Montana ultra runner to join Girls on the Run of Flathead Valley for film screening

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Ultra runner Nikki Kimball, of Bozeman, will join Girls on the Run of Flathead Valley for a benefit screening of the film, “Finding Traction.” The film presents Kimball’s inspirational story and her quest to become the fastest person in history to run America’s oldest trail, the 273-mile Long Trail.

“Finding Traction” asks what drives Kimball to attempt such an incredible feat and follows her journey from its beginning, training and racing in the Rocky Mountains to her actual record attempt through Vermont’s beautiful but brutal Green Mountains.

Throughout the film, Kimball’s crew and support team provide an intimate portrayal of the courage, grit and passion behind her record attempt. Interviews with the world’s leading evolutionary biologists, including Bernd Heinrich, author of “Why We Run,” shed light on the science and psychology behind Kimball’s incredible race against time. For Kimball, this well-publicized run is more than a chance to inspire people to be active and spend time outdoors, it’s her way of encouraging women and girls to take an equal place for themselves in professional sports.

“Going into my Long Trail project, I had performance goals: breaking the women’s fastest known time and breaking the overall fastest known time,” Kimball said. “I also had the goal of raising awareness of trail running, hiking and the opportunities we all have to explore our own backyards. To this end, I partnered with Girls on the Run, Vermont and She Can! in Montana to raise money for the work these groups do to introduce young people to endurance sports.”

This screening benefits the scholarship fund for Girls on the Run of Flathead Valley. Now in its second year, the program has reached more than 100 girls in Flathead County, delivering an after school experience-based curriculum that empowers girls in grades 3 to 5 to be joyful, healthy and confident. Each session is led by trained volunteer coaches that guide and mentor the girls. The 10-week program concludes with all participants completing a celebratory 5K run event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.

The film will screen at the Glacier High School Performance Hall on Feb. 23. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a meet and greet with Kimball and a silent auction with locally sourced donations from Flathead area businesses. The film will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Kimball. The event is suitable for all ages.

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