Tag Archive | "Steve Durbin"

Joshua Holmes Barkley Fall Classic TSD1

El Clásico de Barkley (a 2017 odisea de carrera)

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the barkley fall classic
frozen head state park
wartburg, tn
16 sept 2017

it is a race like no other
based on an even more insane
impossible event like no other
the barkley marathons
the race that eats it’s young

the barkley fall classic has grown quickly
to over 400 runners in just 3 years
trying to finish
wicked
gnarly
back mountain trails and hillsides
to get to laz
for a bonus loop
for a 50k – mile finish
for as advertised it is more
bang for your buck than just 31 miles
some say 48 miles
the lowest estimate was 40 miles

you see
no gps is allowed at the barkley
despite incessant cicadas beeping at mile 1 and beyond

before the race started
as i was getting my gear together
while downing my fourth organic pop tart of the morning

Joshua Holmes

a race vet
in the car next to me
told me that we were required to have a light
in our drop bag at mile 22…ahem 35
i had not even brought a light from the west coast
because i didn’t plan to run past the sun
but it was for sure more of a safety precaution
in case one got lost
as frozen head state park has been known
to swallow a wardian or two before
i had my phone flashlight
but RIF member cathy downes told me
she had an extra headlamp in her drop bag i could use if needed
her kindness stuck with me
as i thought about how many nice things
run it fast members have done for me over the past few years

Laz Lighting Up Barkley Fall Classic 2017

the race starts with the laz lighting a cigarette
just like he starts the big barkley in the spring
laz lit up and we all took off like any other race
yet we all knew we were about to enter a vast unknown

400 of us dashed down the paved road
taking advantage of the smooth surface and cool temps
about 50 feet in i hear some dudes behind me saying,
“someone is really going to miss that water bottle later.”
so i remember my soft flask i had stuck in my pocket pre-race
and check my pocket and it’s not there
so i immediately start swimming upstream
against a torrid stampede of anxious and eager buffalo
i finally see my bottle and runners stepping on it
oblivious to what was going on
they just saw this runner going the wrong way without a guide
i finally grab it and spend the next few min cleaning it with my shirt

so back to moving forward in the correct forward position
all of a sudden felt like getting shot out of a cannon
the first mile is on pavement before you reach the famed yellow gates
of frozen head made famous by the barkley
the race that eats it’s young
a sort of golden arches of sorts for ultra mile junkies

everyone was full of optimism and nerves
knowing that likely just 120 or so of the 400 starters would finish the 50k
i wondered who the other 119 would be myself

any race i begin
i visualize myself with only one outcome
coming out clean on the other side
no matter how ugly or desperate it might become

as unforgiving as little bark is
there is still some insurance knowing that you can
take a marathon
more like true 50k finish
if it goes to hell or you don’t make the cutoff at laz

the first few miles from the gate were on a single track trail
the climb was pretty gradual
and not too technical

Joshua Holmes Barkley Fall Classic TSD1

even though we were slowing climbing
i pushed the pace
i had gone out aggressive
to avoid massive conga lines
to find some space
to be able to operate
breath
find rhythm
the marvin gaye type
smooth
easy
effortless
and not over run
to avoid being over run
or be hung up
on the heels of whoever lay before me

i worked through this section
with rif member lisa van wolde
we would move past other runners
on this single track together
which made it easier for both of us
to get by quicker using less energy

you come upon the first aid station about 4 miles in
where the coalfield boys
high school football players held the jugs
that didn’t have moonshine
but had water and sword instead

i quickly refilled and kept down the trail
until coming upon a photographer
not my first in this life
a couple of us tried to run past her
continuing on down the trail
but she quickly said, “no, that way!”
as she pointed into the true wilderness
down a ravine into a giant lake
but it wasn’t a lake but just massive fog
onto of the moguls
this was testicle spectacle

quickly into testicle
i found a steep
slick
down where i could get no footing
i had put on my brush clearing gloves
as i knew i was about to be tested
my legs came out from under me
and i slide down the hillside about 20 feet
before i could get my legs under me again

this went on a few times
with some moderate climbs
for a mile and half or so
then we turned left into some low lying ground
and waded through a creek

