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2011 Barkley Marathons

This year’s second-place runner, Carl Laniak

Photo by David Luttrell

This year’s second-place runner, Carl Laniak

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  • 2011 Barkley Marathons winner Brett Maune—right after crossing the 100-mile finish line.
  • HOME SWEET HELL: Barkley Marathons mastermind Gary Cantrell oversees the fiendishly difficult 100-mile race from this campsite in Frozen Head State Park. First-time runners are expected to submit a license plate as part of the entry requirements.
  • Race director Gary Cantrell has earned the ire of hundred of runners with his grueling endurance test.
  • EYES ON THE PRIZE: Odd rituals and artifacts—like this bronze belt buckle, to be awarded to the first runner to break 24 hours (the course record is 55 hours)—have accumulated over the 25-year history of the Barkley Marathons.
  • Former winner Jonathan Basham prepares breakfast for his crew.
  • More than 30 of the race’s 40 starters finished the first of five 20-mile loops this year. Only one, Brett Maune, finished all five loops.
  • BACK FOR MORE: Alan Abbs (left) and eventual winner Brett Maune head out for the second of five 20-mile loops in the Barkley Marathons.
  • Runners must tear out pages from books stashed along the trail to prove they ran the whole course.
  • This year’s second-place runner, Carl Laniak
  • 2001 Winner Blake Wood.
  • WAITING FOR A WINNER: After more than three days, the anticipation of a finish builds in camp. It’s as exciting as waiting 10 or 12 hours to watch someone run—or walk—a few hundred yards can ever be.
  • THE AGONY OF VICTORY: Brett Maune fought cold, hail, heat, darkness, and a lack of sleep to finish the 100-mile Barkley Marathons.
  • FUN RUN: In his first attempt at the race, Brett Maune became just the 10th finisher in the history of the Barkley Marathons.

At Frozen Head State Park each year, a 100-mile ultramarathon tests the endurance of some of the world's hardiest trail runners.

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