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Think You're Hard? Prove it.

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  • #16
    I'm hoping that they stick with their current selection methods and continue to pick people from all walks of life. If the application process only involved proving that you're the best candidate to complete the course, they could fill the race full of Navy Seals and Delta operators and who knows... maybe Kenyan distance runners, and probably have a higher success rate. Laz seems to want people to prove that they have enough heart to deserve to start, not that they're going to complete it.

    You hit on something important with the sleep deprivation part of it. I'm no ultra runner but I've done my share of forced marches and multi-day crucible-style events, and I understand how much harder everything gets after that first 24 hours when your body and mind want to break. I'm wondering if being able to stay level-headed past hour 30 is as much of, or greater of an advantage than simply being in top physical shape. rich99 After reading some of your TR's, I'd say you have more of a chance than you give yourself credit for. Don't they say that making it through the first three laps is considered a successful attempt?
    “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs


    • #17
      Finishing three loops is a Fun Run.


      • #18
        I think Navy Seals and Delta operators would fail horribly. They're way too heavy for this and they need this size for their job. I'm not even sure they can route find properly, they must rely on GPS or precise compass navigation which is not the kind that is effective here. Kenyan distance runners would have no chance either, they can only be good on flat roads, not too steep. Hard Rock contestants would be good for this race too, Barkley is actually one of the qualifiers for Hard Rock 100, with other crazy races. Still they would need to know how to orient very well. Kilian Jornet, a mountain running legend, came and broke the record twice having fun and taking pictures. I'm not sure he would be able to finish Barkley, because of all the whacking. The ones that finish Barkley are very special people and that's why I'd like to see an easier entry for others, it will never become a spartan race.

        I know the sleep part could give me an advantage, 15 years of practice with very bad sleep habits I'm just not at the level for Barkley right now and need more experience with 100 milers. I also don't know how they manage to find the route. If it's memorizing the shared map, I have no chance, I don't have any trail memory and need a map in hand. I think Jan and Cory have all it takes. Jan is much faster than be btw, I can't get close to any of his shorter records.


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not sure you're familiar with our spec-ops types, but OK. I'll leave it at that.

        • rich99
          rich99 commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not too familiar, but aren't the seals and delta ops some of the toughest ones? They can't be skinny, they need to be able to carry gear, fight and extract injured. I've seen a lot of Seals participate in endurance event and although very impressive, they were far from elite. Army Rangers wouldn't do too bad. They are required to have a good basic speed and operate in mountains, sleep deprived and with little food. Although I don't think they're specialized in training for ultras and this takes full time training. If one of them does ultra mountain running, that's their hobby. I didn't search for this, but other than David Goggins, I've never heard of any Spec Op win any ultra race.

      • #19
        Thanks for this post and notice that film was available on Netflix. It was very entertaining.


        • #20

          In this year's running of the Barkley Marathons, a Canuck (Gary Robbins) came very close to completing the grueling event (in the allotted time of 60 hours) but made an error in the last few minutes.

          Unfortunately, at hour 59:40 I made a critical error in judgment. Through the complexity of the fog that had set in, I couldn't see more than five feet in front of me, and the complete sleep deprivation I was under, I chose the wrong trail.

          When I recognized my error I knew that I didn't have time to correct that error, turn around, and still make the gate on the proper route in under the prescribed 60 hours. I made a choice on a muddy brain that I kind of regret. I took a bearing and shot down the mountain, just trying to get to the gate in under 60 hours.

          In the end, I collapsed at the gate in 60 hours and six seconds and knew immediately that I would not be a finisher of the race — not only was I over time but I came to the finish from the wrong direction.
          You can listen to the interview or read the transcript here:

          This course is known to be longer than a marathon per lap. It's five laps, so the distance is anywhere from, it's believed to be anywhere from 120 plus miles, so well over 200 kilometers long.

          You have 60 hours to get to the finish line. There are 67 thousand feet of climbing and descent, which is base sea level to the top of Everest and back twice and there's no flagging and the majority of it is off trail bushwhacking.

          They hide books in the forest and you pull a page out of the book that correlates with your bib number to prove that you've gone the right direction on the course.
          ​Will he return a third time?

          I don't know about next year we're… my wife and I've had plenty of discussion and while we've basically said is we will 100 percent go back. But what I really want to do right now is take the one or two months necessary to get back to being 100 percent and feel like I'm fully recovered. And sound of mind before I make any rash judgements.​
          ​Whatever he decides to do next, I wish him luck. Just qualifying for the event is impressive.
          Looking for Views!


          • FlyFishingandBeer
            FlyFishingandBeer commented
            Editing a comment
            6 seconds over. That's a tough one.

          • bfinan0
            bfinan0 commented
            Editing a comment
            6 seconds over and 2 miles short - even if he made it to the finish line slightly faster, he still 'finished' the wrong course, so who knows what Lazarus would have done...