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luckily i was behind dewayne satterfield
who has done big bark
because none of this was marked
there was for sure no trail at this point
just some creek funk thing
that looked a bit like the forked deer in west tn

well found a road on the other side of the marsh
then quickly over a wooden bridge
we ran
into a small white country church
that had an aid station to the right of it
as advertised it had water
sword
slim jims
and long elongated yellow fruits
this was also where we got our first bib punch
i think it was the letter i

testicle is an out and back
being near the lead of the pack it meant we were going to see
a lot of terrified faces coming at us
escaping testicle on the way out
is even more difficult than it was sliding down
into this foggy bottom

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as my mouth burned from slim jims
that were obviously soaked in tabasco
i quickly found myself on my hands and knees
trying to get up the muddy hillside
it is amazing how high your heart rate rises
when you are on all fours
trying to get any grip of the earth you can
to climb up

the two way traffic wasn’t easy
people were slipping and sliding into each other
but everyone was polite and understanding

once we escaped testicle
we hit that same photographer again
for the after ts photo
as i have told other runners
always know where the photographers are

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thinking we were getting a temporarily hiatus from the gnarly stuff
i took my gloves off
as we crossed the trail down into methlab hill
some parts of meth were worse than testicle
it could have been called testicle part 2
it included more butt sliding
and knocking other runners further down into the ravine
shortly after you bottom out on meth
you hit the prison

i hit it in 3 hrs 7 min 6 sec from the start

brushy mountain state penitentiary that is
an expired prison where james earl ray
the white supremacist
who killed the transcendent Martin Luther King was jailed
for many years
laz says he got the idea for barkley
back in the late 70s when ray escaped
it took several days for authorities to recapture him
but they did 58 hours later
he had only made it 5 miles in that time
due to the intense rugged mountains and lacking a garmin

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the prison looked straight out of shawshank
i went in the front door
and walked through the first building
then into the second building where most of the cells where located
a volunteer told me that cell 27 had been ray’s
as i walked by and looked into 27
all i could think about
was what a cowardly
loser
pos ray was for killing king
a man of peace

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after the cells it was out the side door
into the back yard behind the penitentiary
where we scaled a ladder over the back prison wall
and down the other side
where i got my second bib punch of the morning
the letter r

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the bib puncher
keith dunn
directed me to run around the back corner of the prison wall
and through a long
dark tunnel
the tunnel had a feint light at the other end of it
there was a slow stream of water flowing through the tunnel
more flashbacks to andy durfresne escaping from shawshank
it was pitch black in the tunnel
but i ran and trusted my footing would not be compromised

Prison Tunnel

then i took a sharp left
into some overgrown
green centrifuge
a couple min into it
as it started to climb
i asked another runner
if it was rat jaw
the infamous rat jaw
up the steep mountain side
under the power lines
the answer was in the affirmative

gloves back on
it was wildly overgrown
from a healthy rain season
i moved pretty quickly
up the first half of this rat’s nest
then i started to see a long line of runners stack up above me
stuck in the greenness
briars
thick
long
executing briars
that none of us could escape
i asked another runner if the half marathon was merging with us
as so many runners had grinder to a halt
stuck in the thick of it
it was so overgrown and thick with no where to go
a path had to be slowly carved
with human bodies

robert youngren
who moments before grabbed my feet below me
to give me a solid surface to climb up
as i couldn’t get a grip
started a new
revolutionary path he started blazing
with a mini train behind him
i was about the seventh car in this train
this was painfully slow but rob was taking most of the abuse
as the conductor of this train
our train was slow but steady
moving faster than the longer train
that seemed stuck in a paused motion
perhaps mighty casey had run out of steam
rob got us to the top
passing several in the other train in the process

