I recently stumbled upon The Barkley Marathons on Netflix. I absolutely love documentaries and the more quirky, weird and underground the better. I especially love documentaries about a group of passionate people because I find that no matter what their passion is, they’re weird in a way like I am and we understand each other.
The Barkley Marathons is a series of loops in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. The Barkley is a 5 loop race and in the history of the race, less than 20 people have completed the full 5 loops. If you’re able to complete 3 loops, that’s called the “Fun Run”. Each loop is roughly 20 miles long although it’s rumoured that it’s actually closer to 26.2 (a marathon distance). The catch is that you have 60 hours to complete the 5 loops.
What I loved about the race is that it reminds me a lot of the Virginia State Frisbee Tournament, which is held every April at Pratt Parkin Fredericksburg, Virginia. It has history, tradition, weird rules that don’t always make sense, and it’s done old school.
The Barkley only allows 40 runners and the entry fee is $1.60 along with a random item determined by the race co-founder, Lazurus Lake. One year it’s a plaid shirt (which is his preferred choice of shirt).
The documentary covers the 2012 Barkley in great detail in which 3 men actually finished the race – the most of any year! I highly recommend watching this movie. Let me know what you think!