction and it essentially scared the life out of him.”Whibley was one of 30 creators selected out of 382 applications to receive $50,000 from TELUS STORYHIVE’s 2019 Documentary Edition for this short film.“Having the grant just makes us able to do it that much better and pay our people,” he said.“We put in just about 25-hours straight on the long weekend there to do it and it’s not for everybody but our crew did a pretty amazing job.”The final cut is slated for completion in May 2020 with a release on Telus Optic TV the following July. The crew will spend the upcoming months combing through footage and editing the documentary down to 20 minutes.“Looking back, everybody hits a low spot and there are things to pick yourself up,” Whibley said.“To be able to show that, that’s what I wanted to do.”