The Barkley Marathons

2

Comments

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    timsroot said:

    IronMike said:
    OK, was bored today and came up with some ideas.

    ...with the likes of warrior dash, tough mudder, spartan race, etc. seeming to continue in popularity.

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    IronMike said:
    Exactly what I was thinking.

    I'd be down for something like that. Hell, the conference room right now is overlooking a place that could possibly be a decent venue for such an event.

    For better or worse, I'm sitting just north of Houston, so said body of water is currently a bit swollen, and it's raining, so it's continuing to swell.

    IronMike
  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    That looks like FUN! I'd even wear rubber just to protect from the rocks.

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    edited April 2016

    "Find the finish line"

    Swim buoy to buoy, read the clue on the buoy to try and find the finish line.

    Examples:
    1) at the start, RD tells everyone they'll be swimming between 5 and 7 kilometers (for example);
    2) at a buoy, it says "swim toward the large building to the west for one kilometer then turn left";
    3) at a purposefully put wrong buoy: "Uh-oh, you missed the finish line by 1K. Turn back toward the start and swim toward the island, then look to the west."

    These are just examples, but I thought it might be fun.

    JenAdpm50

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • TMcQueenTMcQueen Belton, TXMember

    @FlowSwimmers, I love your idea of the multi-day, self-supported, staged circumnavigation swim with camping around Flathead Lake! I would bring my kayaker/husband with me, he would love this, too! I would have to do it next year, though, as I've already rationed out all of my vacation days for this year.

    mjstaplesFlowSwimmersJenA
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber

    @JenA .. I just had an idea... much smaller venue but in Aquatic Park,( of course) using the buoys and the boats as clues...

    rosemarymintJenAIronMike

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMem​ber

    Just finished watching the movie (rented from iTunes) on the Barkley Marathons last night: An amazing adventure!

    What about multi-day swim with teams of two people (swimmer-kayaker) who could trade off as they see fit and must carry their own gear...could also be solo swimmers with a kayaker.

    No gimmics: swim a predetermined course, camp (sleep/rest) where you can, and swim during the day and/or night as you please and as your "team" is able.

    I think this is very doable in some form on the 80-mile Flathead Lake Marine Trail System.

    @suziedods @evmo @TMcQueen @IronMike @JenA @emkhowley @JSwim @mjstaples @ssthomas @Spacemanspiff @KarenT

    mjstaplesIronMikeKate_AlexandersuziedodsJenAgregocSpacemanspiffdpm50
  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember

    @FlowSwimmers I am so down for this even if I have to do it "solo" ;)

    FlowSwimmerssuziedods
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber

    Just don't make around Boston or the end of July... I hate camping but this sounds like a frickin awesome thing to do. Anyone have a good air mattress? Doubles as a float if you're tired...

    FlowSwimmers

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    @FlowSwimmers: I really love your ideas and the location... Heck, I'd even help organize if you wanted a hand! I can't participate this year, though.

    PS. Is anyone else thinking something along the lines of: if my partner can sleep in a canoe.... :-)

    mjstaplesFlowSwimmersIronMike
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    @suziedods, why not Boston?!? I can see this as a great adventure swim event from island to island in the harbor.

    FlowSwimmersrosemarymintdpm50
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member

    gregoc said:
    @suziedods, why not Boston?!? I can see this as a great adventure swim event from island to island in the harbor.

    I think that comment was a request for any potential event to not conflict with BLS

    gregocFlowSwimmerssuziedods

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber

    @gregoc .. What I meant was , do not make it around the same time as BLS, I got in the lottery and do want to swim BLS but can't pull of being in Montana and BLS at the same time...

    FlowSwimmersJenAgregoc

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    I love you people, but I don't understand you. Does NO ONE want to do this in the Caribbean instead??? If we're thinking big, think REALLY BIG AND WARM!!!
    Signed,
    Your Resident Cold Water Weenie and Not Ashamed of it!

    suziedodsIronMikeflystormsswimdailytortuga
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 2016

    SydneD said: I love you people, but I don't understand you. Does NO ONE want to do this in the Caribbean instead???

