Five For Friday: Five Reasons Why You Won’t Finish the Barkley Marathons

Five Reasons You Won't Finish the Barkley Marathons

1. You’re Not Lucky Enough

Luck plays a factor. It was unlucky that the New River was unpassable in 2000 when  Blake Wood had a good chance at finishing Loop Five. It was lucky that it was cold enough in 2017 that the cold temperatures woke up John Kelly from an unplanned nap and he finished five loops. It was bad luck that sleep deprivation led to a wrong turn for Gary Robbins.

2.You’re Not Fast Enough

Don’t worry, most runners are not fast enough. You may have won marathons, finished Nolans 14, set FKTs-the course terrain is so difficult that it is hard to get in within the time constraints on a loop.

3. You cannot Use a Compass and Map

It has been said that there is no course at the Barkley which is false. There is a course you must follow. The course is not marked, hence the course description and the master map. You do get to take your own map that you copied.  A compass might help you in the fog and dark. You have no map or compass skills? You fail.
You didn’t do your homework

In many emails on the Barkley List, finishers and veterans have given the advice to read race reports. Read Frozen Ed’s book.  Study the map. (The map is available to all from the Frozen Head State Park .) Memorize the map.  One Barker this year was impressive. She had done extensive studying of the map and potential places for the books. That is a confidence builder!

4. You didn’t look up the term hubris

Hubris: excessive pride or self confidence; (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.  Sophie Spiedel wrote a nice blog post about the Barkley and hubris. What is the fine line of confidence versus over confidence at The Barkley?

5. Just kidding nobody is supposed to finish the Barkley Marathons

bottom line on barkley;
it is not reasonable.
but if you are in this thing to find your limits….
they are to be found “out there”.
probably not nearly as far “out there’ as you would like to think.

-laz

 

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