The Barkley Marathons II

Published in Running - 2 mins to read

Anyone who knows what The Barkley Marathons is, knows that you have to be insane to enter it. To actually complete it, you have to be a physical and psychological freak of nature - a case study for textbooks spanning a variety of fields - make sure you donate your body and brain to science after you die trying to swim across the Atlantic etc etc.

And then, there is Jared Campbell. His trail and ultrarunning CV is certainly impressive: he’s completed the legendary Hardrock 100 ten times, including winning it in 2010. But it’s his accomplishments at the Barkley that mark him as a one-of-a-kind. He is one of only 15 people to have ever completed the Barkley Marathons, one of two to have repeated that feat, and the only person to have made it through all 5 gruelling loops three times. And on top of all that… he keeps entering. He had to drop out last year after his first loop because of an ankle injury. Why, when you accomplish something so utterly ludicrous as completing the Barkley, would you not be satisfied, nor when you have done so twice or thrice, and you feel the need to repeatedly push yourself to the farthest extremes of your soul over and over?

Somewhat ironically, I think being the kind of person who will enter the Barkley after having already completed it three times is one of the few indicators that you are the kind of person who might actually complete the infernal task a single time in the first place.

See other posts in the The Barkley Marathons series