Jasmin Paris: First Woman to Finish Barkley Marathon

British runner Jasmin Paris made history by becoming the first woman to complete the grueling Barkley Marathons. Paris crossed the finish line with a time of 59 hours, 58 minutes, and 21 seconds, a mere 99 seconds before the 60-hour limit, collapsing in exhaustion as she finished.

Paris joined a select group of five finishers in the 2024 Barkley Marathons, including Ukrainian Ihor Verys who finished first, followed by Americans John Kelly and Jared Campbell in second and third place, respectively, and Greig Hamilton from New Zealand in fourth.

Paris gained recognition in 2019 for winning the Spine Race, setting a new record and becoming the first woman to win the 268-mile race.

The Barkley Marathons, known for its extreme difficulty, is considered one of the toughest foot races globally. Held in Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park, the race was inspired by the 1977 prison escape of James Earl Ray, with its challenging terrain and unpredictable conditions.

Participants tackle five loops of roughly 20 miles each, totaling between 100 to 130 miles, with an elevation gain of approximately 63,000 feet. Runners navigate steep inclines and rough terrain without aid stations, phones, or GPS, often getting lost or injured along the way.

The race features unique unmanned checkpoints, where athletes must tear out a page from a corresponding paperback book to prove they reached each checkpoint.

With a dropout rate of 99%, the Barkley Marathons present a formidable challenge, with no finishers between 2017 and 2023.

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