Barkley Marathons defeats all comers

Runner's World Editors
·2-min read
Photo credit: Alexis Berg
Photo credit: Alexis Berg

From Runner's World

  • For the third time in a row, there were no finishers at the Barkley Marathons.

  • Sixteen runners completed the first loop before the time cut-off and just two, Jared Campbell and Luke Nelson, set off to attempt a third loop (which they didn’t finish in time).

  • Only 15 runners have finished the race since it began in 1986. The most recent was John Kelly in 2017.

The Barkley Marathons has won again.

In the first race in almost two years (the 2020 race was cancelled because of the pandemic) there were no finishers at the ultra endurance event in Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, Tennessee. Two participants – three-time Barkley finisher Jared Campbell and Tor des Géants finisher Luke Nelson – completed three loops of the Barkley course in 40 hours for a Fun Run, but no one started a fourth loop.

This year’s Barkley Marathons looked slightly different from previous editions. There were few international competitors due to pandemic-related travel restrictions and, because of this, a smaller field of runners (usually 40 competitors line up) took on the beast. Additionally, runners were required to get Covid-19 tests beforehand, among other safety protocols.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

A heavy downpour before the start made conditions even more challenging than usual, and the field was quickly whittled down after just one loop. High-flying ultrarunner Courtney Dauwalter, winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in 2019, made the first cut-off but was timed out after loop two, leaving only Campbell and Nelson out on the course.

There has not been a Barkley finisher since John Kelly in 2017. Only 15 have ever finished the event.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

SIGN UP

While you're at it, subscribe to the magazine here and get it through your letterbox each month

SUBSCRIBE

You Might Also Like