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it took time but finally we reached the top of rat jaw
60 runners had stacked up behind us

rat jaw had been the great equalizer
almost like a nascar caution flag to bring the field all back together

quickly we climbed to the top of the watch tower and back down
quick aid station stop after the tower for refills
and then some downhill jeep roads
to garden spot
then to bald knob

most vets had underestimated how hard the back side
of the race would be
since rat jaw and testacle were knocked out earlier on

bird mountain was a formidable foe
it wasn’t gnarly or impossible
but due to not knowing exactly how long the course was
it seemed to go on forever

i knew we were many miles beyond what the map said
but as they say laz miles are way longer than actual miles
like 1.5x longer
the bird mtn miles seemed to go on forever
i kept thinking we had to be close to laz and dropbags

finally we come off the trail
back onto park roads
and after about 1/2 a mile later to our drop bags
and then laz
with an elapsed time of 8:03:30 to that point

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laz punched my bib
and made mention of how well i was doing
seeming a bit surprised
maybe it was because when i first met him on the ferry
in dorena landing years ago
at the start of the vol state
he looked at me and my crew
consisting of my high school cousin and his buddy
and told me
look to your left and your right
one of you will finish this race
i could tell his confidence was not in me being the one
i was very green then
i am just light
lime green now

other runners had warned me that the last loop was 9 miles
like 9 actual miles not laz miles

the climb up to chimney top was a long 5-6 mile climb
others had opted to grab poles out of their drop bags
i didn’t want to cheat my exercise routine with poles

early in the climb i was passed by a handful of hikers
i mean runners
as the climb wore on
i started to catch and reel in a couple of them
by being persistent and relentless

Chimney Top

i finally hit the top of chimney top
and you know how i knew it was the top of chimney top
because there was a mf chimney at the top of the climb
in the middle of nowhere
no house with it
no signs of a house
just a chimney and fireplace
no smoke
prevent forest fires
it was then i realized that i was at the top of chimney top
i did not need a sign to tell me

after chimney’s top started a gradual downhill
not many other runners were around at this point
another runner was in front of me
and after a mile and a sharp turn to the left down the mountain
we both started to get nervous wondering if we were on the right trail
or if we had become lost
and if so how lost where we and would we have enough time
to get back on the correct trail and make the cutoff
i pulled out my cloth map several times
and each time wadded it back into my pocket
unable to make sense of it
we both were running well
but simply did not see any other human beings
as more and more indecision began to set in

finally we saw another runner
and a volunteer
with a hole puncher and jugs of water
i refilled all 4 bottles i had with me
the volunteer punched my bib
and knew exactly how much of the course remained
he told us 2.5 miles back to laz
and about 3.4 total to the finish
and that it was all down hill

i took off running
knowing i needed to be perfect
if i wanted to break 11 hours
i knew i was about in 23rd position as well
however i didn’t know the terrain or the accuracy of the distance
but i ran hard smelling the barn
or perhaps it was myself
but either way it fueled me to another gear
that had been abandoned miles earlier

i caught a couple runners including youngren
who was probably simply tired
from sleepless nights with his new baby
and then shortly after there was laz and friends
i slowed just enough to ask if we needed another punch
laz said no and i turned it up knowing 10 hrs 52 min had expired
on the clock

1 mile
8 min or less
again was the distance accurate or not
i didn’t know
but i ran harder

another runner was alongside me
as i had caught him near laz
we were both chasing sub 11
we ran that last road like it was a legit 5k
i hit the pavement and emptied all my bottles
to get as light as possible knowing every second would matter

the other runner
nathan i believe
got a few feet in front and i followed in his wake
a couple turns hoping the end was in sight
clock ticking
a clock with no mind or mercy of what i wanted

i finally start to hear people
then i see the grassy field knowing to turn right
for the finishing arches
i see the clock at 10:59:30
i sprinted in comfortably over those 40 yards
crossing the finish line in 10:59:43

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a time that would matter only to me
breaking 11 hours that would only matter to me
but it had mattered to me for several miles
because it helped me stay focused and on point
it helped me prevent bad miles
and gave me something to focus on
and help drive me those last few miles to the finish

my last mile was 7 min 11 sec

the first person i saw after finishing was my good friend
rif member and bfc rd steve durbin
it was good to see him
he congratulated me and i thanked him for an amazing event
i was then presented with the prized
croix de barque for finishing

