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Thread: Barkley Marathons.

  1. #11
    Senior Member Full Moon Addict's Avatar
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    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baggins View Post
    I thought most completers are long distance hiking specialists ie used to going for days/weeks at a time, some of them were doing 50/60,000 feet of climbing a week in training

    I'd say the top mountain marathoners might have a better chance.

    To complete the Barkley I'd say

    1. need loads of steep climbing in the legs
    2. able to cope with lack of sleep over three days
    3. able to cope with snow, rain and heat all in the same day.
    4. enjoys running through brambles
    5. stubbon, is able to finish what they have started no matter how bad it gets.
    6. likes trees

    :wink:
    Bill - I reckon I'd qualify under 1,2,3 and 5, but not sure about 6, and definitely not 4. Gaiters sound a must.

    john

  2. #12

    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Full Moon Addict View Post
    Bill - I reckon I'd qualify under 1,2,3 and 5, but not sure about 6, and definitely not 4. Gaiters sound a must.

    john
    I did think of you when I first heard of it John
    Bill

  3. #13
    Senior Member Full Moon Addict's Avatar
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    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    experience in the jungles of bolivia could put me in good stead!

  4. #14
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    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    I've been reading articles and blog posts about runners failing at Barkley for years.

    Here is the most recent I've seen:

    http://ix.cs.uoregon.edu/~thornley/2...e-trash-again/

    All those trees, sounds grim.
    The only one who can tell you "You can't" is you. And you don't have to listen.

  5. #15
    Master MorganW's Avatar
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    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    Been reading about Barkley again.

    Here is the Race Director's own report from the 2010 race:


    my barkley race report,
    by lazarus lake.

    progress has its disadvantages.
    there was a day when the barkley runner need go no further than the trailhead to get out of the comfort zone.

    you all know about the comfort zone.
    that's where most ultras take place.
    running ultras is all about staying in the comfort zone.
    all our strategies revolve around staying in the comfort zone.
    all our advice is about staying in the comfort zone;

    "start slow"

    "walk every uphill"

    "dont take any chances"

    for all the talk about exploring human potential, and seeking our limits, ultrarunners tend to play it safe.
    they line up "challenges" they know they can finish.
    and run them carefully
    well within their "limits".
    we believe that success is never failing.

    at the barkley success is about over-reaching our abilities,
    and living to tell about it.
    sometimes success is getting your ass out alive.

    some people "get" the barkley. some dont.
    but the barkley is all about leaving the comfort zone.
    the barkley is about taking our chances with failure.
    true success is not the absence of failure,
    it is the refusal to surrender.

    these days the vandals have cleared so much trail,
    and the veterans are so numerous,
    the advice so plentiful and sound,
    it is sad, but one can go to the barkley
    and never leave that comfort zone.

    we had our winners and losers last weekend.
    the most obvious winner was JB.
    you dont finish the barker by living in the comfort zone.
    you play that baby in the twighlight zone.
    you have to go too fast
    (you might blow up)
    you have to get too little rest
    (you may break down)
    and you have to start laps you might not finish
    (with or without making mistakes).

    but you dont have to finish the barkley
    to have "gotten it".
    lots of people got it.
    those people started loops they couldnt finish.
    they ran out of time.
    they got lost.
    they tried to do something beyond their abilities
    and they did not succeed.

    but they were not defeated.
    just knocked down.
    (maybe fed a dose of humility)
    they explored the twighlight zone and came back winners.
    they got their ass in and then got it back out alive.

    some people didnt "get it".
    they ran carefully within their abilities.
    they clung like glad wrap to the veterans
    and never opened their map with doubt in their mind
    (and fear in their hearts).
    they stopped in camp
    never starting that loop that could end up in hell.
    or turned back before entering that section
    they might not complete.

    they were not exactly defeated.
    they just gave up.
    surrounded by the opportunity to stretch & grow
    to explore the "out there"
    they were afraid (in the end) to venture out of the comfort zone
    and into the twighlight zone.

    golden earring wrote a song about barkley
    and called it "twilight zone":

    (my comments in parenthesis)

    somewhere in a lonely hotel room,
    There's a guy starting to realize
    That eternal fate has turned its back on him,
    It's two a.m...........

