In Race Across America, a three-thousand mile bike race, two riders test their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual endurance to raise money for rebuilding efforts in Haiti.
Godspeed, in theaters at 7 p.m. on May 22 as a Fathom Event, highlights how ultra-cyclist/sportscaster Jerry Schemmel and IronMan triathlete/CEO Brad Cooper competed in the world's most grueling endurance bicycle race – The Race Across America (RAAM). They worked in tandem to pedal their bikes for 168 hours, nonstop, from Oceanside, CA, to Annapolis, MA, enduring intense temperatures, great heights, and incredible physical odds. This is seven 24-hour days of cycling, covering more than three thousand miles of terrain.
The documentary coverage of the race, including behind-the-scenes interviews with Schemmel and Cooper, is a joint production of Fathom Events and the Rudy Project. The Project creates performance-oriented sunglasses, helmets, goggles and Rx/prescription eyewear, having been founded in Italy and expanding to a worldwide brand in North America. The cycling coverage shows the expertise of the filmmakers in covering cycling in both footage and details in dialogue.
While the action of the race will be entertaining enough for some, with details about the physical impact on the riders' bodies, the give and take between the various teams, and the dialogue amongst the riders and their support team, the personal instrument elements make this a fiercer cinematic experience. Whether it's pre-race injuries that seem incredibly debilitating, or insight into the riders' mindsets, Godspeed provides a different kind of race documentary than you might catch on television.
Directed by Martin Butler and filmed by Davis Butler, the film stays up on the action of the race while also giving us a heart for what Schemmel and Cooper care about - both competitively and inspirationally, in their desire to raise the money for the orphans of Haiti.