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i caught my breath
drank a few bottles of sword from the orange cooler
and then walked backwards on the course
to cheer in other runners
and root for my fellow run it fast members than remained on the course
slowly
one by one they found the finish as i had
some had made the 50k cutoff and finish
others had been turned in early
but all seemed satisfied with the effort they put forth that day

they knew they hadn’t don’t a normal race
and they were proud of the valiant effort they gave
they had been challenged in a new way
and had dug deep or discovered a new depth for the first time

after a few photos and hugs
i redeemed my post race meal card for a veggie burger
i am not even a vegetarian but it sounded like what my stomach
would agree with
and it was spot on

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i beat the rat

i traded war stories from the course and other battles
with other veteran ultra runners
from the past and present
the weather had been perfect
the course ripe
and i was pleased with my effort

my goal had been to finish in the top 20 and sub 11
i was 20th overall and 18th male
in a time of 10:59:43

Run It Fast Barkley Fall Classic 2017 Finishers 2

it was a good feeling to run well
and share in so many others achievements
i wore the rat bites and dozens of flesh wounds with pride
a very special running
epic event
race directed by my good friends durb and laz

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rif members before the lighting of the cigarette

congrats to all who were brave enough to toe the start
whether you got a finish or not
it takes a lot to take on a task like the bfc

thank you to all the volunteers
and football players
and friends
who were encouraging
helpful
resourceful
and made it possible to finish
marathon/ultra #197

and a special thanks
to all my Run It Fast friends
who continue to inspire and drive me
every race
step by step

joshua holmes
run it fast
2017

barkley fall classic results – 2017
photos: susan typert, daryl ann patton

Posted in Barkley Marathons, Race Reports, Running, Ultra MarathonComments (0)

Lazarus Lake at The Barkley Fall Classic by Jobie Williams – Run It Fast

The Inaugural Barkley Fall Classic Results (2014)

Lazarus Lake at The Barkley Fall Classic by Jobie Williams - Run It Fast

Lazarus Lake and Steve Durbin debuted the inaugural Barkley Fall Classic on September 20, 2014 at Frozen Head State Park in East Tennessee. The race took place on the famed trails where the Barkley Marathons (100 Miler), the toughest footrace in the world, takes place every spring.

This was a scaled down ‘runner friendly’ version with aid stations, course markings, and was advertised as a 50K but many runners claimed it was closer to 36 miles on the rough and wicked trails of FHSP.

Read more (click HERE) about The Barkley Fall Classic description from Laz’s announcement of the race back earlier this year.

The finishing times were a bit faster than expected but still very slow by any 50K standard.

Darren Thomas was the winner finishing in 6:28:26. He was closely tailed by runner-up Scott Breeden in 6:33:25 with Henry Wakley not too far behind in 6:41:02 for third.

Top 10 Overall The Barkley Fall Classic

  1. Darren Thomas – 6:28:26
  2. Scott Breeden – 6:33:25
  3. Henry Wakley – 6:41:02
  4. Michael Jones – 7:54:44
  5. Andrew Snope – 8:12:17
  6. Jack Kurisky – 8:15:02
  7. Brad Reed – 8:31:25
  8. Nicklaus Combs – 8:32:45
  9. Keith Knipling – 8:32:45
  10. Jeffrey Garstecki – 8:37:58

Kathy Smith was the female winner in 8:56:16. She was chased by runner-up Beth Frye who finished ten minutes back in 9:06:08. Third place went to Brooke McClanahan in 9:32:23

Top 5 The Barkley Fall Classic Women

  1. Kathy Smith – 8:56:16
  2. Beth Frye – 9:06:08
  3. Brooke McClanahan – 9:32:23
  4. Kendra Versendaal – 9:44:39
  5. Michelle McLellan – 9:46:41

The Run It Fast®- Club had several members at the race. Nicklaus Combs finished highest in 8th place in 8:32:45. Shane Tucker 12:08:28. Tim Waz 12:14:00. Roy Tamez 12:22:48. Terri Durbin 12:51:29.

The race had 156 finishers with David Milner being the last runner across the finish line in 13:18:01.

