INTO THE WELL
100 Miles. 32 Hours. 200 Racers.
Into The Well is an outdoor-adventure documentary film chronicling West Virginia's first 100-mile ultramarathon: 100 miles through the New River Gorge. Follow Race Director Bryant Baker and professional runners HollyAnn Swann and Caleb Bowen as they prepare for the first 100-miler in America's newest National Park.
MEET THE CHARACTERS
“I have a passion for facilitating meaningful outdoor adventures for people, using my knowledge and skills to introduce others to wild places they might not be able to experience on their own. I am a firm believer in the transformative power that exists when we combine wilderness, human interaction, and adventure.”
West Virginia’s New River Gorge is known for its natural beauty, whitewater rafting and rock climbing, but it is not known for its trail-running. Trail and ultramarathon runner Bryant Baker plans to change that.
As many of us do, Bryant responds to many titles. By far his two favorites are husband to his wife Laura and proud Papa to his three daughters. Professional titles include guide, instructor, operations manager, race director, photographer and writer.
Having worked in the outdoor industry for 18 years, Bryant has spent the vast majority of that time leading whitewater rafting and rock climbing trips in the New River Gorge region of West Virginia. The Desert Southwest is another landscape that has played a prominent role in his outdoor career, where he worked as a Wilderness Therapy Instructor, teaching primitive living, wilderness survival, and overland backcountry navigation skills to adults and adolescents struggling with addiction and self-destructive behaviors.
Combining his love for the outdoors and his passion for facilitating adventure
opportunities, Bryant co-founded Adventure Appalachia along with his wife Laura, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access for youth in outdoor adventures. Recognizing the socio-economic disparity among West Virginia youth in outdoor recreation, Bryant co-founded Adventure Appalachia in hopes to bridge the gap between privileged and underprivileged youth.
In an effort to raise funding for Adventure Appalachia, Bryant is hosting the first 100 mile ultramarathon in the state of West Virginia, the Rim to River 100 Endurance.
Follow Bryant as he organizes, prepares and hosts the first ever 100-miler in the Mountain State, in hopes to raise money for Adventure Appalachia and get West Virginia youth outdoors.
HollyAnn Swann is a professional runner, 3-time marathoner, and Volunteer Track & Field coach at Marshall University.
Born and raised in Susan Moore, Alabama, HollyAnn grew up playing sports. She played basketball, volleyball, golf, soccer, and softball throughout her younger years and into high school. However, in High School she fell in love with the sport track and field. She earned an athletic scholarship to the NAIA (now Division II) school of Auburn University of Montgomery. She quickly rose through the ranks at AUM and became the first athlete to qualify for the NAIA National Championship in her Junior Cross Country Season. For most athletes this would be the pinnacle of their college career but this was just when HollyAnn was getting started. With the entrance of Coach Ryan Thompson during the end of her Junior year, HollyAnn became one of the best runners in the region as she set school records in the 4k, 5k, and 6k in her Senior year.
HollyAnn was able to be recruited by Marshall University for her 5th year while she pursued a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science. During her 5th Year, HollyAnn rewrote the record books under Caleb Bowen by running school record times in the 5k, 10k, and DMR as well as placing 3rd at the 2018 CUSA Outdoor Championship earning All-Conference Honors becoming the first Marshall University Distance Athlete to do so. HollyAnn placed her sights on the marathon distance.
With Coach Thompson, she ran her marathon debut at the prestigious New York City Marathon while being sponsored by Michelob Ultra, running a 2:53:04 and placing 21st American Female among a field of 52,000 runners. From there HollyAnn went on to run the Marshall Marathon, placing 2nd
running a 2:46:48, and 2:45:47 at the Houston Marathon.
Now she looks to run her first ultra marathon at the 2020 Rim to River 100 coached by Caleb Bowen. Follow HollyAnn as she prepares both physically and mentally for her first 100-miler in the Rim to River 100 Endurance.
Caleb Bowen grew up in the small town of Culloden, WV and fell in love with the sport of running at a young age. Caleb ran local 5k road races, competed in the Hershey Youth Track and Field, and ran for fun throughout elementary school. Caleb helped start the Hurricane Middle School Boys Cross Country program as well as helped revive the Hurricane High School Boys Cross Country Program. Caleb received the interest of a few colleges but eventually signed to
Walk On to the Marshall University Cross Country Team in 2011.
As a Freshman, Caleb quickly rose up the ranks within the team earning a spot on the travel roster for every meet including the CUSA and Mid Atlantic Regional Championships. Sophomore through Junior year, Caleb was a constant force within the top five on the Marshall team. Senior year, Caleb led the Thundering Herd throughout most of the season, finishing 25th at the 2014 CUSA Championships. Shortly after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary
Education, Caleb was hired as the Marshall University Assistant Cross Country/Track and Field Coach.
Since joining the staff, Bowen has coached eight All-Conference USA honorees in cross country who have been honored 11 times, including a school-record three in the same season in both 2020.
On the track, Bowen has led his athletes to 11 school records (Indoor 800m, 1000m, Mile, 3000m, 5000m, DMR; Outdoor 5000m, 10,000m, Steeplechase, 4x800m, DMR), one All-Conference USA honoree (HollyAnn Swann, 2018 5000m), four scorers at the C-USA Championships, and two relay team scorers at the conference meet.
As a student Bowen earned his Master's Degree in Secondary Education and is currently finishing his Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction.
After exhausting is NCAA Eligibility, Caleb took his sights to the marathon and ultra marathon distances. Since starting his post collegiate career, Caleb has completed 9 marathons and 9 ultra marathons winning 7 of those races and finishing in the top 3 for 6 more. Follow Caleb as he takes on his his 100-miler and his most daunting race yet, the Rim to River 100 Endurance.
Director, Executive Producer, Editor.
Executive Producer, Editor.