The Barkley 100, or “The Race That Eats Its Young”, is a brutal 100 mile race. There are no trails, you are only given a map and a compass. It’s not a race against the other competitors or against time – It’s a race made to see how far you can push yourself. As of today only 15 runners have ever finished.
Following is an excerpt from Wikipedia about how the idea for the race came to fruition:
“The Barkley course was designed by Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell. His idea for the race was inspired upon hearing about the 1977 escape of James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr, from nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. Ray covered only 8 miles (13 km) after running 55 hours in the woods. Cantrell said to himself, “I could do at least 100 miles”, mocking Ray’s low mileage. Thus, the Barkley Marathons was born.”