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In ‘Soul Brothers,’ Salomon Athlete Races Across Jordan’s Wadi Rum Desert With His Brother

Trail runner Mathieu Blanchard found a unique partner for his latest desert race: his brother Luca Liens, a left leg amputee and a newbie to racing.

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Salomon’s latest documentary has all the makings of a great outdoors film.

It’s got an epic race across the Wadi Rum desert, an amputee athlete adapting to long-distance running — and the brother who’s always right behind him, ready to help. When Salomon athlete Mathieu Blanchard initially suggests the idea to his younger brother, Luca Liens, whose life changed dramatically after an accident, Liens is hesitant.

After all, Blanchard’s idea is to tackle the Half Marathon de Sables, a 4-day race across over a hundred kilometers of the Jordan desert. Their conversation, translated from French, sounds exactly like two brothers shrugging off massive difficulties.

“I shot the idea at Luca, to see if he’d be interested. He was apprehensive at first, and I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll motivate each other’,” Blanchard says in the film. “Then he said, ‘Okay, let’s go, bro. But it’ll be a huge thing for me’.”

A huge thing — and a huge accomplishment. If you’re thinking you’ll need a hanky for the end of this one — you’re absolutely right.

Runtime: 53 minutes

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