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Barkely Marathons

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I see they are now down to 5 so Twitter is saying.

All the women have DNF'ed and clearly most of the men.

https://runningmagazine.ca/trail-running/barkley-marathons-update-its-down-to-six/

A woman has NEVER finished.  I can't believe some endurance female junkie hasn't chased the title of being the first woman ever.

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8 minutes ago, Peter said:

A woman has NEVER finished.  I can't believe some endurance female junkie hasn't chased the title of being the first woman ever.

They've tried. But it's that hard... 

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21 minutes ago, Peter said:

A woman has NEVER finished.  I can't believe some endurance female junkie hasn't chased the title of being the first woman ever.

There's usually only 1 male finishes it, if that. I think 3 is the record. It would take a special woman to get through. Maybe Ashley Horner could give it a go.

Edited by Ex-Hasbeen
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They said the same about everest.  

then a japanese woman (NFI her name) did it.

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9 hours ago, Peter said:

A woman has NEVER finished.  I can't believe some endurance female junkie hasn't chased the title of being the first woman ever.

Donu know much about the event? 

It's not that easy. How many men have finished? About 14 in over a thousand. Men. 

How many women have started? Some have chased it. It's not like an ironman. 

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12 minutes ago, Turts said:

Donu know much about the event? 

It's not that easy. How many men have finished? About 14 in over a thousand. Men. 

How many women have started? Some have chased it. It's not like an ironman. 

They only have 40 starters each year. 

So maybe 600 starters all up. 

The doco is on Netflix.  Probably YouTube too. 

Worth watching. 

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7 minutes ago, Peter said:

They only have 40 starters each year. 

So maybe 600 starters all up. 

The doco is on Netflix.  Probably YouTube too. 

Worth watching. 

Uhh. Maybe you should watch it? 

Or read this .

Over a thousand starters so far. But I was wrong. 15 finishers. Not 14. My mistake. 

https://www.runnersworld.com/races-places/a26750827/barkley-marathons-faq/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barkley_Marathons

Eta. I've watched pretty much everything on this race.  

Edited by Turts

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1 hour ago, Turts said:

Uhh. Maybe you should watch it? 

Or read this .

Over a thousand starters so far. But I was wrong. 15 finishers. Not 14. My mistake. 

https://www.runnersworld.com/races-places/a26750827/barkley-marathons-faq/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barkley_Marathons

Eta. I've watched pretty much everything on this race.  

I watched it a few years ago.  Forgot fine details. Other than women aren’t good enough to finish it so it seems. 

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8 minutes ago, Peter said:

I watched it a few years ago.  Forgot fine details. Other than women aren’t good enough to finish it so it seems. 

And neither are 99% of men. 

By pure numbers alone, one in 70 men have finished. 

Men with long careers in ultras, through hikes and AT/PCT achievements have fallen short. Women have a much shorter career in ultra (newer to the sport in a significant way) and so less base and experience. 

So my earlier question stands. How many women have started? 

 

 

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This is good from last year. 

GR is a highly accomplished athlete

 

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1 hour ago, Turts said:

This is good from last year. 

GR is a highly accomplished athlete

 

Excellent film, very harrowing.

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9 hours ago, Turts said:

So my earlier question stands. How many women have started? 

 

 

You claimed to be the expert not me. 

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

You claimed to be the expert not me. 

Never claimed to be an expert. Just watched and read a lot about it. 

But have never read or seen anything that says the total number of female starters to date. 

You started thus thread that a woman should just have a crack. 

I don't know how many actually have. 

Id like to see Courtney de Walter (so?) Have a crack. 

She nearly won one of Laz's other races, Last Man Standing. In that one, you don't know how long the race will last. Just keep cutting laps until everyone else pulls out. She was second essentially. 

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There were 9 last year, which is more than normal, but last year was also a shocker. No-one finished.

There have been some very well credentialed women try, but none successful yet. I may eventually happen, but it won't be easy.

If it was, it wouldn't be worth doing. :)

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15 minutes ago, Turts said:

Never claimed to be an expert. Just watched and read a lot about it. 

But have never read or seen anything that says the total number of female starters to date. 

You started thus thread that a woman should just have a crack. 

I don't know how many actually have. 

Id like to see Courtney de Walter (so?) Have a crack. 

She nearly won one of Laz's other races, Last Man Standing. In that one, you don't know how long the race will last. Just keep cutting laps until everyone else pulls out. She was second essentially. 

Courtney Dauwalter is an amazing runner. I don't know how she runs in those shorts though!

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31 minutes ago, FatPom said:

Courtney Dauwalter is an amazing runner. I don't know how she runs in those shorts though!

I know, right! Jamil Courey runs in board shorts. 

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It's inevitable that Barkley will see a woman finish at some point.

Ultra marathon has changed significantly over the last decade; higher female participation, more competitive female fields, growing professionalism, more races beyond 100 miles (with 200 milers in particular gaining popularity in the US). All factors which will eventually conspire to eventually see a woman at the gate.

