There's no race quite like the Barkley Marathons
Excitement, drama, courage - and rumblings of discontent - marked a record year for the world's most infamous race
Who else found themselves drawn in and then transfixed by the Barkley Marathons last week? I think it probably helps if you’ve seen the film about the race, as it might be hard to visualise it otherwise, since the only actual official coverage comes from the Twitter feed of a guy called Keith. He confused matters even further at the end of the first of five 20-mile loops by referring to the runners by made-up nicknames, rather than their actual names. So we had “smiling bearded guy”, “nondescript guy”, “small European woman” and “the other guy”.
The ultra running nerds of Twitter, me included, were soon neck deep in a game of trying to work out who was who. A few other people, including a few photographers out on the course, chipped in with clues, turning the whole spectacle into more of a game than simply watching a race unfold. This wasn’t like following any normal race.