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This weekend, the infamous Barkley Marathons takes place in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. Consisting of five 20-mile loops through the park’s steep, bramble-filled woods, the Barkley is known as one of the hardest 100-mile races in the country (if not the hardest).
The field is stacked this year, with returning competitors Gary Robbins and John Kelly, who both fell off pace midway through the fifth lap last year, and Jamil Coury, who finished three laps.
Other notable entrants include first-time Barkley competitors Michael Wardian, of Washington D.C., well known for his prolific race schedule and recent record-setting run at the World Marathon Challenge, and Brandon Stapanowich, of Colorado Springs, who set a new self-supported FKT on the Colorado Trail last year.
Filmmaker Ethan Newberry (also known as The Ginger Runner) has been following along with Gary Robbins as he prepares for this year’s Barkley. A full film with be released after the race.