The difficulty with Barkley is that it takes much more than being an incredibly tough and talented runner. Insufficient navigation skills would weed out plenty of otherwise potential finishers (and starters), both male and female.

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Thanks Paul.  Its why I said the below in the very first post.

There is always a first. A women will finish it one day.

On 01/04/2019 at 10:34 AM, Peter said:

A woman has NEVER finished.  I can't believe some endurance female junkie hasn't chased the title of being the first woman ever.

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For example

1865 First Man to climb the Matterhorn.
1895 Annie Smith Peck is the first woman to climb the Matterhorn.
Guessing they said a woman would never do it.

1875 Mathew webb was the first man to swim the English Channel.
1926 Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel.
Guessing they said a woman would never do it.

I'm surprised Turts can't believe a woman will finish it one day.

I fully believe a woman will finish it.

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Is it the lack of sleep that makes it hard or the actual distance/time factor? 

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8 minutes ago, Peter said:

For example

1865 First Man to climb the Matterhorn.
1895 Annie Smith Peck is the first woman to climb the Matterhorn.
Guessing they said a woman would never do it.

1875 Mathew webb was the first man to swim the English Channel.
1926 Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel.
Guessing they said a woman would never do it.

I'm surprised Turts can't believe a woman will finish it one day.

I fully believe a woman will finish it.

Women aren't far off being on a par with men for ultra distance races.

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49 minutes ago, Peter said:

I'm surprised Turts can't believe a woman will finish it one day.

I fully believe a woman will finish it.

I never said that. 

A woman will finish it eventually. 

Don't put words in my mouth. 

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30 minutes ago, zed said:

Is it the lack of sleep that makes it hard or the actual distance/time factor? 

It's not the distance. It's "only" 100 miles. That's nothing unusual.

It's the terrain and the lack of trail. Steep, rough, loose footing, overgrown vegetation.....all sorts of misery. Also a lack of course marking.

Low competitor numbers (and the devious tricks from RD Laz) make it difficult or impossible to follow or team up with other runners. One year he had two runners come make their final loop and he sent them to run the final loop in opposite directions. Neither would have known that at the time.

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41 minutes ago, zed said:

Women aren't far off being on a par with men for ultra distance races.

That's a commonly perpetuated fallacy.

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1 hour ago, Paul Every said:

That's a commonly perpetuated fallacy.

I thought it might be :)

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1 hour ago, Paul Every said:

That's a commonly perpetuated fallacy.

How about marathon swimming? I get the perception that women are up there with the men at the pointy end of the race. Or is that just the Australian media slant on marathon swimming given we have had so many good long distance women swimmers.

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I did think Chrissie Wellington was closing the gap though, Challenge Roth she was 2mins off 3rd overall and 3 mins slower on the run than Andreas Raelart. 

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38 minutes ago, flathead said:

How about marathon swimming? I get the perception that women are up there with the men at the pointy end of the race. Or is that just the Australian media slant on marathon swimming given we have had so many good long distance women swimmers.

I'll leave it to someone who knows more about marathon swimming than me to answer with any certainty.

Marathon swimming performances are widely variable depending on conditions, so it's difficult to compare solo swims.

A woman holds the Catalina Channel record and women also have a strong performance history in the Manhattan swim.

 

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43 minutes ago, zed said:

I did think Chrissie Wellington was closing the gap though, Challenge Roth she was 2mins off 3rd overall and 3 mins slower on the run than Andreas Raelart. 

Any women's record effectively "closes the gap". Admittedly some performances do so more noticeably, or even more strikingly, than others.

However, there's a significant difference between closing and eliminating.

As so often happens when an athlete (male of female) makes a quantum improvement in a record, it takes some time for it to be broken again.

For example, Paula Radcliffe's still current marathon WR of 2:15 from 2003 brought the woman's record to within 10 minutes of the men's, an unprecedentedly narrow margin. Since then, the men's WR has been broken 7 times and the margin has "normalised".

Chrissie's Roth performance is similar.

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7 hours ago, Turts said:

I know, right! Jamil Courey runs in board shorts. 

I like CD, she comes across as very funny in films.   I'm a big fan of Pixie Ninja though, mainly because like Zach Miller, she just seems to run flat out, everywhere!

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3 hours ago, Paul Every said:

It's not the distance. It's "only" 100 miles. That's nothing unusual.

It's the terrain and the lack of trail. Steep, rough, loose footing, overgrown vegetation.....all sorts of misery. Also a lack of course marking.

Low competitor numbers (and the devious tricks from RD Laz) make it difficult or impossible to follow or team up with other runners. One year he had two runners come make their final loop and he sent them to run the final loop in opposite directions. Neither would have known that at the time.

I think that's the standard rule now isn't it?

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I had heard about this many times, but had never looked at the details. All I can say is, that looks insane. 60,000 feet of climbing over 5 laps. GET.OUT.

