John Kelly organizes his own Barkley marathons
Trail and ultrarunner John kelly created his own modified version of the Barkley Marathons. Three years ago, Kelly of Maryland became the 15th finalist in the Demonically Tough Barkley Marathons, on his third try. In 2019, he dropped out after two loops. He was planning to return to the 2020 event, but due to a cancellation he was unable to.
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The event requires the physical form of endurance ultra-running, the brain power of orienteering and the resilience of an endless treasure hunt. Runners must complete five 20 mile loops while collecting particular pages of 14 books hidden throughout the course. Everything is done in less than 60 hours. While Kelly does not refuel Barkley, he tries a “solo # BM100 alternate, by completing 5 Barkley Challenge Loops in 60 hours (a more “accessible” track alternative than a real Barkley loop). ” Kelly will therefore follow the format of the race, on a course easier to cover than the traditional Barkley course.
Kelly’s parents’ farm is across from Frozen Head State Park, which makes this run possible.
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He wrote on Instagram: “I’m proud of where I’m from, as I hope most are, but boundaries don’t serve much beyond that. We’re all in the same boat, and with as much as we all have to do our part sometimes, we should all also feel a bit of mutual pride with the things we collectively make possible. I will enjoy these things more while I’m there (besides the fact that, for now, I can still be there). But anyway, enough rambling on my part. I think I just heard a conch shell. Keith Dunn, the unofficial Barkley Marathons Twitter account, reports Kelly’s results.
John kelly @RndmForestRunnr started loop 3 at 8:34 am.
– Keith (@keithdunn) March 22, 2020
By Sunday morning, Kelly had started the loop three of five.