Every year, on the last weekend in March, one of the most challenging 100-mile trail races, known as the Barkley Marathon is held in Wartburg, Tennessee. Only 40 runners are selected for the Barkley each year. Since its inaugural run in 1986, only 18 runners have completed the grueling 100-mile race within the official 60-hour time period.
There are a few quirky characteristics that are unique to the Barkley race. First time runners are required to bring a license plate from their state as part of their entry fee. Competitors are tasked with finding a number of books along the course and remove the page that corresponds with their bib number as proof of their completion. When a runner drops out of the race, defeated by the course, a bugler plays “Taps” upon their return to camp.
Closer to home, The Arkansas Traveller is a 100-mile race that takes place among the beautiful scenery of the Ouachita Trail. While running an ultra marathon is a huge physical feat, this race is considered by many to be a great first 100 for those who desire to test themselves at an ultra distance. In October of 2017 I was honored to be able to cheer for my friend, Bobby Le, as he crossed the finish line at the Arkansas Traveller 100. Inspired by Bobby’s accomplishment and with the support of my wife and new running partner, Josh Farmer, I recently completed my first half marathon.
For a guy who normally doesn’t like driving 13.1 miles, much less running it, I have to admit that running in the Little Rock Marathon has been one of my most memorable athletic achievements. I learned that a good run begins the moment you forget you are running! There was an indescribable joy about the whole experience. That is what this edition is all about, enjoying “The Great Outdoors”! Your Town. Your Life. Your Magazine