‘Monumental’ Run: Traversing Threatened Lands

For most of her life, track runner Faith Briggs didn’t know anything about public lands or the policy surrounding them. Now, she’s a major advocate.

“One of the ways to connect with these environments is through running,” Faith Briggs proclaims in the documentary short, “This Land.”

So that’s what she decided to do. With the company of a few other running conservationists, Briggs ran more than 150 miles through three threatened U.S. national monuments. Each has been a target of contention in recent years.

Over the course of this 10-minute film, Briggs runs through the Cascade-Siskiyou and Grand-Escalante national monuments down to the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks Monument in New Mexico. It’s a road trip — except on foot.

As runner and immigrant rights advocate Jen Castillo commented, “I don’t want to talk about gender and politics and race in the outdoors on trails and mountains, but until we [make changes], we have to.”

Seeing the land at stake first-hand will make you want to fight that much harder, whether you plan to run the trails or not.

“This Land” was created by Whit Hassett, Chelsea Jolly, and an all-female film team. It’s presented by Merrell.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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