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New Film Follows Retired MLB Pro as He Takes on Western States

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“Five years ago, I had never run more than four miles in my life,” says Eric Byrnes, a retired Major League Baseball player, in a new film by Myles Smith.

That changed, of course, when, after his retirement, Byrnes turned to trail ultrarunning. This year, he became the first former professional athlete in a major team sport to complete the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.

The film, “Diamond to the Rough,” follow’s Byrnes’s transition from running to home plate to toeing the line for a rugged 100-mile race. You can watch the trailer above; the full 40-minute film is available through Vimeo on Demand.

(One of Byrnes’s friends and running partners, quoted in the film, is former pro cyclist and convicted doper Lance Armstrong. Armstrong, who reportedly paced Byrnes during Western States, sparked controversy in the trail-running community last year when he entered and won a 35K trail race.)