Why on earth am I going to visit a state park in Tennessee the first weekend of April? Is this a joke? Nope, it’s the Barkley Marathons.
Barkley Marathons The Race That Eats It Young
If you read my blog at all, you will have an inkling what the Barkley is. If not, go here or here. From my blog in 2011 “He’s been at the Barkley, completed two laps..he’s a Barkley runner some murmured trail talk, looking at the unassuming skinny runner ahead. Newby ultra runners are in awe. Then someone asks the question, “what is the Barkley?”
The Barkley is April Fool’s Weekend 2017.
My History with the Barkley
From my blog in 2012..”I am such a Barkley geek.
I’ve been fascinated by this race since I became an ultra runner. When I had my podcast, in 2007, I had the pleasure of interviewing Laz and then Flying Brian Robinson after his course record….”
lt ended up being my four day weekend off work. I had several options on fun things to do. There is a Wilderness First Aid Course at Spruce Knob, West Virginia. I could learn something, hike the great trails.
Excuses To Go
But I also wanted to attend the Barkley in person, at least once! See the famous yellow gate, go for a hike or two, maybe catch a glimpse of a runner at the Fire Tower. I know folks that are part of the race, but I didn’t have a compelling reason, other than just hanging out.
I sent a few emails, seeing if any friends were in the race this year. Note: the list of runners is not made public. Runners may “out” themselves, such as Gary Robbins, Mike Wardian, Jamil Coury have declared. Other runners keep it on the down low.
A friend of mine is in the race, and I am crewing for my friend! I don’t have permission at this time to say whether my friend is “Out” or not, so no names at this time.
This might be the easiest crew job ever. I will only see my runner once a loop, when they return to camp. I will have soup, wraps, coffee, soda, ready to serve, first aid kit available. The idea is to do a quick turn around and get them back Out There. Then my day will be mine to hang out at the campground or go for a hike.
Are you going to follow the Barkley this weekend? Check #BM100 for any updates!