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Title:What Ever Happened To [...] #1023
Date:Friday May 10th, 2013
[Default Article Image][There seems to be some recent concern/inquiry/puzzlement over women runners who have attempted The Barkley Marathons--yea, woe yea--"the race that eats its young" (perhaps answering the inquiries right there). All those lovely young (hey, they are ALL young AND gorgeous) women runners were eaten. Yup! Hardbitten, chewy, and swallowed. And every single one of 'em has done better than me. I might've been "young" once (never lovely), but that damned Barkley spat me back out! And I've reminded quite a few of puke ever since.
( x_x )
All this has piqued my own wonderment, however, and so I have recently (within, oh say, the last half hour) wondered why we keep having so many *finishers* lately--of ANY gender or species!]

The Bush Administraction Presents…

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO [UNfinishable Barkleys] ?

Once upon a time, a long time ago in a land far away, runners would show up at some officially designated--but otherwise totally unknown--campground in eastern Tennessee and only reserve their campsite through Saturday night. Why? Because they knew they'd be "outa there" sometime Sunday. Why? Because finishing that dang Barkley race requires an extended stay into Monday, and, hey, nobody was finishing!

What ever happened to THAT happy circumstance?

We (those of us unfortunate enough to be having to be running, nah, crawling; OR totally fortunate enough to be "crewing"--ha ha--or smilingly standing by as bystanders) were always able to plan accordingly. If we had places to go or peeps to see, we could always promise: "Hey, see ya Sunday night!"

We could break camp in the sunshine, not in the torrential downpour. We could leisurely re-pack our gear, load up our wagons, hang around the campfire, tell more lies, and *try* to choke down more Hughes' baked (and re-baked, always to the point of turning the can into a hod and the beans into mortar) beans. Any leftover not-yet-digitally-prepared Barkley chicken could also be leisurely slow roasted, skewered, and, yes, eaten. There was a certain relaxation about the camp. We all knew: 1) we had extra time, 2) the Park doesn't charge unless you're there the next day, and 3) pretty soon we'd be seeing the last of the quitters come dragging into camp after their: 1) fourth, 2) third, 3) second, 4) first, or 5) non-loop.

Some stalwart beings of both genders have been known to take MORE than a day to find their way back after achieving minimal bookage. In fact, yours troubly held the record! Until some other stalwart being snatched this particular ignominy from the slack jaws of infame. (And I shall be forever indebted to Dan'l, no, not Boone--that other guy of similar age. :-)

BUT… they never took longer than Sunday to get back! We were ALL… ALWAYS… out of there by Sunday midnight, for sure!

Whatever happened to THOSE thrilling daze of yesteryear?

Well do I rah-memba when a thoroughly (happily) downtrodden (up-cheering) and dejected (don't you believe it) Lazarus Lake would look up after blowing that bugle one final time and say, "Welp, no finishers agin dys year!" Which is precisely the same thing he said for these, the followingly well noted earlier years: 1986, '87, '89 (no 100-milers at least), '90, '91, '92, '93, '94, '96, '97, '98, '99, 2000, '02, '05, '06, and '07.

Sadly--for the campers, dampers, scampers, gadabouts, hangers-on, and standers-by--every year since then has produced a finisher, or finishers (plural!), and lately even a MASS FINISH of up to THREE completely and totally-over-the-top EVEN MORE STALWART Barkleyites. "OMG!" as they say. "IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!" as I say.

Just imagine a first, second, and third place… at The Barkley!!! Unheard of! Totally!!! And yet (I can attest, having witnessed AND having had to pay for another night of camping) that is exactly what happened in 2012. And this year in 2013, there was also a plural finish of two: Nick and Travis. These non-behemoths are giants among men!

They set the bar. Which, of course, prevents the rest of us from getting to one before it closes.

So. What EVER happened to those wonderful old glorious ancient times… of no finishers?

I'll tell you what: Fashion.

Yup! Suddenly it's become FASHIONABLE. Finishing Barkley now is "all the rage." There must be sponsorships! Big money! (Well, there is this dog, named "big," and he costs *something* to keep in business.) TV coverage! Well… hey… there's a movie!! And, trust us, we are ALL waiting for that release! For the premiere, we're all going to show up on the red (i.e., bloody) carpet wearing trashed and tattered dirty shoes, tights, jackets and ungodly colored running pants (and other circus clown outfits), wrapped in orange vests so we won't be shot, and lugging knapsacks and backpacks so we won't starve or die of thirst.

So now it has become fashionable to finish The Barkley. Who knew? OMG!! Give these new boys a couple tattoos, no haircuts, ripped (to shreds) leggings by Sawbriar, Abbs by Beverly (Hills, eh? ;), jackets by Straight and Prison, and all the revitalizing mud you can pack on a body… and there you have it. Photos, mag ads, big city newspaper coverages, podcasts, TV news snippets, first-run motion pictures (for heavings' sake!) and--this just in--international radio broadcasts by the BBC!!!

Yes, even yours troubly talked via international phone call (their dime--no, shilling--not mine) to the British Broadcasting Corporation, "live from London," with some Limey named Alex. OMG!!! But never mind; I gave the phone to Laz.

Boy, that shook 'em up. But good! (Just imagine, "redneckspeak" versus cockney. Talk about your Tower of Babel! :-)

( O_O )

Yours troubly,

The Troubadour
"your mid-evil lute-plucker in those Middle Ages who is, what, NOW all-of-a-sudden being summoned by London? Where have they been for the last 800 years?"

Yankee Folly of the Day:
Ya know (but this isn't really a folly) all y'all's questions about, for example, who all the women are who've run Barkley can be found in Frozen Ed Furtaw's book. (Except for the most recent years.) Yup! Everything about "the race that eats its young" up to and including 2009 has been published and is available through Amazon-dot-com. And ya know what? You'll be able to find it a heckuva lot easier than any online evidence of the BBC, OR of their supposed broadcast of the aforementioned telephone calls! (Which they promised me would be aired! Ha. So THERE'S the folly!!)
Posted:May 11th, 2013 3:32 am
Last Update:May 11th, 2013 3:54 am
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