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The latest from the 2017 Barkley Marathons

Updates from the 2017 Barkley Marathons, one of the world's toughest trail races, from Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee.

Barkley Marathons

This page will be updated throughout Sunday. Newest information presented near the bottom of this page.

Gary Robbins and John Kelly are, as of Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. EDT, on loop three of the Barkley Marathons. The two arrived at camp, located in Frozen Head State Park, Tenn. late Saturday night completing the second of five loops in 20:18:52. Above are a selection of photos from the first and second loops of the race.

The two ran through the night and, if they maintain pace, should arrive back at camp sometime Sunday afternoon. Kelly and Robbins are the two most likely candidates to finish, if they make it that far. Only 14 people have finished the race since 1986. The ultramarathon is considered one of the toughest trail races in the world as runners climb the equivalent of Mount Everest, twice.

Robbins and Kelly finish loop two

Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell attempts to play “Taps” to honour a DNF

Runners have 12 hours to complete each of the 20-mile loops. Canadian Running is on site and will continue to provide updates, service in the park permitting.

UPDATE (10:50 a.m. EDT): Robbins and Kelly complete lap three.

UPDATE (2 p.m. EDT): No other runners besides Robbins or Kelly made it onto loop four within the 36-hour cutoff. Four runners (see below) finished the “fun run,” completing three loops in less than 40 hours, but were not permitted to begin loop four as they were over the 36-hour mark.

UPDATE (3:15 p.m. EDT): Robbins and Kelly reach Rat Jaw, a brutal stretch on the course covered in thorns which climbs 300m over the span of 800m under power lines. See an updated gallery of photos here.

UPDATE: (12:08 a.m. EDT Monday): Robbins and Kelly complete loop four. They have 13:34 to complete the fifth and final loop. However, unlike the previous four loops, they will run in opposite directions.

UPDATE: (9:15 a.m. EDT Monday): There are four hours and 27 minutes remaining until the cutoff to complete the fifth and final loop.

UPDATE: (12 noon EDT Monday): Less than two hours remain until the time cutoff at 1:42 p.m. EDT.

UPDATE: (1:25 p.m. EDT): John Kelly becomes the 15th finisher of the Barkley Marathons winning in 59:30. Full story. (Gary Robbins, according to a source at the park, finished six seconds outside of the 60-hour time limit.)

Related Barkley Marathons coverage

Pre-race interview with Robbins
Pre-race photos
Photos from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary
Barkley Marathons historical timeline
Here’s how Gary Robbins fuelled between laps at the Barkley Marathons
Mike Wardian fails to complete a loop of the Barkley Marathons under time limit
See photos from the end of loop three and at a major checkpoint of loop four

How to follow Canadian Running at the Barkley Marathons


2017 Barkley Marathons coverage brought to you by Salomon.