Have you seen this NY Times article about the Barkley Marathons?? My friend Em forwarded it to me and I can't wipe my mouth off the floor-- an excerpt:
It is a 100-mile footrace that some say is actually 130 miles or more, through unmarked trails with names like Meth Lab Hill, Bad Thing and Leonard’s Buttslide that are choked with prickly saw briars. Temperatures often range from freezing to blistering on the same day, and there is a cumulative elevation gain of more than 60,000 feet, or the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest twice from sea level.
A 60-hour time limit forces runners to run, climb and bushwhack for three days with little or no sleep. They endure taunts from the race director, who deliberately keeps the competition’s entry procedure a mystery. It is a race in which there are no comfort stations and runners cannot use a GPS device or a cellphone.
Less than 2 percent of the nearly 800 ultrarunners who have subjected themselves to this punishment — 12 men, the same number as have walked on the moon — have finished the race in its current iteration. The only prize is that after 100 miles, they get to stop.
Only 12 people have ever finished the race?! And one year, one runner only clocked in 2 miles on the ACTUAL course since there is no marked course and runners have to find their own way. Wow. And to make sure runners ARE on the designated course, the race director leaves books at various checkpoints- runners have to tear out the page that corresponds to their number (only 35 runners can participate each year). Crazytown! A documentary is coming out about the race, and it looks SO GOOD.
/I really want to be able to run again. But never this race. I'd settle for running a mile at this point.
*image from NY Times article