Late last month, Canadian Running shared some of the beastly workouts that Gary Robbins is doing ahead of the 2017 Barkley Marathons. He posts all of his workouts on Strava, which allows fans to get a glimpse of his Barkley buildup.

Now, the North Vancouver-based trail runner has gone a step further posting a training video ahead of the ultramarathon. Robbins will run the famous Barkley Marathons, a 100- to 120-mile (160-190K) trail race (the exact race distance is unclear as the course changes annually) in the thick brush of Frozen Head State Park, Tenn., in three weeks. (For those interested, Canadian Running will be on site for the Barkley Marathons.)

“I have had a very successful winter season with consistent training via predominantly backcountry ski touring,” he wrote on his blog on Sunday.

RELATED: Gary Robbins won’t settle for anything less than a finish at the Barkley Marathons.

He says that he has two more “high volume” weeks of training before he tapers for Barkley, which consists of completing five approximately 20-mile loops in less than 60 hours. The event is capped at 40 runners per year; only 14 have ever completed the Barkley Marathons dating back to 1986. A major component of the race is navigation as the course is not marked and runners must use a compass and map to determine an appropriate path. Robbins made it to loop five in 2016 but dropped out after getting lost.

If he finishes, he would become the first Canadian to do so in the event’s history.

Much of the footage in the featured training video comes from the BCMC Trail at Grouse Mountain, the location of choice when it comes to elevation gains. For example, in the two weeks leading up to Feb. 27-March 5, Robbins conquered 6,400m and 9,450m of elevation, split, over the course of 14 days. Metro Vancouver has received an unseasonal amount of snowfall this winter adding an extra element to his training.

Expect additional training videos to be released in the coming weeks as Robbins trains to finish one of the hardest ultras in the world.

He begins and finishes each of his workouts at a gate, symbolic as it is reminiscent of the start/finish line of the Barkley Marathons. “I never touch it to finish off a training day,” he says.


1 Comment

  • ed kroeger says:

    To Gary Robbins , I’m rootin’ for ya !!! May the necessary ‘ forces be with you ‘ . I admired your pre-race interview
    from Nanaimo , B.C. . Good & very uplifting !!
    ex ultrarunner , Ed K.

Leave a Reply