Since 1986, in Frozen Head State Park in the state of Tennessee, runners from all around the world have tried to complete what is regarded as one of the toughest 100 mile races, if not the toughest, in the world. It’s the brain child of Gary Cantrell “Lazurus Lake”, or just Laz, as the trail running community affectionately refer to him.
The race is known as the Barkley Marathons. Runners are required to complete 5 laps of 20 miles, unaided by modern technology or course markers, you are guided by a map and a compass. That’s it! This is not your normal trail ultra marathon. During your laps you are required to find books and from these books you must tear out the page number matching your race bib number. There maybe 10-20 books per lap. On completion of your lap, within the specified time, you need to hand over your pages. If you have all of them you get to go out and do it all again with a new race number. If fast enough, and physically and mentally capable enough, you may get to do this 5 times, with a few twists. In its 34 year history (as of 2019) as few as 15 have completed all 5 laps, many don’t finish the first.
The all Australian event named Unabreakable, first held in 2021, was inspired by the Barkley Marathons. While it follows many of the Barkley Marathons concepts it is a weekend of trail running with a difference.
Make no mistake, this is an event where something must give. So you say, “Tell me all about it”…. yeah right that’s not happening. You have to try it to find out!
Where is it going to be held?
In the Marysville region
How many laps will it be?
For the successful runners – 5, for you – ?
How long is each lap?
What are the time cutoffs per lap?
Between 8 – 12 hours. Not enough for mere mortals!
Are there any entry requirements?
Yes, but not what you think. It’s not meant to exclude anyone for any specific reason, but it might exclude you for reasons you can think of, but that we can’t.
So that’s a bit of an introduction and we are extremely grateful to have the blessing of Lazurus Lake to be able to create an event in Australia inspired by the world renown Barkley Marathons.
Stay tuned for more information. Though to be honest, you’ll learn all you need to know in the hours before you get to start the journey.
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