    Julian Jamison's quote from the Barkley film seems apropos here....


    I think most people would be better off with more pain in their lives, honestly. I think that, if nothing else, they would appreciate the pain-free times more. But I think also there's this self-induced aspect of, You've struggled, you've overcome, you've gotten through, then you're confident and you both enjoy the rest of your life more, but also you feel like you can do things and you take on challenges that you wouldn't otherwise try, and you get to points that you wouldn't otherwise reach.


    :)

    rlmwendyv34AnthonyMcCarleymjstaplesJenASydneDFlowSwimmerssuziedodsIronMikegregocand 5 others.
  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    Totally agree with the sentiment of the quote, but I think it's still damn painful and a hell of a testing yourself to swim a zillion miles in warm water. Sometimes, true confession, I think the open water community acts like it's not badass enough to swim in warmer water and I don't buy it.

    For example, Chloe McCardel's Bahamas swim anyone??

    "Unlike the cold water swimming that Chloë experienced when undertaking any of her 7 crossings of the English Channel, the warmer waters of Caribbean will diminish the risk of hypothermia, but Chloë will be exposed to heat stress, including dehydration, sharks, possible stinging jelly fish and sunburn."

    Personally, I'd love a multi-stage swim in salt water, dealing with brutal chafe, swollen salt lips, and all of the other nonsense that would come with it. :)

    suziedodsdpm50Nikki
  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    And I'd happily tow my own crap! ;)

    suziedods
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    FlowSwimmers said:
    What about multi-day swim with teams of two people (swimmer-kayaker) who could trade off as they see fit and must carry their own gear...could also be solo swimmers with a kayaker.

    No gimmics: swim a predetermined course, camp (sleep/rest) where you can, and swim during the day and/or night as you please and as your "team" is able.

    I think this is very doable in some form on the 80-mile Flathead Lake Marine Trail System.

    I am completely down with this. Let me know when the first planning session is.

    FlowSwimmerssuziedodsChrisgreene

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    edited May 2016

    I think most people would be better off with more pain in their lives,

    I once took a trip to Greece w my mom ( www.margaritastudios.com). On the leg from Detroit to Amsterdam, I asked her if she wanted the aisle or the middle. She said, "I'm fine with the middle, it's good sometimes to be a little uncomfortable, it makes you appreciate the comforts we have".
    Gotta love Mom.
    One of the things I say in my Intro to Bay swim sessions is "Embrace the cold, ( I think I stole that from @bruck ) and that we are so protected in our daily lives that it's good to step outside and actually FEEL the cold ( or the heat for that matter). Being outside puts us closer in touch with the reality of tides, wind, sun, cold,fog,rain.. uhmm, weather. Which is a good thing.
    BTW I soo want to swim in Flathead.

    rosemarymintFlowSwimmers

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • NikkiNikki Member

    I whole heartedly agree with @SydneD. Love me some water swims! And ove that this forum is a place where cold water weenies (nice official title @SydneD) can co-exist with the cold water brethren

    rosemarymintSydneD
  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    Nikki and @SydneD, I'm with you ladies. Make it hot. Damn hot. I'll be there in a minute. Under about 72 and I'm a total weenie and am okay with it. I'll live vicariously through the cold water peeps.

    SydneD
  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    I finally had a chance to watch this movie tonight. I am so inspired and would love to see something wacky and unexpected developed for swimming!

    Also I'm waaaayyyyyy more prone to heat stress than I am cold stress, which is why I'm a warm water weenie. My toes start cramping just thinking about water warmer than 70 degrees in the heat of the day. So my hats off to all of you warm water swimmers!

    IronMikedpm50
  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    @Nikki and @Flystorms -
    I like the way you ladies think! :)

  • TMcQueenTMcQueen Belton, TXMember

    @FlowSwimmers - I will do this Flathead Lake multi-day adventure swim if I can fit it in to my schedule. I've never been to Montana. I need to do a Flathead Lake swim.

