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Barkley Marathons - What's all the fuss?

Barkley Marathons - What's all the fuss?

Well we can shine some light on that!

Barkley Marathons is an ultramarathon based in Tennessee in the US. It was first run in 1987 and at the time of writing this blog, only 15 people have ever finished.

What makes it so hard I hear you ask? 

Well, maybe it's the fact that the race consists of completing five loops of 20 miles which on its own is hard enough. But factor in the HUGE 11,000ft+ elevation on EVERY loop, runners can be excused for finding it a little hard.

Created by Lazarus Lake, the event involves runners having to locate checkpoints and rip out specific pages from books that have been strategically placed on the course.

With loops having to be run in different directions, it can be a confusing event for runners who are already befuddled by the gruelling terrain and abnormal weather that often graces the location.

The entire five loops has a 60 hour cut off which in itself it hard to imagine running for that long.

How do we know when it starts? A tweet comes out from Keith Dunn to notify those of us who are patiently waiting news of the conch:

The usual modern comforts are also banned for the event as Laz looks to put his own stamp on the race...

Those who are privileged to take part having to cough up the huge sum of $1.60, but they also have to bring an extra item which changes each year. depending on what Laz is in need of - a shirt, socks or other standard household items!

We try and keep up with updates over the course of the 2 and half days from various sources on social media and we have our fingers crossed that at least 1 of the 40 starters can get somewhere near the finish line and in one piece!

This years entrants include Nicky Spinks, Jasmin Paris, Damian Hall, Jared Campbell, Karel, Sabbe just to name a few.

Barkley Marathons was covered in a 2014 documentary Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young. and is well worth a watch for this of you who want to see the event up close!

We're off to trawl social media for updates.......!


*credit to Canadian Trail Running for the awesome image of Laz

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