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4 hours ago, Paul Every said:

It's not the distance. It's "only" 100 miles. That's nothing unusual.

It's the terrain and the lack of trail. Steep, rough, loose footing, overgrown vegetation.....all sorts of misery. Also a lack of course marking.

Low competitor numbers (and the devious tricks from RD Laz) make it difficult or impossible to follow or team up with other runners. One year he had two runners come make their final loop and he sent them to run the final loop in opposite directions. Neither would have known that at the time.

Plus it changes every year. 

Switch loop directions, navigation, new loops in the dark, not on trail, insanely steep climbs, vegetation, rain, mud, snow. All combine to be an actual sufferfest. 

60hr time limit seems ok but it's not a running race. It's climbing, crawling, suffering, navigation etc. 

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1 hour ago, FatPom said:

I think that's the standard rule now isn't it?

Yep. If 2 come in for the last lap, first in gets to choosebthe direction and second goes the other way. 

So in the 2018 vid I posted, that's what happened to Gary. He got lost on the final loop and missed it  

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57 minutes ago, Katz said:

I had heard about this many times, but had never looked at the details. All I can say is, that looks insane. 60,000 feet of climbing over 5 laps. GET.OUT.

You're getting into a pretty wild 50 km race if it has 10 000ft of climbing. The thought of doubling that elevation/mile, then "running" it three times over is ludicrous.

I find it difficult to grasp just how difficult this race is, even though I first read about it 30 years ago when some runners first finished the 50 mile.

I still remember one runner recounting one interminable climb where instead in measuring their pace in miles per hour, he said he was reduced to hours per mile. :cry: 

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1 hour ago, FatPom said:

I think that's the standard rule now isn't it?

Assuming more than one runner finishes loop 4. And are prepared to head out for number 5.

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I don’t get why you couldn’t go there and train on sections he always sends people on. For example down the thorn section to the prison. 

If you really wanted to nail it you could research and do sections over and over. 

It’s  what people do for the run leg at Coast to Coast.  It’s not marked or on trails. Just a start, a top checkpoint and then a finish. 

Edited by Peter

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I just watched the netflix doco. 

 

Looks crap. Hard, nasty, ugly. I have no desire whatsoever to walk around in the bush with wet feet destroying my body on thorns. Impressive for those who completed it, though I feel that they could probably choose a stronger field out of the hundreds of entries. Seems a lot of people who are accepted have no intention of actually finishing it. 

I'm impressed but certainly not inspired! 

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5 hours ago, Turts said:

I never said that. 

A woman will finish it eventually. 

Don't put words in my mouth. 

It's very obvious who said what, Peter is just (fairly effectively) stirring!  

and honestly I'm not sure its worth bothering with if you have that kind of talent and are a woman, or a man for that matter :D

Edited by dazaau

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

I don’t get why you couldn’t go there and train on sections he always sends people on. For example down the thorn section to the prison. 

If you really wanted to nail it you could research and do sections over and over. 

It’s  what people do for the run leg at Coast to Coast.  It’s not marked or on trails. Just a start, a top checkpoint and then a finish. 

I think familiarity with the course would certainly be beneficial. It generally seems to be so in long ultras and the race has seen a couple of repeat finishers. I don't know how many finishers have done so on debut, though I suspect very few.

Coast to Coast is a lot more accessible for the average competitor. Only a couple of hours drive from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass, you could do the run and be home that afternoon.

Barkley would probably require flying in for most competitors, driving to Frozen Head and setting up camp for at least a week, even to just repeat a couple of sections. I'm not sure how accessible some parts of the course are. Doing "sections over and over" may require out-and-back runs, each filling much of the daylight hours of consecutive days.

I doubt you could do a recci earlier in the year of the race as it's staged in early spring. Possibly the previous autumn would be possible, but summer could be hazardous. Too many competitors get lost in the first 2 miles.

Edited by Paul Every
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32 minutes ago, dazaau said:

Looks crap. Hard, nasty, ugly. I have no desire whatsoever to walk around in the bush with wet feet destroying my body on thorns. Impressive for those who completed it, though I feel that they could probably choose a stronger field out of the hundreds of entries. Seems a lot of people who are accepted have no intention of actually finishing it.

I like that the idea that every year, Laz accepts one entry that has no business being there. :devil2:

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34 minutes ago, dazaau said:

and honestly I'm not sure its worth bothering with if you have that kind of talent and are a woman, or a man for that matter :D

There's certainly plenty of top ultra runners who won't go near the race.

Whether that be how unrunnable the course is, the timing of the race, the navigation required, the lack of trails, or the eccentricity and unpredictability of Laz as RD, or simply how brutal the event is. Who knows? Probably plenty of other reasons as well.

It's a big investment for a probable DNF, no matter how good you are.

It is very much a fringe race in a fringe sport.

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8 minutes ago, Paul Every said:

I like that the idea that every year, Laz accepts one entry that has no business being there. :devil2:

@Bored@work would get a start then. 

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