U.K. ultrarunner Nicky Spinks sets out in the crazy Barkley Marathons to prove that a woman can do it.
Race organizer Lazarus Lake’s letter reads like both an invitation and a warning: “It is my unfortunate duty to inform you that you’ve been selected to run in the 2019 Barkley Marathons.” The Barkley Marathons is the world’s toughest and weirdest ultradistance race — if you can even call it that.
It consists of five back-to-back marathon-ish distances on an unmarked course. There’s hill-climbing, scavenging for books in the forest, and other weird challenges along the way. Since 1986, only 15 runners have completed the full 100-plus-mile endeavor.
“The Barkleys is a relentless race of ups, downs, and where-the-hells,” said Spinks.
Over the years, there have been few female runners but no female finishers. In this short film produced by inov-8, 52-year-old breast cancer survivor and decorated ultrarunner Nicky Spinks runs to challenge that record.