2017 Barkley Marathons results: running in the wrong direction
" In its first 25 years only 10 people have finished The Barkley Marathons. Based on a historic prison escape, this cult like race tempts people from around the world to test their limits of physical and mental endurance in this documentary that contemplates the value of pain."
This year, John Kelly was the lone finisher and became just the 15th of the race since it began in 1986. Yes, Top Gun, Papa Don't Preach, Miami Vice, that 1986. His accomplishment is incredible, full stop.
And while his success should be enough, there is a newsworthy story about a man named Gary Robbins, who didn't finish.
In a blog post, Robbins acknowledged he was disoriented by fog and made a wrong turn shaving 2 miles from the course resulting in his disqualification. There was some confusion at the end, it was reported that he missed the finish by a mere six seconds.
Gary clarified what happened in his post:
"The Barkley Marathons is not an orienteering style race. You do not get to select the route that best favors you between books. You need to navigate between books, off trail, but in a very specific direction of travel. My finish, even if it were 6 seconds faster would not have counted. I put Laz and the race in a precarious situation and in hindsight I'm glad I was six seconds over so that we didn't have to discuss the validity of my finish."
Regardless of the outcome, Gary's accomplishment on the course and integrity though a difficult situation are admirable. I wish him success in the future and feel inspired by him and the others participants of this race.