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The Barkley: Bad Things Happen

This is Part II of my visual coverage of the Barkley Marathons, the world’s most difficult endurance event. For background on the race, and to see portraits of the runners, read Part I: ‘Out There’ at the Barkley: Portraits From The Edge of Endurance.

 

All images © Geoffrey S. Baker, All Rights Reserved

 

License plate at the Barkley Marathons in Frozen Head State Park, TN.

The runners nemesis at The Barkley, the saw briers.

Rock formation along the course.

If you go sub 24 at the Barkley, you get this 20 pound belt buckle. The closest anybody has come is 52 hours to finish.

Joel Gat checks in with the real world the night before the Barkley Marathons.

Lazarus Lake, Race Director of the Barkley Marathons held every spring in Frozen Head State Park in TN. hangs license plates from the first time runners.

Psyche Wimberly has gloves at the ready for the Barkley Marathons in Frozen Head State Park in TN.

Meaningless Suffering Without a Point, that about sums up the Barkley Marathons.

Lazarus Lake, Race Director of the Barkley Marathons held every spring in Frozen Head State Park in TN., checks the chicken dinner.

Virgins at the Barkley are required to bring a license plate from their home state or country as part of their entry.

Chicken and beans at the Barkley Marathons.

Laz, the cigarette, the yellow gate and runners await the start of the Barkley Marathons.

Runners stream by Laz after he lights his cigarette at the yellow gate in Frozen Head State Park to start the Barkley Marathons.

Stu Gleman fist pumps at the start of the Barkley Marathons.

Wouter Hamelink, white shirt, lower right, approaches the Testicle Spectacle at the Barkley Marathons.

Byron Backer tops out on loop 1 at the Testicle Spectacle during the Barkley Marathons.

Iso Yucra, foreground, climbs the final pitch of the the Testicle Spectacle during the Barkley Marathons.

Dusty Hardman, in pink, takes a rest break climbing Rat Jaw as Robert Youngren descends just above her.

Wouter Hamelink amid the tent camp, refuels between laps at the Barkley Marathons.

Beverly Anderson-Abs in the lead group on loop 1 at the Testicle Spectacle during the Barkley Marathons.

Iso Yucra uses a downed power line to climb Rat Jaw during the Barkley Marathons.

Aaron Sorenson dons micro spikes for the climb up Rat Jaw during the Barkley Marathons.

Saw briars tell a tale at the Barkley Marathons.

Dusty Hardman, in pink, leads William Arnold up Rat Jaw during the Barkley Marathons.

Tim Dines at the halfway point on the climb up Rat Jaw, takes a break.

A 360′ pano from half way up Rat Jaw. An abandoned guard house at left, abandoned coal mine at center, and Rat Jaw at right.

Julian Jameson descends Rat Jaw above an abandoned mine as others climb up high above him.

Laz records times as Beverly Anderson-Abs and her husband Alan check out at the yellow gate during the Barkley Marathons.

Nick Hollon rests as Laz counts his pages at the yellow gate.

Tim Englund, left, and John Fegyveresi, right, touch the gate to end a loop during the Barkley Marathons.

Some pages do not make it back intact to Laz. That makes his counting very hard.

John Fegyveresi leaves the yellow gate on yet another loop.

Laz counts pages by headlamp during the Barkley Marathons.

DeWayne Satterfield after DNF’ing at the yellow gate.

Little and Laz wait at the yellow gate.

Brett Maune, left, and Jared Campbell finish a loop during the Barkley Marathons.

Psyche Wimberly and her pages after DNF’ing at the Barkley Marathons.

Wouter Hamelinck’s feet forced him to quit at the Barkley Marathons.

Crewing out of a suitcase during the Barkley Marathons.

The bugle waits for the quitters.

Saw briars damage at the Barkley Marathons.

Alan Abs waits to go out on another loop.

John Fegyveresi

Legs, lap 3.

Travis Wildeboer in the glare of a fun run finish.

