Ne Plus Ultra of Running Films Caps Library Series

Dennis Fabiszak, at right, and Rich Sandstrom often run together in ultra races.

    Dennis Fabiszak, the East Hampton Library’s executive director, has been for a while now an ultradistance runner, which is to say he competes in 50-and-up events, though he’s never been in the ne plus ultra of ultra competitions, the Western States 100.
    For the moment then, he will have to content himself with viewing — along with many others, he hopes — a two-hour documentary on the 2010 Western States 100 at East Hampton’s Guild Hall on Feb. 26. It’s the last film in the library’s free winter series, which has featured foreign films.
    Fabiszak touts “Unbreakable: The Western States 100” as “the best film about running I’ve ever seen, and one that should be of interest not only to runners, but to anyone interested in sports.”
    A flier advertising the documentary, which was filmed at the 2010 competition, says that it “follows the four lead men [all undefeated as of then] on this amazing journey. . . . Three must break and only one can remain unbreakable.”
    The featured four are Hal Koerner of Ashland, Ore., the two-time defending Western States champion, Geoff Roes, an organic chef from Juneau, Alaska, also undefeated at the 100-mile distance, Anton Krupicka, a Boulder, Colo., graduate student who “is undefeated in every ultramarathon he has ever started,” and Kilian Jornet, the two-time Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc champion from Spain.
    Jornet, who had run up Mount Kilimanjaro in seven and a half hours, “divides his year between cross-country skiing and mountain running,” said the library’s director, who added during a conversation the other day, “You don’t know what’s going to happen until the end.”
“Getting into the Western States,” he said, “is like getting into Boston or New York. You need to meet a qualifying time and you need to volunteer in another ultra in order to enter the raffle. The field is limited to 357. The Park Service oversees it.”
Fabiszak, who has done 50-milers and 100Ks (62-milers) in the past, but not 100-milers, will do his first 100, the Umstead 100-Mile Endurance Race, on March 31 outside Raleigh, N.C., with Rich Sandstrom and Jeff Butler, fellow Hamptons Running Club members.
“The top guys will be shooting for 15 hours or less — they’ll be flying; my goal will be to do it in less than 24. If you’re still on the course after 30 hours, they’ll make you stop.”
Speaking about speed, Fabiszak said the North Carolina race was fully registered “within 30 seconds! Rich went online a minute after the posting the week of Labor Day, and he missed out. Later, he was pulled off the waiting list. It’s a very popular race. The field was limited to 300.”
The documentary, he added, was being shown in small theaters. “We’ll have the DVD for sale, and we’re going to add it to our collection at the library as well.”
Some in the audience on Feb. 26 will have run 13 miles at Hither Hills before the film’s showing at 4 p.m. The group, which Sinead FitzGibbon, a mountain biker and long-distance runner, is getting together, is to meet at Ed Ecker Park off Montauk’s Industrial Road at 11 a.m. that day. “We should be good and ready for the movie,” she said in an e-mail, “after running 13 miles in Hither Woods, doing 300 push-ups and a couple of hundred kettle-bell squats.”