VIEW ALL of the 2014 Barkley Fall Classic RESULTS

[image: Jobie Williams/RIF]

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Joshua Holmes and Steve Durbin at Six Days in the Dome resize – Run It Fast

48 Hours of Doom at Six Days in the Dome – Race Report

Six Days in the Dome (48 Hour Race) 
Anchorage, Alaska – August 4-5, 2014

It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up nor wanted to miss. A chance to run the 48-Hour race at Six Days in the Dome with some of the all-time legends of ultra running. When Joe Fejes first told me about the race, the venue, and how he as going to try to break Stu Mittleton’s 6-Day record I knew I had to be there.

I knew it would start 12 days after I had run the Badwater 135. I knew I wouldn’t be my best, fresh, or perhaps even able to run it. I didn’t even buy my plane ticket until 6 days before the race. I also didn’t run a single step between my Badwater finish on July 22nd and the start of the Six Days in the Dome on August 4th.

I arrived in Anchorage around 3pm on Sunday, the third. I took a taxi to The Dome and arrived about 15 minutes later. I took a quick self-tour of the dome and didn’t see anyone else associated with the race. I then spent a few minutes on my phone trying to figure out where the pre-race mixer was taking place and to see if I had in fact packed a Toga (OK, that last part isn’t exactly true).

I found an email on my phone that the mixer was at Humpy’s. So I called the taxi company and arranged for a ride from The Dome to Humpy’s. I get to Humpy’s and can’t find Joe, other runners, or anyone else associated with the race so I walked out. Down $40 in cab fares to this point, and strapped down with my 50-pound backpack, I decided to walk the 3 miles to Wal-Mart to get stuff for the race instead of ponying up for another taxi. I probably should have called for a taxi but my frugality got the better of me. That was one very long three mile walk, with that heavy backpack on, in minimalist shoes, while the brisk Alaskan sun cooked me so slightly. I was smart enough to get a taxi back to The Dome after buying a good bit of junk at Sam Walton’s.

The Dome was a brisk with activity when I arrived back at it Sunday evening with my haul from Wal-Mart. I got my stuff settled at my race side table for the race and quickly made my pallet in a half dim room and relatively quickly, for me, found sleep.

The start of Six Days in the Dome was delayed 2 hours for timing issues. In retrospect, many of the 6-Dayers would say that was a sign of things to come. Everyone was ready to go at 9am and we got word that it would be delayed 1 hour until 10am and then that it would be delayed another hour until 11am. I had just taken a Gu Roctane and been through my pre-race rituals when news of the first delay got to me. Don’t let that sound like more than it is…I have very few pre-race rituals. But with a race delay, it’s beyond your control, and there is nothing you can do about it. So you wait along with everyone else. It affects everyone the same by and large.

Finally at 11am local time the race started. Most everyone probably started faster than they wanted to because of the pent up energy from being delayed for a couple of hours. I was pretty fast the first 40 laps on the 413 meter track but not nearly as fast as Zach Bitter who was there for one thing – to set the World Record for the fastest 100 miler.

I was lapping nearly everyone on the track at some point during that time, but Zach was lapping me what seemed like every 10 minutes or less. He was blazing fast, running like you’d see someone trying to put down a fast mile on a high school track. It would be easy to compare him to a gazelle or cheetah but in comparison to Zach any normally fluid animal’s form would be considered ragged and inferior.  And all the while he did it with a smile on his face, while we encouraged each other, and while he was gracious with every other runner on the track including going wide into lane 6 on several laps to high five dozens of elementary kids who were in The Dome for day camp that were cheering us all on. He was ultra smooth with the emphasis on smooth.

I ran really well for the first 15-20 miles. Through 20 miles I was right on pace to replicate my 100 mile PR time of 18:49 that I set at Across the Years back in late December.

However, my right ankle and feet were starting to bother me just 10 miles into the race. I thought it might be the shoes I was wearing (Hoka One One Conquest). So after 10 miles I changed into the Hoka One One Bondi B. The change helped very briefly before the pain and discomfort grew to a point that I knew a new 100-mile PR was not going to happen. The surface was harder than any other track I had run on before. I wasn’t the only runner to notice this early on in the race. Many complained about it as the race unfolded. I believe the hard surface along with the residual bruising, beating, and wear and tear from Badwater just 12 days before were likely the culprit for my feet and ankle feeling like they had been beaten over and over with an aluminum baseball bat.

