Organizers
Sun 28 Mar 2021

Barkley Marathon

Knoxville
  • Ultra trail
  • start
  • description

A test that in more than 3 decades of history only 15 riders have been able to finish.

This test is none other than the Barkley Marathon. For many of us, included, one of the most demanding sporting events on the planet since with a drop of more than 16,200 meters added to a cut time of 60 hours to complete 100 miles, that is, 161 kilometers, it becomes a nightmare for the vast majority of its participants.


It all started James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King escaped in 1977 from Brushy Mountain State, a Tennessee prison, hiding in Frozen Head State Park, where he only managed to get away 15km due to inclement weather and the great difficulty of the terrain , and where he was finally captured again.

Since there has to be people for everything, marathon runner Gary Cantrell was inspired after following James Earl Ray's unsuccessful escape. Gary created the world's toughest race. In it, he left nothing to chance, since the 1986 Barkley Marathon saw the light. in early April.

A time limit of 60h was established to cover 100 miles in a 5-lap route (32 kilometers per lap that must be completed in less than 12 hours).


Many of you may think that it is not so bad, but we have only just started. Keep in mind that in the test you have suffered from extreme heat, traversing the fog, advancing through the rain and floods and finally clenching your teeth to advance on the snow.

Every year 40 ultramarathoners participate . The registration system is just as curious as the test itself. You just have to send an email to Gary Cantrell who will contact, only with those selected at random, the exact date of the competition.


As it could not be otherwise, there are no starting guns, Gay begins the test by lighting a cigarette.

To avoid cheating, competitors are required to tear out a page from the nine books placed throughout the event.


And you? Do you dare to participate in this crazy Ultratrail?