    FlowSwimmers
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMem​ber

    @TMcQueen Come visit any time! I'm not sure if I have the ability to put together a Barkley Marathons-type event, but I can promise some spectacular open water swimming!

    ssthomasJaimieTMcQueen
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    http://www.openwaterplanet.com/triton-river-one

    Just heard about this race this morning. Not very long, but the idea of swimming with some obstacles seems interesting. I might have to talk my wife into trying to drive over, but we might need to get a wetsuit for our very skinny two year old to splash around in the 73 degree water.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    That looks like fun.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    Interesting. Haven't heard of this, but I've camped along the banks of the Comal & Guadalupe Rivers many times with family and friends. I often wake early and swim the Comal, so I have many thoughts on this:

    Pros:
    The Comal is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world:

    64fcb9e3521e3ee5c389aca5ed1a6c62
    The water is crystal clear (like a swimming pool) and clean and pure for the first mile (the river explodes up out of the ground at over 300cfs at the head).

    Cons:
    You better swim fast, because by 9:30 on most days, it is not nearly as beautiful:

    comal-tubes_72224

    It is only about 2 miles from the headwaters to the end, so the swim can't be long, and would have a strong current assist. After you get 200 meters or so from the headwaters, the bottom is literally covered in beer cans.

    This is driving distance from my home, so I might give it a shot, nonetheless.

    timsroot

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    @Spacemanspiff - I think you're closer than me, but my wife sounds potentially interested in going.

  • Like some others on this thread, I was truly inspired by watching the Netflix documentary about the Barkley. Something that is so (almost) impossibly difficult is strangely liberating, because it frees us all up to decide for ourselves what success truly means. I love the idea of something truly gnarly as an OWS equivalent. Am going to get my thinking cap on...!

    FlowSwimmerstortuga
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    This year's race started around midnight last night. You can follow on twitter with #bm100. It's Fool's Weekend! I love this race! You can follow the Barkley Marathon and The Yellow Gate and the Rat Jaw and the Race Course. The Human Sacrifice already dropped out after only 4 books. :-)

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited April 2017

    Twitter user keithdunn seems to have the most informative updates. As I write this, cutoff for the first lap has past

    ssthomas
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member

    finally watched the doco last night. Amazing. I'd seen another doco on PBS years ago about the Western States 100 and thought those folk were insane, but these people take it to a whole other level.

    ssthomastortuga

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    Holy Frick! The cutoff time for finishing the Barkley is 60 hours. Finisher John Kelly made it in with 30 minutes to spare. Gary Robbins just missed the cut of time by 6 seconds. SIX SECONDS. Can you imagine the heartbreak? This was his second attempt- do you think he'll go back next year? I've been so sucked into this all weekend. This race is so crazy. And if you haven't watched the Netflix documentary, you should. I tried to talk my husband into re-watching it with me this weekend.... but he said 3 times was enough already. He's going fishing this weekend- I know what I'll be doing. ;-)

    Karl_KingerySoloCamille
  • MoCoMoCo Worcester, MAMember

    I spend an embarrassing amount of time today at work "watching" twitter for updates.

    Six seconds. I can't even.

    ssthomas
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    ssthomas said: @Gary Robbins just missed the cut of time by 6 seconds. SIX SECONDS. Can you imagine the heartbreak?

    I want to hear Gary Robbins' comment on this, a couple days from now. Does he complain about the unfairness of it all, or does he say something like, "Hey, this is why I entered the event in the first place. We have standards."

    ssthomasIronMikeaafairmangregoc
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    MoCo said:
    I spend an embarrassing amount of time today at work "watching" twitter for updates.

    Six seconds. I can't even.

    Me, too. Me, too.

  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COMember

    evmo said:

    ssthomas said: @Gary Robbins just missed the cut of time by 6 seconds. SIX SECONDS. Can you imagine the heartbreak?

    >

    I want to hear Gary Robbins' comment on this, a couple days from now. Does he complain about the unfairness of it all, or does he say something like, "Hey, this is why I entered the event in the first place. We have standards."

