Source for this?
Source for this?
Wow that is beautiful.
Racing in the dark and cold at walking speed on a completely arbitrary course that changes each year while being severely under-fueled and sleep-deprived is one of the dumbest things you could possibly do. But to each his/her own, I guess.
It's fun to follow in the sense that it's basically a test of survival with running as a key contributer but not the main event.
Barkleys has about as much in common with UTMB as the latter does with running a mile on the track. Races like UTMB or WS100 are still “running”. Barkleys is something else entirely.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to disparage it. Just making the point that it “chewing up and spitting out elite runners” really isn’t surprising considering how little running ability has to do with it.
Yeah, agreed. It's a sufferfest where you sort of need to be sick in the head to think you can accomplish it. It's entertaining sort of like how those free solo mountain and ice climbing videos are entertaining. It's entertaining sort of like moguls skiing.
One of my friends from my running club ran UTMB. He described it as brisk walking with bursts of jogging. But again, the point was more that both UTMB and Barkley's are well outside of what I will ever do as a runner - if a graphite pole is essential kit, then I'm not interested in taking part. They're still part of the broad sport of running
I mean, you don't have to take your friends word for it, it is one of the most well covered ultra events in the world. You can watch as the elite runners actually do run the course.
Racewalking is more similar to running than the Barkley is.
the semantics behind whether this "counts" as running are so uninteresting to me. it's a footrace that I personally find extremely interesting and plenty of others do too. Obviously plenty of other running fans think it's dumb/don't care, which is also fine. But you really don't need to hop into the thread to let us know how little you care, that's just pathetic.
I love watching track and xc too - I'm not only interested in weird ultras but I do like them. I like the subculture, the history, it's just a cool race.
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I tweeted about how "exclusive" Barkley was (because of the "barriers to entry" and limited field size at 40ish runners only...but also how it's a very biased and subjective "entry process") and was absolutely roasted for it.
Anyway, I'd rather be powerhiking and walking around on actual mountain trails (with nice mountain views) sleep deprived and bonking compared to being lost in the backwoods of Tennessee trying find pages of a book....but to each their own! I'm sure it's super hard (you can make any distance race "hard" though if you go fast enough and push yourself!).
Having done road marathons as well as UTMB and WS100 I would say there is quite a bit of running involved in all these events outside of Barkley though. The top guys at UTMB will roll 6-min miles in the first 4-5 miles (keep in mind you are wearing a 4lb back of gear) and many downhills split 6-min to 8-min miles on trails at night (running down steep ski slopes steep mountains etc). Same thing at WS100 (def more runnable than UTMB though). Heck, guys like Kilian might not be "super fast on the road and track" be he did run a sub 30-min 10km in non-carbon fiber shoes and I have no doubt he could at least run a sub 2:18 marathon....if not a sub 2:15. If that's not "real running" then I don't know what is.
Barkley seems like more a "survival skills scavenger hunt hike" dealing with sleep deprivation, the elements (often muddy and cold...maybe not this year), but really only a small sample size of people (many of the same top athletes year after year) experience this. The irony is people want it to seem to keep it as this "small, niche, wacky and 'super extreme' non-commercial" thing but it actually has kind of blown up in terms of social media, a Netflix film and through lore. So it is more well known even outside of the niche ultrarunning circle compared maybe to something like Comrades.
Some people tweeted at me that is it "only for elites and the very best superhuman athletes" while others insist it is "for everyone and midpackers" etc. I think like Hardrock they keep bringing back a few hand selected top runners each year to make it possible to finish....but obviously most people tap out at 1-3 laps.
I think the fascination comes with the underlying goal of "just Finishing" and the common ultra running element of an "us against the course" motto rather than going for an actual fast time or competitive placing (many "pure trail ultra runners" are not fans of time trial races on pavement like a flat road marathon course because that is "too short" and "too easy" to finish). People are often drawn to "more extreme things" and the "epic" storytelling potential of when people are sleep deprived and dehydrated and do ridiculous things. Even in this "very exclusive, off -the -wall, quirky backwoods event" there is a certain mystic that I think many want to (or actually do) kind of personally relate to perhaps?
Do everybody here know that Sage Canaday beated Anton Krupicka at Speedgoats 50k? Amazing legend.
Yep we know all that. I beat Anton too in Leadville. At the end we are all legends here.
can you expand on why the entry process is so biased? as a casual observer it seems like they do a good job of including pros w a legit shot (from all over the world), a good mix of men/women, different ages/backgrounds, etc.. afaik the 40 person limit is imposed by the park service.
Really? Have you ever seen a single black Barkley'er? It's no coincidence Laz decided to glorify the prison escape of James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated MLK. It is a white biased event.
This. It is not like you are not allowed to run. You can do whatever is fastest.
I find lots of race formats I would never personally do interesting to follow. I think the backyard format is also interesting, but would never do it. Not sure why people feel the need to trash this race just because they would never do it.
extremely weak attempt at a troll - do better.
2 finishers are in (john kelly 2x and aurelien sanchez) with karel sabbe still on the course with <1 hour remaining. Hope he finishes!
LRC note: is some more info on the finishers:
Washington Post Book Review: “Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman reveal what’s wrong with women running.”
Drew Bosley ran the 5k and 3k at NCAAs, then a week later he ran another 5000, why?