Documentary 1: The Race (Under Development)


The Race

How Strong Can You Be When Being Strong is Your Only Option

Image Credit: Huffington Post, 2017

The Race is the inspiring story of David Smith's chasing of his dreams while fighting the toughest battle imaginable. A concept trailer of the documentary by Martyn Hollingsworth is included below. 




This documentary weaves its way through the story of David's battle with a tumour. It takes us through his life as an athlete as he faces multiple surgeries to remove the tumour, followed by endurance challenges that would break most of us. 

It is the intimate story of someone in search of a dream as they deal with extreme set backs and strive to live a life of passion and courage. 

This story is raw. It captures every emotion from David’s diagnosis, followed by surgeries, the long rehab battle, and finally getting back into international sport.


Mont Ventoux - Club Des Cingles

David traveled to Mont Ventoux in France 6 months after his surgery to take on the feared Tour De France climb that claimed the life of British cyclist Tom Simpson in the 1967 Tour De France. 

David had set himself the goal of climbing Ventoux before having his second operation so he had a focus from his hospital bed and through the dark hours of rehab.

During the hours he spent in his garage training, he decided not to just climb one side of Ventoux but take on the Club De Cingles.

The Crazy Club' is a world renowned, yet small group, of those who have achieved one of cycling’s undoubted Holy Grails ­ cycling ALL THREE routes up the infamous mountain ­ IN ONE DAY.

A total of 138km distance and a total ascent of over 4400 metres, it's not known as the ‘Club of the Mad Men of Mont-Ventoux' for nothing! 

Route des Grandes Alpes

The famous Route des Grandes Alpes passes through the French alps, With its 18 passes, some of which are regulars in the Tour De France, the, Route des Grandes Alpes is among the most testing of mountain itineraries. Between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean, it extends for 720 km across the Alps, with 16,000 vertical metres of climbing…

The passes such as Iseran, Galibier, Izoard, and the Colombière would test any cyclist. David will undertake this challenge whilst knowing a tumour is crushing his spinal cord.

David had two dreams when laying in his hospital bed for the third time, one was to compete for GB again the other to cycle across the alps. 4 weeks before this challenge he was told his tumour had growing again for a 4th time and the outcomes not promising. So knowing this he made the decision to get on a plane and attempt this gruelling ride.

the mission

Project 140.6

The Ironman 140.6 miles of gruelling physical and mental suffering consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) cycle and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km). 

It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world and that is if your fully fit. 

"This race is about suffering for up to 16 hours, that is nothing to the suffering of waken up in hospital everyday unable to walk"

During the time in hospital you learn a lot about yourself, you learn about hope followed by failure, how to then pick yourself up each day and try again and again until you can stand. Then you walk a few steps only to fall down again.  You push every day in search of that step, much like an Ironman, you motivate and drive yourself everyday to succeed. 

When your body is in pain and your mind is telling you to stop, during an Ironman you can stop, in hospital you don't have the luxury of that choice. So what drives people to ignore that voice in their mind that tells them to stop, what separates them to keep pushing when most would quit.  This is something I have been trying to answer ever since I woke up in ICU paralysed. Project 140.6 is capturing the essence of human resilience.


Film maker - Director

Martyn Hollingworth

Documentary 2: Dead Man Cycling (BBC Scotland), 2015


Dead Man Cycling follows David Smith over the 18 months before, during and after his second spinal surgery. It is an emotional story of David's sheer inner strength and utter determination as he fights to live and ultimately regain fitness, as he aims for a place at Rio 2016. Filmed, edited and directed by Martyn Hollingworth for BBC Scotland.