Barkley (Read 681 times)



    This is what fascinates me about his races.  Who the hell cares if I run 10 marathons or 100, it's still pretty much the same race.  It takes thought and imagination to strategize how to run his races (and there are other unique races out there too).  And more often than not, you'd probably get it wrong.  If I wanted 100% success rate, then I'd only run 5K's.


    Marathons maybe, but this is what is fun about ultras in general. Not specific to Laz's quirks. I assure you that 50k is not the same 50k each time and 100 milers are definitely not all alike.


    It's just running.

    T Hound

    Slower but happier

      I think my proposed races are creative, challenging, and atypical. Also, the fixed pace one could be a away to break 2 hours given the concept of finding out Your limits by attempting something clearly at the limit of whats possible.  If the purse is big enough too draw the highest calliber.  Similar to Barkley this would be a rare event but thats the point.


      People use the term gimmick when referring to Laz’s races.

      Just because they are creative, atypical, and find new ways to challenge runners, I’m not sure why that makes him a gimmick.

      2020 goal:  couch to 5K, currently working on the couch block



      Monkey Mind

        I laughed


         Hmm. This has definitely NOT been my experience with 5k's but congrats I guess.


        Monkey Mind

          Laz has spoken:


          the more things change


          so the 2019 barkley marathons is in the books....

          and the brushy mountains flexed their muscles one more time.

          the score for the day: barkley 40 humans 0


          in a stellar field (perhaps the strongest yet assembled at frozen head) several things worked against the humans.


          first, the field was laced with virgins...

          and, in the end, it was virgins leading the way thru loop 3 and into loop 4.
          the barkley is notoriously unkind to virgins.


          second, there is no way to truly appreciate the capricious nature of frozen head weather without having experienced it.

          regardless of any pre-race warnings,
          runners heading out into the sunny 80 degree temperatures of saturday afternoon
          could scarcely envision that they would be running thru snow in blizzard winds and 15 degree temperatures before the next 20 mile loop was complete....


          it wasn't the snow that got them, tho.
          it was the hours of colder and colder rain, hail, sleet, and finally snow,
          along with high winds that paved the way to it.

          the wind beat us around in camp pretty good,
          but that was just eddies curling down into the valley.
          the roar of the serious winds above the thermocline sounded like a jet airplane was taking off partway up the mountain.

          there is nothing that quite matches frozen head's microclimate anywhere else in tennessee.
          probably not many places anywhere in the world.

          a 65 degree (36 degrees C) temperature swing in 12 hours presents unique challenges to the body's temperature regulating mechanisms,

          and complicating that with tens of thousands of feet in elevation change was enough to overwhelm most of the field.


          to further complicate things,
          2019 was time for one of those major course modifications
          that leaves us room for the annual tweaks that keep the barkley fresh and fun.


          the runners hardly missed the testicle spectacle and pighead creek,
          as they were amply compensated with the return of little hell,
          and a brand new challenge posed by the meat grinder.
          a one-eyed, hunchbacked ogre,
          with yellowed teeth and long, razor sharp claws,
          positioned perfectly
          lying in wait to crush the hopes of would-be fun runners,
          the meat grinder is poised to take its place among the legendary hills of the barkley.


          as always, when a major alteration is enacted,
          there are accusations that raw dog has "gone too far" this time....


          a few numbers can add clarity to that discussion;

          last year's race was the final one on the previous basic course outline.
          it was the same basic course that saw three finishers in 2012
          (the year of perfect weather... anything *is* possible at frozen head)
          and 9 of the 15 grabbed their finishes on this course.


          comparing 2019 to 2018

          2018: 26 runners finished one loop
          2019: 28 one loop finishers


          2018: loop 1 winning time: 8:38:08
          2019: loop 1 winning time: 8:31:49


          2018 : 22 runners started loop 2
          2019: 22 runners started loop 2


          2018: loop 2 winning time: 23:05:35
          2019 loop 2 winning time: 21:02:54


          2018: 1 fun run in 36:12:54
          2019: 6 fun runs,the first in 35:40:18


          as one disappointed drop after another said in the aftermath;
          this course is finishable...

          you just cannot make any mistakes.
          (like not carrying your arctic survival kit, just because it is 80 degrees and sunshine when you start your loop)

          in 1995, mark williams led off the first barkley 100 finish with a lap around 8:20...


          the more things change,

          the more they stay the same.


          Monkey Mind

            Y'all prob already know this, but BM100 is cancelled for 2020.


            Another year with no finishers.


              Y'all prob already know this, but BM100 is cancelled for 2020.


              Another year with no finishers.


              Couldn't it be run as a virtual event? Just find a brier patch and thrash around for 60 hours.

              The process is the goal.

              Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.


              Monkey Mind

                Couldn't it be run as a virtual event? Just find a brier patch and thrash around for 60 hours.


                There is this


                Monkey Mind


                Are we there, yet?

                  16 runners started the second loop.

                   2023 Races:

                        04/15 - Alexander County 12-Hour
                        06/16 - Six Days in the Dome 12-Hour





                    It's on.


                    Time to open Twitter for the first time in 2 years.


                    Monkey Mind

                      20 hours in, apparently nobody left on loop 1 and 11 out on loop 2. 3 are women!


                      Are we there, yet?

                        Jared Campbell and Luke Nelson are the only runners to begin loop 3.  Maggie, Courtney, and Liz Canty timed out missing the cutoff by 12 minutes.  Jamil missed the cutoff by 24 minutes.

                         2023 Races:

                              04/15 - Alexander County 12-Hour
                              06/16 - Six Days in the Dome 12-Hour




                          Apparently conditions are really, really bad this year. Rain, hail, thunder, fog. Only question really is whether anyone will finish the Fun Run (three loops). Jared and Luke are ahead of the cutoffs but already behind pace to actually finish, meaning there’s basically no chance.


                            Both finished loop 3 in 39:04, within the 40-hour cutoff for a Fun Run. But they are over the 36-hour cutoff to continue on to lap 4. The race is over; Barkley wins again.


                              Last night i finally got around to watching Where Dreams go to Die on youtube.  I had heard a bit about it but the ending is truly astounding to watch.


                              My wife and daughter came in and sat with me for the last 20 min or so, and were equally stunned with the absurdity of the race as they were with the finale.  Worth a watch for any that havent seen it.