Mar 2024: Paris beats 60-hour cutoff

FinishTime Newsletter

NEWSLETTER:  March / April

Paris beats 60-hour cutoff

First of all, an apology … Regular readers of this esteemed newsletter will probably already know about the Barkley Marathon. The editorial team at FinishTime is a bit fixated on the American off-road ultra marathon, but we were determined this year to ignore the event after faithfully reporting on it for three years in a row – after all, we do try and give the readers something different as much as possible.

Well, sorry. That plan went flying into the dense Tennessee bush when Jasmin Paris completed the 100-mile tail run in a time of 59 hours, 58 minutes and 21 seconds – just 99 seconds inside the 60-hour cut-off. 

You may wonder why we find her 22,5-minutes-per-kilometre trail run newsworthy?

The Barkley Marathon is surely the world's toughest ultra and Paris is the first – and so far only – woman to finish the gruelling five-lap ultra-marathon trail run since the event began using the current course in 1989.

In fact, in the 37-year history of the event, a total of just 21 people have finished the event, including Paris. Last year she became just the second woman to start the fourth lap (at this event, three laps, or 96km, is considered to be the "Fun Run" of this gruelling race).

The 40-year-old senior veterinary lecturer at the University of Edinburgh stumbled across the line and told the Guardian: "It’s not the fact that it’s 100 miles that’s the problem – it’s about the terrain."

She suffered from sleep monsters (hallucinations from a combination of sleep deprivation and exhaustion) and said she saw "quite a lot of people in black macintoshes."

The event is somewhat quirky, with an essay needed to get an entry (if you can even find the email address for the event that does not have a website). The first and third loops are run clockwise, while the second and fourth loops are run anticlockwise. The first finisher of the fourth loop gets to decide which direction runners go on the last loop.

The race traditionally begins somewhat appropriately on the weekend nearest April Fools' Day with an entry fee of just $1.60 – plus a licence plate for Barkley "virgins". There is no official start time. Those who make it to Frozen Head State Park campground on the correct date are notified one hour beforehand by the sound of a conch shell horn – and the race officially begins when the race director lights a cigarette (nothing else – other than runners charging off into the bush – signals the start).

The Barkley course was created by Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell and Karl Henn after they read about the escape of James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr, from nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary.

When they discovered he had only managed to travel 13km in 60 hours before he was caught, Cantrell is said to have commented he could have run 100 miles in the time, and set about creating the race.

So, as much as we find Gerda Steyn's record-breaking win at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon to be incredibly special and newsworthy, it pales when compared to Jasmin Paris' historic 59:58:21 for 100 miles in the dense Tennessee bush. Sorry Gerda!

The FinishTime sporting calendars below come with a warning to check with the event organisers to ensure events have not been postponed or cancelled.

More event information, a regularly updated events calendar and results of all events timed by FinishTime can be found at www.finishtime.co.za and all results of events timed by FinishTime at results.finishtime.co.za

DURBAN CITY MARATHON: March 24, 2024

Gerda Steyn confirmed her status as South Africa’s top long distance athlete when she won the 2024 Two Oceans ultra-marathon in a record time, while Onalenna Khonkhobe made it a South African double when he won in 3:09:30.

CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR: March 10, 2024

The 46th Cape Town Cycle Tour, the biggest timed bike race in the world, was held on Sunday, 10 March 2024. Primarily, the Cycle Tour provides a glorious day out for tens of thousands of cyclists, no matter the weather. 

COMRADES MARATHON: June 9, 2024

The Comrades Marathon is the world's largest and oldest ultra-marathon. The 88km event attracts up to 23 000 entrants each year to compete in a tough run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The 2024 run will be the first up-run since Covid disrupted the event in 2019. 

