Tag Archives: ultra running

Tennessee’s “Secret Race” is a Beast! #ultramarathon

Wow, this discovery just got the hair standing on my neck.  And after combining the insight from my first trail race with the unbelievable information below, I am even more convinced that wilderness runners salute a twisted code that encourages legal forms of masochistic humiliation.

That said, I am currently VERY disappointed about two things:

  1. I’ve never heard of this race.
  2. No one I know has run it (that I know of)

Fist PumpPhoto © Geoffrey S. Baker www.geoffreybakerphotography.com  (photo links to source)

Here are a few tidbits about this race that I pulled from here:

“Only 14 runners out of about 1000 have finished within the 60 hour cutoff.”

“Runners climb 1,500 feet in the first mile.”

“Humility awaits.”

“Son of a ditch. 10 feet wide, 10 feet deep.”

“Descending Leonard’s Butt Slide. The first few hundred feet are on muddy slopes at a 45 degree angle down to book 3.”

All of these words are attempting to describe the horror that is referred to as The Barkley Marathons — 100 Mile run (and 60 mile fun run) in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee (which is just outside of Knoxville).

This race is so awesome (yet unknown) the NY Times wrote this piece titled, “Few Know How to Enter; Fewer Finish.

There’s even a book about it.

What’s also great is this little nugget (posted on an unofficial website) about how to enter the race:

The entry procedure is secret. There is no official website. This is not the official website. This site mostly has pointers back here. The race is not listed on any calendar. You have to email the race director on a certain day of the year. The race will fill up on that day. In 2010 there were about 200 entries and 35 were accepted.

Now, I can honestly say I have zero interest in doing this race, especially after struggling to finish my first trail 1/2 marathon, but I wish someone I know would step up and take the challenge.  I mean, only 14 runners have ever finished within the 60 hour cutoff time?  That’s ridiculously awesome.

I know a lot of you out there are drooling.  Who’s gonna step up?