Trail Fighter: a short film


Kyle Dietz was a professional MMA fighter for 7 years. When he burned out on the scene, he sort-of found his way to a new, wildly contrasted sport of competitive mountain trail running. More intriguing is that the man lives in one of the flatter states in the US - Iowa! Skeptics would say his success as a mountain runner seems unlikely.

I learned about Kyle's story over beers last summer. I couldn't quit thinking about what a cool film it could be. So, I decided to make the story first and figure out how to get paid later. Around midnight 4 days before the race, I jumped into Kyle's car and we road-tripped non-stop to Montana. Kyle would be competing in a big mtn "Ultra" race call the RUT.

Many months later and with the help of a team of talented post production guys (see credits), we finished the "Trail Fighter" film. I feel like I say this all the time, but this is one of the more gratifying pieces of work I have made recently. I love the way a random conversation can spark an idea that can become what you see here.

Big thanks to Fitsok and Outdoor Research for investing in that idea with me to make it possible. Even bigger thanks to my new friend Kyle Dietz for allowing me to shadow him, pry at him, and tell his story to the world. I hope you'll find it inspiring and maybe even go find your own challenges to meet.