And with that the entire race changed for me. I could have stopped at that point. There is no DNF after finishing 1 loop at a timed event. But I didn’t travel all the way to Alaska to run just 25 miles. For better or dumb I still wanted to knock off another 100 miler.  I walked as fast as I could and did so for most of the next 60 miles. The pain was still fluent, but it wasn’t as bad as it was when I would run. The bright side of walking for many hours on end was that I got to meet and talk with some of the pioneers and all-time legends of ultra running.

Those slow painful miles of walking were distracted by great conversations with Bill Schultz, Yolanda Holder, Marylou Corina, Joel Gat, Frank Bozanich, Josh Irvan, Andy Noise, Ken Rubeli, Bob Davidson, K-G Nystrom, Martin Fryer, Ed Ettinghausen, Lazarus Lake, Gregg Ellis, Brandon Wood, Francesca Carmichael, David Johnston’s son, Mark Mccaslin, Steve & Terri ‘Theresa’ Durbin and many others.

After about 15 hours of race time I took a shower and went down for a nice 3 hour nap in my sleeping bag. The rest and time off my feet helped a bit. I hit 24 hours with a paltry 71 miles. After about 80 miles I started to feel a bit better. The Dome had a gym full of weights right next to the track. So I’d lay down on the bench press, elevate my feet, and do a set of 40 reps just with the weight of the bar. This seemed to be a great magic trick to my body. I was able to run at a pretty good pace for several laps in a row after my chest pump. I believe elevating my feet, while sending the rush of warm blood to my chest, away from my legs and feet was a nice shot of adrenaline and redirect of the discomfort. I did this 3-4 more times over the course of that second afternoon and it helped each time.

I finally hit 100 miles in a Personal Worst of 33 hours and 45 minutes. I sat down and took a couple of small breaks before hitting 100 miles in an attempt to put my PW so far out of reach that I could never touch it again. I was extremely elated upon hitting 100 miles because of the mental focus and push it required to get to that point.

The miles were slow and painful after 100, but I continued to push through it. I made a deal with myself that if I made it to 110 miles before 1am that I’d go shower, lay down to sleep and not set an alarm. If I got up by 11am before the race was over I’d do more miles. If not I was content with what I had battled through to get to 110 miles in 38 hours.

I slept for 5-6 hours, quickly dressed, put on my shoes, and was back on the track at 7:30am with about 3.5 hours of race time left. I walked several laps at a brisk pace to wake myself up and to see how my feet, ankle, and the rest of my body was feeling. Once I felt like my body functioning at an operative level and well hydrated I started to feel the loud tick-tock of the race clock ticking down. I started chugging sweet tea and taking Gu Roctane again. I wanted to see how many more miles I could pour out of my body onto that concrete track before time expired. It was a point of the race where I could empty and dump all of my energy, and what remained in my body, to maximizing a strong effort until the end of the clock.

My motor started revving high and my legs started kicking and throwing down the soles of my shoes off the track at a pace that would have made a half marathoner and most 10K’ers proud. My laps went from 4:20 to 3:30 to 2:45 to 2:15, all the way down to 1:42 and 1:43 (6:40 mile/pace). I ran the last 20-24 laps between 1:42-2:10 and was able to put down several extra miles with my increased turnover of the track. I ran a couple of 7’s, and several 7:30-8 min miles during this stretch to conclude the race.

When I had started back at 110 miles, I had hoped to be able to get around the track enough to reach 120 miles.

The clock stopped and the trackside television monitor had me at 500 laps and 128+ miles. For some reason that number evolved down to 127.47 miles within a few hours of the conclusion of the race. It was nothing that I was going to throw a frenzy over or complain about at that point. As poor as my race had gone, I was able to feel really good with the way I finished it.

My quick explanation of my race is that I had a good four hours to start the race and a really great last two hours to conclude my 48 hour Six Days in the Dome…it was just that very poor and painful 42 hours in between those two strong stretches that had to be endured.

