Case Study: A Zero-to-Hero Endeavor Behind 'This is Siskiyou Out Back'

Ethan Moengchaisong

By Ethan Moengchaisong. Last updated 10/10/2023 - 12:30pm.

The Siskiyou Out Back (SOB) Race Series isn’t just a race—it’s a journey through the rugged yet breathtaking Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon. As the 25th anniversary of the race approached, a special narrative needed to unfold. That’s where I came in, with a mission to create a captivating documentary and a series of lively Instagram Reels, all flying solo: from Zero all the way to Hero.

The Challenge

Capturing the essence of a 25-year-old race series, brimming with rich traditions and a tight-knit community, was no small feat. Especially doing it single-handedly. The task was to grab the excitement of the present race events while tipping the hat to its vibrant history.

The Strategy:

The strategy was straightforward: dive deep into the heart of the event, converse with the people who make it special, and capture the undying spirit of the SOB community. From the seasoned runners to the selfless volunteers, everyone had a story, and I was there to tell it.

Man taking a selfie with aid station volunteers and runners in the background

Time-Warp aid station, the final aid station before the infamous climb to the top of Mount Ashland at over 7,000 feet of elevation on the 100k course. I got some down-time to chat with aid station volunteers and runners, and of course, for a selfie.

The Execution:

Armed with my cameras and a cinema drone, I plunged into the race weekend. From early morning trail starts to finish line triumphs, I was there, capturing it all. The documentary, "This is Siskiyou Out Back," emerged as a heartfelt narrative intertwining race action, personal tales, and a journey down memory lane.

The Results:

The Instagram Reels were the first to roll out, each revealing a different shade of the SOB experience. They were a hit. The audience's response was nothing short of fabulous.

The documentary premiere on YouTube was the cherry on top. It resonated well, not only with the SOB community but also with those new to the race. The feedback was encouraging, showing that the story had indeed hit home.

Below are some examples. Check out SOB's Instagram page SOB's Instagram page for more reels!


The "Zero to Hero" narrative isn’t just a personal milestone; it’s a testament to what storytelling, driven by passion and a profound understanding of the community, can achieve. Through "This is Siskiyou Out Back," the legacy of the SOB Race Series was not just narrated; it was celebrated, making every stride, every hill, and every shared laugh on the trail a part of a larger, heartwarming narrative.

Client Feedback

This documentary is amazing! You made something that we can be proud of for years!

Hal Koerner

Hal Koerner

Owner & SOB Race Director
@Rogue Valley Runner

Having been there all weekend I feel that the documentary honestly tells the story of the wonderful community that SOB has to offer. It gives me goosebumbs. Really love your work!

Jennifer Hill

Jennifer Hill

Partner Representative - Running Specialty