Jasmin Paris broke onto the running scene a month ago when she won Britain’s 268-mile (429K) Montane Spine Race in 83 hours, 12 minutes, making history as the first woman ever to win the gruelling winter ultra and smashing the men’s and women’s course records in the process.
Paris caught the attention of many, including Laz Lake, the race director of the Barkley Marathons. The 2018 Barkley saw zero finishers after Canadian Gary Robbins didn’t complete the race for a third year in a row.
According to a Thursday press release, Lake has suggested that Paris could potentially become the first-ever woman to finish the upcoming Barkley Marathons. The race, which typically takes place in the last week of March or first week of April, is one of the most difficult trail races in the world. The Barkley gives a small field of runners 60 hours to try and finish five 20-mile loops through mountainous and challenging terrain, while using their orienteering skills to navigate the course, which is not marked. In more than 30 years, just 15 people have finished the race.
Lake told the Bad Boy Running Podcast, “I’m excited about this woman who won The Spine. I was so excited I went back and looked through all the applications that had been sent in for the Barkley and there was another Jasmin but it wasn’t her.”
Lake continues to say that he believes Paris has the running chops to be the first-ever female Barkley finisher. “It seems like [Jasmin] would have a lot of the different things you need. When a woman finishes it, it’s not going to be a woman who finishes to prove a woman can finish it. It will be to prove she can finish it. You need to be in it for yourself.”
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