The Barkley Marathon is also known as the toughest trail run in the world. It’s insane, it’s inhuman, it’s tough and it’s brutal. Most years, there are no finishers, and for the 2018 edition, the Barkley Marathon wins again – no one managed to complete the race.

Just How Tough Is Tough?

The course is designed to test you physically and mentally. This course has no markers, nor aid stations. There are books placed along checkpoints – you are required to tear the page corresponding to your bib number to show that you have indeed hit the requisite checkpoints. To make you go even more crazy, you are required to do the loops in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

Even trying to register for this race is – tough! There is even no online information, no online application, no registration process – nothing! You have to find Race Director Cantrell’s e-mail address to request an application. You have to write an essay telling Cantrell why you deserve to be the lucky or unlucky 40.

2018 Edition

There were big names. Gary Robbins tries his luck again after failing only by 6 seconds in year 2017. Could there be a female finisher this year? OCR-accomplished elite athlete Amelia Boone was moving into the ultra-running scene and could she accomplish as much as she has in the OCR-scene? However, conditions proved too tough for anyone to handle on race-day. The race wins, as noone was able to tackle and complete this race. No one was even able to make it beyond the 3rd loop.

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Only 15 Finishers – EVER, Want To Join?

Anyways, if you want to try your luck for the 2019 edition – you’d be hoping for an invitation like this:-

“Our heartfelt condolences on your recent selection into the Barkley Marathons field for 2010. Even though the odds were all in your favor, with six applicants for every slot, in any drawing someone must lose. This time it was you.

“Should you come up with any plausible excuse to avoid the painful failure that is the Barkley, please let us know as soon as possible. As incredible as it might seem, those other five people still want your slot.

“Otherwise, there is a very bad thing waiting for you.”

Cover Photo Credits/Source: Running Magazine. CA

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