Ariella Gintzler April 01, 2015 TWEET COMMENTS 1

The Race That Eats Its Young (Video)

A new documentary takes a look at what makes the Barkley Marathons so quirky—and so brutal


The 2015 Barkley Marathons was held last weekend, and for the first time since 2007, no one finished the 100-mile run, which consists of five unmarked, unsupported loops of about 20 miles in the woods of Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park. Jamil Coury, of Phoenix, Arizona, was the only runner to begin a fourth loop. However, midway through he got lost and took an eight-hour nap on top of a mountain before stumbling into the parking lot seven hours after the cutoff. One other runner, John Kelly, finished the 60-mile “fun run.”

Barkley is famous in trail-running circles for its off-beat culture as well as its extreme difficulty. A new documentary by filmmakers Annika Iltis and Timothy Kane, “The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats its Young,” delves into the mysterious world of Barkley and gives us a first-row seat to the comedy, determination and suffering involved through footage from the 2012 race, as well as quality face time with quirky race director Lazarus Lake and some of Barkley’s most frequent participants. This trailer offers a peak at the award-winning film, which is currently screening in select cities and will be released on DVD in May.

For an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the Barkley Marathons and its storied past, read “Out There: Tennessee’s Infamous Barkley Marathons” in our special issue DIRT, available now.

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