Barkley Marathons Race Director To Make Course Harder In 2025 After Having Its First Woman Finisher In 2024

Gary “Laz” Cantrell, the founder and race director of the famously difficult Barkley Marathons 100 mile ultramarathon once said, “The race is too hard for women. They are simply not tough enough to do it. And I get to say that for as long as it goes that no-one proves me wrong.” He said this back in 2015, but finally in 2024, someone did prove him wrong. That was British ultra runner, Jasmin Paris, who on March 22 finished the course under the 60 hour limit with just 99 seconds to spare. Her achievement is being celebrated by many including Cantrell who believes this is the perfect excuse to make the race even harder.

Article continues below player.

Cantrell said, “This year we had five finishers, including, for the first time ever, a woman. Clearly the race has gotten too easy so I think it’s time we made it more of a challenge.” Exactly how that will be accomplished has yet to be decided. “A lot of ideas have been floated around,” says Cantrell. “Making the course longer, adding a rock climbing wall in the middle or possibly a bear pit. I’m not ruling anything out at this point, but the goal is to not have any finishers in 2025.”

Asked how she felt about the race getting harder, Paris was all for it. She explained, “After you’ve finished once, the race kind of loses some of its mystique. So making it more of a challenge next year keeps things interesting. Alternatively, if that crazy old geezer makes it so hard no one can do it, then that’ll make me the last person to ever finish the race which would be a pretty cool title to hold.”

Want More? Join The Supporters Club Today
Support independent journalism and get:
  • Exclusive Access to VIP Supporters Club Content
  • Bonus Podcasts Every Friday
  • Free Shirt (Annual Subscribers)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Enhanced Message Boards