    This must be heartbreaking for him. But, WOW, what a story. Its such an easy mistake to make to miss that turn. It's so easy to get turned around in the woods when you're NOT sleep deprived.

    Here is what he said about last year.
    http://garyrobbinsrun.com/blog/2016/4/the-barkley-marathons-a-quick-summary

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    Did you watch the video? "I got lost. I swam the river."

    Ugh. @karl_kingery- I was actually thinking of you. Do you think a watch can be off by 6 seconds after 60 hours? Made me think of your "significant figures" opinions on long distances. ;-)

    Though, I suppose the 6 seconds is a moot point- sounds like he came in on the wrong trail and would have been DQed anyways.

    I sure hope he tries again next year.

    Karl_Kingery
  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COMember

    ssthomas said:
    Did you watch the video? "I got lost. I swam the river."

    Ugh. @karl_kingery- I was actually thinking of you. Do you think a watch can be off by 6 seconds after 60 hours? Made me think of your "significant figures" opinions on long distances. ;-)

    Though, I suppose the 6 seconds is a moot point- sounds like he came in on the wrong trail and would have been DQed anyways.

    I sure hope he tries again next year.

    Yes, a watch can be off by six seconds. People used to set their watches each morning when they wound them. Digital watches are better, generally speaking. The only "accurate" time is atomic time.

    However, it looks like Lazarus Lake has a digital watch, although I can't see what kind it is. Could it be off by 6 seconds over the course of 60 hours? Possibly, but it's probably not. Regardless, GR, along with every other runner was held to the time on the watch on Lazarus' wrist, whether the reading was "right" or not, six seconds is six seconds.

    I did watch the videos. Gary Robbins seems like a class act. He certainly he would have finished on time if he had not made a wrong turn. At some point, he learned he was off course in the fog, and took a different route back. He says this. It's so, so easy to do, and I admire him for the honesty he shows in the video and I am sad that he didn't make it.

    ssthomastimsrootevmo
  • aafairmanaafairman New York, NYMember

    Lazarus Lake made a follow up statement this morning: https://www.facebook.com/trasie.phan/posts/10212547374898805

    i wish i had never said 6 seconds...
    gary had just come in after having run off course
    and missing the last 2 miles of the barkley.
    that is, of course, not a finish.

    i do, however, always record when runners come in,
    whether they are finishing a loop, or not.
    so, i had looked at the watch,

    even tho there was no possibility that he would be counted as a finisher.
    so, when someone asked if he had gotten in before the limit;
    i foolishly answered.

    i never expected the story to somehow become that he had missed the time limit by 6 seconds.
    he failed to complete the course by 2 miles.
    the time, in that situation, is meaningless.

    i hate it, because this tale perpetuates the myth that the barkley does not have a course.
    the barkley is a footrace.
    it is not an orienteering contest,
    nor a scavenger hunt.
    the books are nothing more than unmanned checkpoints

    the boston marathon has checkpoints.
    and you have to show up at all of them or you can be disqualified...

    that does not mean you are allowed to follow any route you choose between checkpoints.

    now, the class with which gary handled this terrible disappoinment
    at the end of a truly magnificent performance...
    that was exceptional,
    and is, in and of itself, a remarkable achievement.

    but he did not miss the time limit by 6 seconds.
    he failed to complete the barkley by 2 miles.

    laz

    (h/t Running Magazine Recap: http://runningmagazine.ca/2017-barkley-marathons-recap/)

    SoloKarl_Kingerydc_in_sfKelliessthomasIronMikegregoc
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    aafairman said:
    but he did not miss the time limit by 6 seconds.
    he failed to complete the barkley by 2 miles.

    I read that, today, too. 2 miles off of 100+ or 6 seconds of off 60 hours - both are heartbreaking. Sounds like Gary is handling it like a professional/good sport, which I'm sure is hard to do after giving something your all. I really hope he comes back next year and gets those last 2 miles!

    I love the Barkley- these are my people. People who don't seek a lot of attention, don't whine when they don't win/finish, or complain when the race director lights a cigarette to start a race. They also cheer for each other and help competitors when they can. I love it all. And I might have gotten a little misty eyed when Gary missed the cutoff.