The highlight of my race was watching my friend Traci Falbo set a World and American record for running 242.35 miles in the 48 hour race. It was an amazing spectacle to behold. It was also a visual spectacular to watch Zach Bitter run 100 miles in 12:08 which is the third fastest American time ever. I also go to witness the first 60 hours of Joe Fejes’ U.S. record of 580.3 miles in six days. I was as equally impressed by power walking Run It Fast member Yolanda Holder who gracefully walked, at a very high speed, to 400 miles in six days.

A few days later, at the conclusion of all of the Six Days in the Dome races, I found out I was the 1st overall male winner for the 48 hour race. The 48 hour field was small, especially on the male side. I ended up 4th overall behind three great female performances and a mere 400+ laps behind Traci.

– joshua holmes

[photos: Jeff Genova/Joshua Holmes]

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Ultra MarathonComments (0)

Barkley Fall Classic

Lazarus Lake Births The Barkley Fall Classic – An Epic 31-Mile Race

UPDATE: Inaugural Barkley Fall Classic Race Results (2014)

A few weeks ago I mentioned on Twitter that a crazy race was in the process of being created that would rock the marathon racing scene. Now comes the rest of that story…

The ultra-devil known as Lazarus Lake (Gary Cantrell) has birthed another demon spawn of a race that will shake up the endurance-addicted race world. Laz is the creator of the Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Big Dog Backyard Ultra, The Last Annual Vol State 500K, and the Barkley Marathons (the hardest race in the world to finish).

Laz, along with fellow race director Steve Durbin (creator of Land Between the Lakes and Run Under the Stars), have now officially announced The Barkley Fall Classic which will take place at Frozen Head State Park on many of the same trails used in the infamous Barkley Marathons. The race will be on September 20, 2014.

Unlike the Barkley Marathons (100 miles) that takes place in the Spring, The Barkley Fall Classic will be open to runners of all levels that register and signup. However, that doesn’t mean that you will finish.

The Barkley Fall Classic will be approximately 31 miles long and have over 10,000 feet of climb and 10,000 feet of descent for a total elevation change easily over 20,000 feet. Runners will have a time limit of 13 hours and 20 minutes.

Here is a description of The Barkley Fall Classic in Laz’s own words:

on september 20. 2014,
we will hold the barkley fall classic,
with an entry limit of 300 runners….

if you are one of those people who have followed the infamous barkley marathons over the years,
and had this secret itch to get a taste of those trails and that experience;

this is your chance.

if you have been trying to enter the barkley for years,
and just cannot get unlucky in the lottery;

this is your chance.

if you want to see some of the best scenery available in the eastern u.s.,
from the primordial woods of the “north boundary” where the sun never shines,
to overlook views that extend to the smoky mountains to the east,
and the big south fork to the west;

this is your chance.

the fall classic will be a little different.

it is all on maintained trails and will be clearly marked.
there will be aid stations…
but it is still the brushy mountains.

it will not be easy.

the trails are many of the same trails featured in the original Barkley.
the core race is roughly 31 miles (with about 20,000 feet of elevation change)

runners will have opportunities to opt down and have “fun run” finishes of 9 miles, 16 miles, or 24 miles.
the time limit will be the same 13:20 as a regular barkley loop. (23.3 mile cut off is (9:00 hrs)

obviously… no pacers allowed.

and the first prize will be a slot in the original barkley…
if the winner still thinks he wants to do that 5 times in 2 and a half days!

the entry will be first come-first served.
announcement of the opening of registration was made to the barkley list first, so those lucky souls had first shot at it.

better not delay…

something bad like this doesn’t come along every day.

laz

Laz has also been quoted as he will be surprised if 50% of entrants finish the race.

Do you have what it takes to tackle this epic challenge? Can you finish this 50K in 13 hours? Will you be one of the runners that has to opt down to 9, 16, or 24 miles?

The Barkley Fall Classic is 31 miles on paper but likely the equivalent of a 1ooK.

Oh yes, we should probably mention that the trail is likely more wicked, rough, and wild than what you’d find in the jungles of Cambodia.

You can sign up now on Ultrasignup by clicking HERE.

 

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