Update: Jared Campbell won the 2016 Barkley
The Barkley Marathon was featured in a Netflix documentary a few years ago (The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young) and it has grown a cult following on social media. Known simply as “The Barkley”, runners have 60 hours to complete 5×20 mile loops in Frozen Head State Park.
The race was born when James Earl Ray (MLK assassin) escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. Ray covered just 8 miles (13 km) after running 55 hours in the woods. Today, runners have 60 hours to cover 100 miles in the same terrain. The race has only been completed 16 times since its inception in 1986.
The common strategy is to finish 4 loops without sleeping and then crash for about two hours before setting out on the final loop. We have three runners who are currently in the fifth loop and I hope we can all direct positive energy towards Jared Campbell (above), Gary Robbins and John Kelly as they are in the fight as we speak. You can follow along on twitter with #BM100 and @BarkleyMarathon. Let’s hope for some finishers this year!