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Posted: 3:53 p.m. Thursday, March 13, 2014

'The Immortalists': Can long-distance running help you live forever? 

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'The Immortalists": Can long-distance running help you live forever?
Erika Kapin
"The Immortalists," from directors David Alvarado (right) and Jason Sussberg (left) will screen at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Topfer Theatre.

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'The Immortalists": Can long-distance running help you live forever? photo
The Immortalists
Dr. William Andrews, left, walks with his father.

By Pam LeBlanc

A documentary about an aging ultra-marathon runner will get one final screening in Austin this Saturday.

“The Immortalists” focuses on 62-year-old molecular biologist and long-distance runner Dr. William Andrews, who runs at least one 100-mile race each month in an effort to stop the aging process. Andrews calls the practice “longevity running,” because he believes it lengthens his telomeres, the caps at the end of chromosomes that wither away with age.

He is studying telomeres and the enzyme telomerase at his biotech company, Sierra Sciences, and thinks he can develop a pill to make human cells immortal.

Andrews and his wife Molly Sheridan, also an ultra runner, ran a 50K on their way to the premiere of the film, directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, during the SXSW Film Festival last weekend at the Stateside Theatre. That’s a relatively short run for Andrews, who attempted a 138-mile high-altitude race in the Himalayas in 2010, as recounted in the film.

This weekend’s final screening is scheduled for 11 a.m. March 15 at the Topfer Theatre, 1510 Toomey Road.

Pam LeBlanc

About Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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