Just. One. Mile.

In the unforgiving mountains of Tennessee, a hundred athletes compete in the Mid-State Mile, a race like no other.

No finish line. No trophy. No prize money.

The winner is simply the last-man standing:

“Just. One. Mile.” will surely be in my Top Endurance Documentaries when I soon write it.

Special thanks to my Capital Camp buddy ​Chelsey Altomaro​ of Positive Sum for the tip.

Trailer for “Just. One. Mile”

Watch “Just. One. Mile.”

You can watch “Just. One. Mile” on:

You can find the latest streaming options at https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/just-one-mile

Ratings:

  • My Rating: 97/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na

Release Date: June 27, 2023

About The Mid-State Mile Race

The official name of the race is “Mid-State Mile”. But it’s also called “The Murder Mile”.

Basics

  • Location: The race is held on private land, approximately 20 minutes from Downtown Franklin, TN.
  • Distance and Elevation: The course consists of a 1.1-mile loop, affectionately known as the “Murder Mile,” which features 340 feet of elevation gain per loop.
  • Terrain: The loop includes two significant climbs with grades of 20%, fast runnable sections, and an easy downhill section leading back to the start/finish area. The course is primarily on an old logging road, making it a wide double-track trail

Race Format

  • Last Man Standing: This is an elimination race where participants must complete each loop within 20 minutes. Runners who fail to finish a loop within this time frame are eliminated from the race.
  • Duration: The race continues until only one runner remains. This can last for more than 30 hours, depending on the endurance of the participants.

Participation and Selection

  • Entry: The race has a limited number of spots, and priority is given to past participants and those who sign up early. There is also a waitlist and a selection process for new participants.
  • Golden Ticket Races: Winners of certain qualifying races are given reserved spots in the Mid-State Mile, adding a competitive edge to the entry process.

Historical Context

  • Notable Performances: The race has seen impressive performances, with runners covering significant distances. For example, in 2023, Eric Kienle completed 133.1 miles, and Jill Dennes completed 113.3 miles.

My Review of “Just. One. Mile.”

Chadd Wright, the reigning champ and a former Navy Seal, enters the race as the favorite.

He lives in Rome, Georgia, and carries the weight of a tragic past—his mentor from the Seal team took his own life when the darkness took over. Chadd’s story alone could fill the screen, but the race has more tales to tell.

Greg Armstrong, last year’s runner-up, was supposed to sit this one out.

But on race day, he strolls into the campground, shirtless, clutching a makeshift water bottle, ready to go.

It’s a sight that screams “I’m here to win, or at least to make you wonder how I’m even competing.”

James Ward, another competitor, is torn between the race and his father’s deathbed. Just when it seems he’ll have to withdraw, his dad rallies, and James is back in the game.

But the emotional rollercoaster isn’t over—mid-race, James learns his father is on a ventilator.

He sprints a nine-minute loop, buys himself eleven precious minutes to say goodbye over the phone, and rejoins the fray.

What James doesn’t realize is that Chadd’s strategic tips during training are propelling him forward, even in this darkest hour.

The race whittles down, and Greg Armstrong bows out, leaving just four.

Aaron Dana drops next, and it’s down to two warriors: Chadd and LukeBollschweiler. The battle between them is intense, raw, and anything but glamorous.

In a particularly desperate moment, Chadd makes an unconventional choice—he uses his shirt to wipe after a big poop, earning the nickname “Dukey Shirt.”

It’s a gritty, no-holds-barred detail that sums up the race’s brutality.

Luke, the final competitor against Chadd, eventually falters, leaving Chadd as the last man standing.

His victory isn’t just about crossing the finish line; it’s a testament to endurance, resilience, and the human spirit’s capacity to overcome both physical and emotional trials.

“Just. One. Mile.” captures the essence of pushing beyond limits, where every mile is a victory, and every step is a defiance against the inevitable.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc