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Barkley Marathons, Tennessee USA

The Barkley Marathons is an ultramarathon trail race held annually in Tennessee in which participants attempt to complete a challenging 100-mile (160 km) course within a 60-hour time limit.

The race originated in 1986 when Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell created the event as a response to James Earl Ray's prison escape attempt from nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. The race was named after Ray's escapee mate, James Barkley

The race was designed to be a grueling test of endurance and navigation skills. The inaugural race attracted just a handful of participants, and since then, it has grown into one of the world's most challenging ultramarathons.

The course for the Barkley Marathons in Frozen Head State Park is notoriously challenging, covering approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) of rugged, mountainous terrain. The route consists of five unmarked loops through thick forests, steep inclines, treacherous descents, and unpredictable weather conditions. Competitors are required navigate through dense vegetation, creek crossings, rocky trails, and off-trail sections, encountering checkpoints scattered throughout the course. The route is deliberately designed to be confusing, with participants relying on map and compass navigation skills to find their way.

The Barkley Marathons has gained further notoriety through documentaries and media coverage, cementing its reputation as an extreme endurance event with a rich and storied history.

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