Crazy to see this project finally go public after years of documenting, editing, scoring & touring. We hope you enjoy & take something from it, whether you’re a runner or not.
— Ethan Newberry (@TheGingerRunner) May 31, 2018
After touring it around the country, Ethan Newberry’s film Where Dreams Go To Die, his documentary about Gary Robbins’ 2016 and 2017 attempts to conquer the infamous Barkley Marathons, is now available on YouTube.
Held every year in March, the Barkley Marathons consist of five runs of a 20-mile loop in Frozen Head State Park, near Wartburg, Tennessee (though most believe it is actually much longer than 100 miles). Some loops are run clockwise, and some counter-clockwise. It has no clear criteria to qualifying, no fixed start time, and racers must use orienteering skills on the course, since GPS are not allowed. There are no aid stations (though water is available at certain checkpoints), and racers must prove they completed each loop correctly by tearing a page from each of five books hidden strategically along the course. Pages are checked by the race’s eccentric director, Lazarus Lake, at the completion of each loop. In its 33-year history, only 15 people have ever finished successfully in the race’s strict 60-hour time limit.
The Barkley’s famous books are mostly paperbacks with oddly relevant titles by obscure authors, such as this year’s Six Seconds–the amount of time by which Canada’s Gary Robbins missed the 60-hour cutoff in the 2017 race.