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Drop #11: What else today?

Can you count to five? Easy? Right?

I mean we can all do it.

Can you cover 2 miles an hour?

That’s even easier.

Put them both together and what do you get?

Barkley.

Except there are a few adventures on the way.

It’s not a straight line. Just like life.

1986 it started. No one knew about it back then. Only 13 starters. No crowd. No socials. Even Laz was Gary Cantrell back then. Laz wasn’t even born in 1984.

On Saturday March 23rd 2024, 2,400,000 people viewed Keith Dunn’s twitter post.

“Jasmin Paris finished the Barkley in 59 hrs 58 mins 21 seconds.”

Stop the clock. She did. But she literally stopped the clock. For all of us. In that moment. 

Not possible. Can’t be done. Too hard. Not happening.

And that’s why we need Barkley. Why we must have these events. These things that are way the F out there. Beyond the border line of ridiculous. Life is way too comfortable. We have become marshmallows. Too soft. But what should you really do with a marshmallow? Toast it on the fire. Roast it till it squeals. 

20 amazing humans have now put themselves so close to the fire they must have squealed to breaking point. Only 20. People. Ever. Have finished the Barkley. So many came. Over the years. And toasted. In the freezing rain. But not fully cooked. Just 20 made it to the other side. It is on the line of not possible. Suspend belief. The best of the best of the best. Of the best.

Jared. 4 times. John 3 times. Ihor. A virgin. Greig, relentless. And Jasmin. 

Jasmin. Didn’t they tell you? Can’t be done. 

What? You didn’t listen? Loop 4 last year. A taste of the pain.

Loop 5 this year. You didn’t have enough time. Accept it.

At the Fire Tower you had 3 hours 37 minutes to make it back. It took Ihor, the winner, 4 hours to do that same stretch. What were you thinking?

In those 3 hours 37 minutes only you, Jasmin, will know the horror, the pain, the suffering, the beauty and the true depth of your soul that you found. You spent 56 hours getting to that point. Where you, alone in the woods, with the whole world watching, transcended. You went beyond what is reasonable and expected. 

We saw the last part. The sprint to the yellow gate. The collapse. The tears from all. 

But for me. The thought of what you did for those 3 hours 37 minutes is everything that ultra, running, life is about. Thank you Jasmin, for making us all believe.

I’ll leave the last line to John Kelly, 3 time finisher, who was there. At the gate. He wrote this. 

‘My daughters were there watching. Thank you Jasmin for showing them what I never fully could’


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