The Real Maine is the debut documentary by filmmaker Erik van Ingen. Inspired by John L. Parker's novel "Once A Runner" van Ingen approached fellow Five Star Cross Country Camp counselors Kyle Merber and Chris Derrick in August 2010.
Van Ingen proposed a summer of training in solitude. In April of 2011 action was put behind these words. The group had inquired Riley Masters about Maine as a potential training destination. Almost immediately Masters was added to the group. Merber invited fellow teammate Mark Feigen who was fresh off of a breakthrough season to join the group.
July 2011 The group met for the first time in Bangor, Maine. The film follows the lead up to the summer, the summer itself, and the successes that follow.