In this stunning IBM ad, director Tucker Walsh tells the emotionally captivating story of long distance runner Simon Wheatcroft. Despite being blind, Wheatcroft has run more miles than most could ever even imagine walking.
The intimate essayistic portrait of a runner without his sight explores how the app Runkeeper, which employs IBM’s cloud computing technology to process data requests, helps Wheatcroft learn his running routes by routinely measuring the distance he’s traveled.
In this visceral insight into Wheatcroft’s world, we become acutely aware of his heightened sensory experiences, and the ways in which his sightless reality informs his long distance running, with the changes in the terrain beneath his feet serving as a key element in his outdoor journeys. We begin to experience the runner’s triumphs and failures through Walsh’s sensory portrait: he collides with signposts, is caught in shrubbery, and bumps into traffic lights while learning a new route. It is these painful missteps that ultimately help him learn and memorize a new clear pathway.
Whether an avid runner or not, this film strikes a universal chord–it is a testament to the unextinguishable human spirit, an hommage to a remarkable man who uses running to see the world in his own unique way.