    (at the limacher hilton)


    It's two a.m., the fear has gone
    I'm sittin' here waitin', the gun still warm
    Maybe my connection is tired of takin' chances

    (he said he would start this loop in a few minutes and catch up to me.
    i bet that sorry sucker is still sitting by the campfire and i am out here all alone)

    Yeah there's a storm on the loose, sirens in my head
    I'm wrapped up in silence, all circuits are dead
    I cannot decode, my whole life spins into a frenzy
    Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone

    (i'm in over my head, but i'm not giving up. i just wonder if i really belong "out here", where the great ones have gone before)


    The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
    My beacon's been moved under moon and star
    Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far
    Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone

    (i have mixed feelings about being "out here": uncertainty and fear)

    The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
    My beacon's been moved under moon and star
    Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far
    Soon you will come to know,
    When the bullet hits the bone

    (havent found my limits yet, but i think i can hear them rustling around in the bushes just up ahead... or maybe that is just wild pigs coming for my ass)

    Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone
    I'm falling down a spiral, destination unknown
    A double-crossed messenger, all alone
    I can't get no connection, can't get through, where are you

    (i have never been this alone)

    Well the night weighs heavy on his guilty mind
    This far from the borderline
    And when the hit man comes
    He knows damn well he has been cheated

    (now i know. it cannot make me give up, it must beat me down)

    Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone
    The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
    My beacon's been moved under moon and star
    Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far
    Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone
    The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
    My beacon's been moved under moon and star
    Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far
    Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone
    Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone

    (ok. this time barkley wins, but this isnt over. i do belong "out here")


    i was never a particularly talented ultrarunner.
    i was not fast.
    i was not tough.
    still i am proud of having achieved sub-24
    at ultra-running's bellweather 100 mile distance.

    i am prouder to have tried for sub-20...
    and fallen short.
    running 80 miles at sub-20 pace and then blowing up
    felt a lot more honorable
    than running carefully and breaking 24.
    i learned more about myself.
    and grew more as an athlete and a person.

    you dont have to go to barkley to "get it".
    "it" is nothing more than putting something on the line
    taking a chance
    and trying to do something you do not know for certain you can do.

    there is no success
    if failure is not in the mix.

    and this is why the "sick-o's" keep applying and re-applying at barkley.
    this is why there are so many requests for so few slots. this is why those
    lucky 35 strap it on and march into a hellish ordeal with a smile on their
    face and a song in their heart. because we are never so alive as when we put
    it all on the line. and at barkley the only guarantee is that you will be
    pushed beyond your limits. everything is on the line.

    laz
    The only one who can tell you "You can't" is you. And you don't have to listen.

  6. #16

    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    James Adams, a UK runner has a place on this years Barkley. I expect that he'll post an account on his blog when he's done. http://www.runningandstuff.com/

  7. #17

    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    Further to this, his report is now up http://www.runningandstuff.com/blog/...-thinking.html

  8. #18
    Senior Member DinoF's Avatar
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    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hardy View Post
    Further to this, his report is now up http://www.runningandstuff.com/blog/...-thinking.html
    This is a really good account.

    After reading this I then read the blogs on his 70 day LA to NY run. The fact that he completed that and only managed a lap of the Barkley gives a pointer to how insanely hard the Barkley must be.
    The land at the end of our toes goes on and on and on.

  9. #19
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    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    I've just finished reading the report by this year's 3rd place finisher, a very good read: http://lakewoodhiker.blogspot.co.uk/...ce-report.html

  10. #20
    Senior Member Rich1's Avatar
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    Re: Barkley Marathons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hardy View Post
    James Adams, a UK runner has a place on this years Barkley. I expect that he'll post an account on his blog when he's done. http://www.runningandstuff.com/
    Spoke to James briefly at the weekend - he was manning checkpoints at the Viking Way Ultra - he is hooked and intends going back for more!!!

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