The 2023 Barkley Marathons has kicked off and here are the best resources to follow the event

March 14, 2023

The 2023 Barkley Marathons kicked off today and we can’t wait to find out if there is a winner this year. Below we have included some great resources to keep you up to date and a few facts about the event you might find interesting.

Great links to follow for this years race:

Follow the live action and humorous commentary on Twitter at https://twitter.com/keithdunn

Information about each of this year’s participants – https://runningmagazine.ca/trail-running/whos-who-at-the-barkley-marathons-2023/

Good site for updates and information – https://run247.com/running-news/trail/barkley-marathons-2023-live-tracking-latest-results

The movie – http://barkleymovie.com/

Weird and Interesting Facts About the Barkley Marathons:

  • Barkley Marathons is an ultramarathon trail race held each year in Frozen Head State Park in Morgan County, Tennessee.
  • With 54,200 feet of accumulated vertical climb (and descent), it is considered to be one of the most challenging ultramarathons ever.
  • The race is limited to 40 participants, and entry is by invitation only. No website and good luck finding out how to register.
  • Potential entrants must complete an essay on “Why I Should be Allowed to Run in the Barkley,” and pay a $1.60 application fee. If accepted, an entrant receives a “letter of condolence.”
  • The course consists of five 20mile loops, with a total distance of approximately 100 miles (or longer) that must be completed in 60 hours with every other loop run in the opposite direction.
  • There is also a cut off time for every lap. This year’s event knocked out 7 runners on the first lap.
  • Runners who complete three circuits of the loop (60-miles) in under 40 hours are said to have completed a “Fun Run.”
  • The 100-mile race has only been completed within the official cut-off 18 times by 15 runners since the first event in 1995.
  • There have been no finishers since 2016. John Kelly won and is racing this year for the sixth time.
  • No women have finished (yet!), but in 2022 Jasmin Paris completed the 3 loop Fun Run in the designated time, becoming the second woman to achieve the feat.
  • The event date is not made public and starts any time from midnight to noon on race day. One hour till race start is signaled by blowing a conch. The race officially begins when the race director lights a cigarette.
  • Runners must use their orienteering skills to navigate the unmarked course with a map and basic watch (no GPS).
  • Competitors must find between 9 and 14 books along the course and remove the page corresponding to the runner’s race number from each book as proof of completion.
  • When a runner drops out of the race, a bugler plays “Taps” upon their return to the start/end point.