Nineteen-year-old Zach Bates told his mother at graduation (June 2021) that he wanted to run a 100-mile ultramarathon before his 20th birthday (March 2022). Surprised, she reminded him that his farthest cross-country race had only been a 5k. Undeterred, he continued to speak his mind and envisioned running this 100-mile race before he turned 20. Seeing his determination and knowing her son's unique ability to deeply focus - due to autism - she decided to let him run. They started with a half marathon, then a full, then a 50-mile race, which he not only finished but took first place in the men's division!
Zach is now registered to race his first 100-mile ultramarathon at the Coldwater Rumble in Goodyear, AZ on January 15, 2022. He continues to train hard with a determined smile and focus on his dream.
Award winning filmmaker, Travis Holt Hamilton, heard about the story through a newspaper article in the White Mountain Independent shortly after Zach's 50-mile win.
"My wife told me I needed to read an article, so I did. Immediately after I read it, I contacted Rana, Zach's mother, via social media and a few days later we were on our way to share his story with the world", stated Hamilton.
Our goal is to produce a high-quality documentary film that shares Zach's passion, drive and determination to Break the Mold that holds so many back from accomplishing great things. Zach's story will inspire all to not let circumstances, or things you cannot change, stop you from dreaming big and putting in the work to make it reality.
RELEASE DATE: TBD
White Mountain Indep. (26 Nov 2021)
White Mountain Indep. (28 Dec 2021)
White Mountain Indep. (18 Jan 2022)
Trail Runner Magazine (7 Feb 2022)