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Robbins’ 2018 Barkley race report: “Help is not coming”

Foul weather and "user mistakes" were significant factors in Robbins' struggle this year. And he suggests whether he will return to the Tennessee mountains for another attempt in the future

Gary Robbins

B.C. ultrarunner Gary Robbins has posted a link to his detailed report on this year’s Barkley Marathons to his Instagram account. Robbins completed three out of five 20-mile loops at the world-famous ultra event in Tennessee last week.

RELATED: VIDEO: Gary Robbins finishes third loop of the 2018 Barkley Marathons, misses cut-off


“I did a 36-hour race, not the 60 hour event I’d set out to, and I am unsettled and rife with emotion,” Robbins writes near the end of the absorbing story, asking for time to process the events of last week before being pressed for a decision on whether he will be back next year. “I will return for a fourth go, but honestly we don’t know when that will be.”

Gary Robbins
Photo: Brice Ferre

Robbins came closer to conquering the notoriously difficult race last year, when he took a wrong turn on the final lap. Though it appeared he had finished a shocking six seconds too late, he actually took a wrong turn, returning to camp from the wrong direction. This year, the accumulation of several mistakes led to his not completing the third loop in under 36 hours, which is required for a fourth loop attempt. He did, however, complete the “fun run” (three loops in under 40 hours), though it was small consolation. “I trained for a 60-hour effort, not a 36-hour effort,” he writes. “I’m not even going to lose all my toenails.” 

You can read the entire post here.