    Karl_KingeryevmoIronMikethelittlemerwookieaafairmanSolo
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    ssthomas: I love the Barkley- these are my people.

    These are not my people, but I aspire to be as mentally tough as these people. they are incredibly physically tough, but the mental toughness is just at another level.

    John Kelly went so hard and so long that he passed out on the trail out of completely and utter exhaustion. That was after picking up a plastic bag to use as a jacket, and a hat out of the thorns because he was that cold. He shivered himself awake to finish the race on time.

    Gary would have likely finished, bar one probably simple mistake, likely brought on by fog, both literal, and mental from being going so long. And he handled the disappointment so much better than I could ever hope to.

    I have watched other videos with him, and listened to podcast interviews with him. I am not a runner, and make no claims to ever want to be, but he is a human that I aspire to be like. In this video, he paces the ginger runner through his first 100 mile race, and the balance he strikes between letting Ethan vent and whine, and pushing him is astounding to me. The way he handled the disappointment both last year and this year of being so so close, and not quite finishing, is so admirable. The way he so visibly loves his wife and son is very admirable to me, as well.

    aafairmanSolossthomasIronMike
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    timsroot said:

    The way he so visibly loves his wife and son is very admirable to me, as well.

    I didn't know all of that- thanks for sharing, Tim. I don't follow ultra running, but what I picked up on this weekend was refreshing.

    And watching his wife sit on the ground next to Gary after he was laying there mumbling about getting lost and swimming the river got me the most misty eyed. You could tell from that how much they love each other. I'm a sucker for a good love story. It was also a good reminder of how much our spouses, too, suffer when we do crazy stuff. ;-)

    SoloIronMiketimsrootCopelj26
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    ssthomas said: And watching his wife sit on the ground next to Gary after he was laying there mumbling about getting lost and swimming the river got me the most misty eyed. You could tell from that how much they love each other. I'm a sucker for a good love story. It was also a good reminder of how much our spouses, too, suffer when we do crazy stuff. ;-)

    My wife has paddled for me on regular occasion. I'm very fortunate to have such a supportive partner for swims like these. She's helped me get out of some mental holes I've dug myself into. Unfortunately, I do that to myself pretty easily.

    I fought tears watching all of the videos I've seen of the finish Monday. I've never pushed myself that hard. to push that hard, and make one mistake right at the end to make all the other effort just not enough, I cannot imagine the heartbreak.

    ssthomas
  • When John Kelly hugs Gary and then they play taps for Gary, that is one of the most moving sporting moments I've ever seen.

    Gary has done a quick write up here: http://garyrobbinsrun.com/blog/2017/4/close-but-no-cigarette

    "I thrashed my way to the road and put my head down and gutted out the hardest three minutes of my life to collapse at the gate, overtime, and from the wrong direction. I did not finish The Barkley Marathons, and that is no one's fault but my own. That one fatal error with just over two miles to go haunts me."

    evmoKarl_KingeryssthomasIronMike
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    Kellie said: When John Kelly hugs Gary and then they play taps for Gary, that is one of the most moving sporting moments I've ever seen.

    I don't disagree, but when Laz pulled Gary in for a hug, I choked up a little. Despite the character he plays in Lazarus Lake, in other interviews I've listened to and read with him, it's clearly a character, and he's clearly very inspired by the efforts of all the participants. In this article, which I read a few weeks back, from the 2016 race, when John Kelly went 200 yards up the trail to start his fifth loop, and laid down to take a nap, and Laz ducked into his van and cried a little, it's clear how moved by the effort. He's said plainly that when there is a finisher, he's full of nothing but admiration.

    I could pontificate more, but I doubt anyone really wants to hear that.

    Kelliessthomas
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    For my fellow Barkley lovers:

    https://wheredreamsgotodie.com/

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    @ssthomas - I really enjoy the ginger runner's films, and Gary Robbins seems like a genuinely nice guy. I'd greatly enjoy meeting them both. Unfortunately, their tour isn't coming to Houston

    ssthomas
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