Zero Runners Finish Tennessee Ultra

First time since 2007

Mar 31, 2015
Outside Magazine
Zero Runners Finish Tennessee Ultra

Participant Jamil Coury tweeted this photo of the race course on Tuesday, saying, "The Barkley wins but I'll be back."    Jamil Courry/Twitter

None of the 40 competitors who entered the 100-mile Barkley Marathons this past weekend finished the race.

The race requires entrants to complete five laps around a 20-mile loop in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, according to Bloomberg. When the 60-hour time limit passed on Monday, not a single participant had finished.

“I was pleased with the outcome,” the event’s creator, Gary Cantrell, told Bloomberg. “It’s a competition between the humans and the mountains. The mountains won.”

In 30 years, just 14 of approximately 1,100 runners have completed the race, leading many to label the Barkley as the world’s hardest race. This year’s event marked the first time since 2007 that the race had no finishers, and no woman has ever completed the event.

Nicki Rehn, a 40-year-old Australian woman, was able to complete 1.5 laps before giving up. 

“You don’t come here to be victorious. You come here to be humiliated,” Rehn told Bloomberg. “It’s lonely out there. It’s eerie. You have to be comfortable being inside your own head. Everyone comes back pretty broken. That’s the goal.”