Laz waits at the yellow gate all night, and day, for over 60 hours.

Brett Maune runs to the finish of the Barkley Marathons.

Brett Maune at the finish of the Barkley Marathon. His reward for running 5 laps, he did not have to run a 6th.

Laz has Brett Maune hit the “That Was Easy” button after winning the Barkley Marathons.

Brett Maune after winning the Barkley Marathons.

Brett Maune’s feet after winning the Barkley Marathons.

Saw briar removal after the race.

Laz and Little wait at the yellow gate.

  • Ray Smith - Great photos! You have captured the essential elements of the great event that is the Barkley Marathons. Good job! I enjoyed your before and after photos as well.

    I am Zane Smith’s Dad.

    RayReplyCancel

  • Matthew Grose - Wow, Geoff. This was fascinating. Great write up, great photos.ReplyCancel

  • al dimicco - OMG! These are absolutely fabulous photos both in their content and professional makeup. Barkley has always been mystery to us “outside” mortals, but you have brought it alive. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Hugh Wilson - Absolutely amazing photographs! I’ve never seen the anguish and ecstasy come alive in photographs like this before.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa trevino - Thank you for the pics and coverage it is such an exciting challengeReplyCancel

  • Leroy - It’s not easy for Laz to wait at the gate for so many hours. The runners should show a bit of consideration and try harder next year.ReplyCancel

  • Alex Cooper - Fantastic photos. The before and afters are stunning, and the shots of legs and feet and the waiting faces contrast brilliantly with the calm and methodical Laz. It almost makes me want to try it. Almost.ReplyCancel

  • Morning Links: The Simpsons Live in Springfield, Ore. and More - […] Anyway, photographer Geoffrey Baker has a great series of before and after portraits of the 2012 participants and a great photo series of the race itself. […]ReplyCancel

  • Photography: beautiful and brutal. « function and beauty - […] other is a series of photographs from the event itself entitled “The Barkley: Bad Things Happen.” He isn’t kidding.  Brutal doesn’t even begin to describe.  I can see Darren loving to […]ReplyCancel

  • URP Daily News | UltraRunnerPodcast.com - […] Before you listen, have a look at these “before and after Barkley” pictures, check out these course pics, and definitely read Alan’s harrowing account from 2010′s […]ReplyCancel

  • [VRAC] Moine ultrazen, Défi 666, Citadelles, Zegama, Born to Run, Jurek, Skipping, Traking « crapahut - […] reportage ici (photos d’ambiance et du parcours) et là (portraits avant/après la […]ReplyCancel

  • Shelly - Beyond amazing. You are such a talented story teller! The pictures you take are worth a 1000 words. Amazing!ReplyCancel

  • More truth than I can handle – Joy and Woe - […] in their mama’s bathroom, taking pictures of their puffy guts (check out Baker’s follow-up post for photos of what these athletes endure by way of scarred legs and wounded […]ReplyCancel

  • Kris Kepler - Awesome stuff!! I really hope I can get in on this race net year!ReplyCancel

  • Rich - Thanks Mate

    The surreal becomes a little more real.

    Great images, captures and translates the purpose, spirit and humanism of the event.

    Thank you

    RichReplyCancel

  • Jerry Davison - Great photos! I loved seeing Laz and Little after reading their story a few years back. I wish I had an update.ReplyCancel

  • brenda r - fabulous montage of inspiring people!ReplyCancel

  • MG - Thank you for these photos… I have read many stories of this event, and this is the first time I’ve seen photos. It gives a great visual sense of what it takes out of a person.ReplyCancel

  • bryann - This is the real tough mudder.ReplyCancel

  • Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles - I am in SO much awe. As a fellow runner, I just ran the Boston Marathon this past Monday and the thought of running an Ultra like this is amazing. I give you all so much credit and respect, you are truly warriors!ReplyCancel

  • Yes, Runners Are Crazy (But Oh So Awesome) | hellyontherun - […] is a great site with pics from the […]ReplyCancel

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