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Discussion: When you say Barkley...

in: PG; PG > 2016-05-30

May 30, 2016 7:32 PM # 
Becks: you mean The Barkley Marathons?
May 30, 2016 7:56 PM # 
Yup, went there once, 1991. Did the "fun run" (3 laps), no one yet had done the 5-lap "100 mile," took 28:21, tied second with my old friend Fred Pilon out of 37 starters. Enjoyed it, quite the adventure, but never saw any reason to go back again.

It had a reputation for difficulty in part because most who entered were unqualified in both navigation and off-trail running in the daytime, let alone at night. Don't know how much different that might be nowadays.
May 30, 2016 9:58 PM # 
For those of us who never would or could do this, it's fun to watch the recent documentary.
May 31, 2016 12:37 AM # 
Ironically, I watched that last night with some coaching friends. I'm not remotely surprised that you have both done it and done well at it. The guy in charge sounds like quite the character.
May 31, 2016 1:05 AM # 
We watched the documentary a couple of weeks ago. It was quite wonderful.
May 31, 2016 2:14 PM # 
Nikolay Nachev has tried it the last couple of years. I think he's finished one or two laps each time, but I am not sure.
May 31, 2016 3:23 PM # 
Also, has the guy in charge ever been an orienteer? It seems he might have enjoyed it!
May 31, 2016 7:17 PM # 
He would certainly 'fit in'.
Jun 1, 2016 1:49 PM # 
I watched the documentary several weeks ago too. I think they said the climb was like going up and down Mt. Everest 2.5 times. And I thought his method of verifying you got to certain points was interesting---tear out the page from a book that corresponded to your race number----which changed with each lap.
Jun 3, 2016 10:59 PM # 
I heard my name on the Internets :)
Laz (the guy in charge) have not been an orieteer. He has been an ultra runner in his youth. The course is indeed not doable if you can't navigate. About 30% on trails, 50% rough navigation (get to the top of that 1200 feet hill, then go down the reentrant at the bottom on the other side) and about 15 - 20% a bit more tricky and small features navigation.
Hats off to Peter and Fred. 3 laps at Barkleys to me at least is like two 24 hour very very hilly Rogaines to explain it in more relatable terms :)
I managed 1.5 laps both times due to different reasons :) (sticking with fast veterans in my first attempt and bonking halfway on lap two, and ironically this year because of a wrong directions and map course descriptions I literally could not find book 5 half way on lap two, after finding it by chance on lap 1). After hours and hours looking for it at night, and midway through the next morning I dropped out as time ran out to be alowed to start a third lap on time.

So looks like there will be a 3rd attempt if I get a spot in the years to come.
Jun 4, 2016 2:00 AM # 
I just saw the film a couple of days ago, too. Great fun to watch. Figured it would be perfect for someone like PG, so not surprised to find out you've already been there.

This discussion thread is closed.