Barkley Marathons

Who’s Left? Barkley Marathons Underway and Claiming Runners Left and Right

Crazy. Infamous. Brutal. Treacherous. Notorious. Where dreams go to die. All these descriptors characterize the Barkley Marathons.


The race is over! Check out our full results rundown.


Long held as one of the most challenging races in the world, the Barkley Marathons is ​​hosted annually in Frozen Head State Park, Tenn. “The Barkleys,” as it’s also called, is a series of five back-to-back marathons through a difficult maze of unmarked trails, with over 100,000 feet of elevation change and, of course, a time limit.

Not to be mistaken for an ultramarathon in the traditional sense, the Barkley Marathons features added “fun” like route-finding, hill-climbing, scavenging for books in the forest, and other weird challenges along the way. Since 1986, only 15 runners have completed the entire 100-plus-mile endeavor.

2022 Barkley Marathons Kicks Off

 

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In keeping with the nature of the event, the Barkley Marathons doesn’t make the start list public before the event. And runners don’t know the exact start time for the race.

The 2022 event kicked off on March 8, 2022, at 6:54 a.m. EST with a field that was one of the toughest to date, at least according to the Barkley Marathons Twitter account.

Though most participants made the cutoff time for the first loop — a record of 30 runners — that prediction quickly took a Barkley-ian turn for the worse on the second loop.

During the night, the weather deteriorated into a cold rain. Runners added wet, cold conditions and muddy terrain to their list of challenges. When the second cutoff time hit, only five runners had made the cutoff, earning the honor of heading out on a third brutal loop.

Last Runners Standing

Of the last folks standing, John Kelly is perhaps the most notable name — or at least the runner with the Barkley know-how to possibly survive another loop. In 2017, Kelly became the 15th person to complete the Barkley Marathons, the last year the event has recorded a finisher.

Jasmin Paris, Thomas Dunkerbeck, Greig Hamilton, and Karel Sabbe joined Kelly as the last runners to attempt the third loop.

As of this writing, British runner Jasmin Paris is the last woman standing in the race after Courtney Dauwalter dropped out on the second loop. To date, no female runner has finished the race.

Runners must finish each loop in 12 hours to make the final 60-hour cutoff for the full course. For updates, follow the Barkley Marathons on Twitter.

marathon race founder Gary Cantrell with bushy and frazzled gray beard
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Kristen Arendt
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Kristen Arendt is a creative writer and lover of the great outdoors. A long-time competitive runner on both the roads and track, she's branched out into vehicle-assisted adventure, trail running, and backpacking. When she’s not playing with words or planning her next adventure, she’s most likely exploring a trail in the mountains of her home state of Colorado.