“Go do something crazy.” That’s the spirit driving Ali Butler Glenesk, a runner who woke up one morning and hatched the ultimate challenge for herself: Become the fastest known woman to run across her home state of California. What did that mean exactly? Running 262 miles in 10 days east to west across the state. That’s about a marathon a day for ten days in a row. While Ali had logged thousands of miles on the trails in training, this would be her first time putting it all together in one long push. Realizing she didn’t want to go at it alone, Ali assembled her two middle-of-the-packer best friends to run with her. This is the story of a rag-tag lady triad out to prove that you don't have to be an expert to go for something extraordinary.
Ali is an avid runner, aspiring writer, and software engineer from California. As a kid, she spent a lot of time outdoors, and started running formally on the Templeton High School cross-country team (Go Eagles!). She ran on and off as a university student and while living in Egypt in her early 20s, but only began to log serious, consistent mileage while working in policy at YouTube in the SF Bay Area. In 2014, she DNFd her first 50k after running (and puking) in dead last for many hours. Since then, she’s completed a few 50ks, but mostly just enjoys getting out on the trails with friends or solo! When not running or working, Ali enjoys watching Netflix, drinking beer, eating snacks, learning guitar, and spending time with family and her dog Slinky.
Maryam began distance running a few years ago while she was a student in the Bay Area. She previously only ran shorter distances to sustain some fitness goals, but was soon lured to the many mountain trails that surrounded her. In her early life, running was a torturous act that was avoided at all costs, and it wasn’t until a decade later that she began mending that relationship. Maryam hopes to run her first long distance trail race this year. Her other interests include medical research in neuropsychology, free quality healthcare, and surfing.
Noam is a filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer. About a year ago she quit her job to dedicate her full time to being an independent media producer, working on independent films, VR, and commercial work for brands like The North Face and Adidas. Running Across California is her first completely independent short, and she averaged 4 marathons in a week shooting the film. Noam got into running in college, but her friendship with Ali and Maryam pushed her into the wonderful world of ultra distances and trails. When she’s not loading up on mini Clif bars at a race, Noam can usually be found climbing California granite, traveling somewhere far away, or binging documentaries on her couch.
“This film rocks! I love her saying ‘I failed and it was still the highlight of my year.’ So good!” - Clare Gallagher, Pro Runner - Patagonia
“Such an amazing story about the human spirit, and finding strength within oneself….Very powerful film. Thank you for inspiring me.” - Serena Schuler, Writer/Director - Makeshift Society
“This film is so awesome. I followed Ali’s run while it was happening and was inspired myself (I want to run that!).” - Devin Yanko, Pro Runner - Oiselle