EVENTS CALENDAR
DATE EVENT PROVINCE
20 Apr CULLINAN ULTRA MTB Gauteng
20 Apr BNAC ULTRA Gauteng
21 Apr IRONMAN PE AFRICAN CHAMPS E Cape
21 Apr GC XCM CHAMPS Gauteng
21 Apr IBL ON THE MOVE Mauritius
21 Apr LUBOMBO MARATHON Swazi
23-25 Apr SANI2C TRAIL KZN
24-26 Apr SANI2C ADVENTURE KZN
25-27 Apr SANI2C RACE KZN
27-28 Apr SWARTBERG 100 MILER PRINCE ALFRED W Cape
27 Apr KURUMAN 21.1KM FREEDOM RUN N Cape
27 Apr PMC FAMILY MARATHON 2024 Limpopo
28 Apr GC PRO CYCLE #4 Gauteng
28 Apr DURBAN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON KZN
28 Apr NANDO’S ROYAL LIFE SAVING SOCIETY SWIM Mauritius
01 May MIWAY WALLY HAYWARD MARATHON Gauteng
01 May RHODES QUALITY HALF MARATHON W Cape
04 May JACKIE MEKLER Gauteng
04 May SA XCO EVENT 2 W Cape
04 May SWIM/RUN SERIES KZN
04 May LEMO MALL (TITANIUMS MARATHON) F State
04 May SWIM/RUN SERIES KZN
04 May NEW HANOVER MTB AND TRAIL KZN
04 May THE NOORDHOEK SUPERBOWL W Cape
04 May ROOIWAL CYCLE #3 Gauteng
05 May PRINCE MANGOSUTHU ULTRA MARATHON KZN
05 May COLGATE ROAD RACE Gauteng
07 May CAPE CRUSADE TRAIL RUN W Cape
11 May LOVE RUNNING Gauteng
11 May ROYAL RAID Mauritius
11 May RACE TO THE SUN N West
11 May SELATI RUNNING RACE Mpum
12 May TRAIL CARDINALE JAUNE Mauritius
12 May DOLPHIN MILE #3 KZN
12 May MODDERFONTEIN HALF MARATHON Gauteng
12 May TINMAN #2 KZN
18 May RUN FOR HOPE 10/21KM Gauteng
18 May NZHELELE VALLEY MARATHON Limpopo
18 May GAUTENG XCC CHAMPS Gauteng
18 May JONKERSHOEK MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE W Cape
19 May KZN XCO LAP RACE #3 KZN
19 May DOLPHIN MILE #4 KZN
19 May MIDAS RUN Gauteng
25 May VIVO ENERGY WINDHOEK MARATHON Namibia
25 May MARAKELE MTB Limpopo
25 May SAPPI KARKLOOF MTB AND TRAIL KZN
26 May SLAVE RUN W Cape
02 Jun IRON MAN DBN KZN
RECENT RACE RESULTS
DATE EVENT RESULTS
02 Mar ELANDSVALLEY 10/21/42KM RESULTS HERE
02 Mar MAREKELE MARATHON RESULTS HERE
02 Mar CENTURY CITY EXPRESS RESULTS HERE
02 Mar DIAMOND MARATHON RESULTS HERE
02 Mar ROOIWAL CYCLE #1 RESULTS HERE
02 Mar GOLDEN BAT NIGHT TRAILS RESULTS HERE
03 Mar ROUTE66 MTB RESULTS HERE
03 Mar 36ONE SWIM SERIES RESULTS HERE
03 Mar AQUELLÉ KHULA OCEAN RACING SERIES RESULTS HERE
03 Mar ETHEKWINI BEST OF THE BEST MARATHON RESULTS HERE
03 Mar AFRICAN TRIATHLON JUNIOR CUP RESULTS HERE
03 Mar WW X-TRI KARKLOOF KZN RESULTS HERE
03 Mar KZN XCO #1 RESULTS HERE
04-08 Mar TOUR DU CAPCT RESULTS HERE
08-10 Mar SA OPEN WATER CHAMPS RESULTS HERE
09 Mar KOSMOS 3 IN 1 RESULTS HERE
09 Mar PRETORIA BOBBIES RESULTS HERE
09 Mar ROSSING MARATHON RESULTS HERE
09 Mar THE CONSTANTIA VILLAGE 15KM RESULTS HERE
10 Mar CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR RESULTS HERE
10 Mar CORDWALLES ASAMBE RESULTS HERE
10 Mar UMGENI-UTHEKELA WATER MARATHON RESULTS HERE
10 Mar TINMAN #1 RESULTS HERE
16 Mar OM DIE DAM ULTRA RESULTS HERE
16 Mar WINGATE MOOOSE RACE RESULTS HERE
16 Mar ANAHITA TRAIL RUN RESULTS HERE
16 Mar BERG 100 RESULTS HERE
16 Mar EBENEZER MILE RESULTS HERE
16 Mar GAUTENG XCO #3 RESULTS HERE
16 Mar THOMAS MORE BIG WALK RESULTS HERE
16 Mar WESKUS MARATHON RESULTS HERE
16 Mar SNEEUBERG CRAWL MTB RACE RESULTS HERE
17 Mar CITY LODGE 3 BEACHES CHALLENGE RESULTS HERE
17 Mar REAL GIJIMAS ULTRA RESULTS HERE
17 Mar TSSL #2 PAARL MOUNTAIN RESULTS HERE
17 Mar 360ONE VIKING CHALLENGE RESULTS HERE
21 Mar GOLDI 4 in 1 RUN RESULTS HERE
21 Mar RIVERSIDE BOULEVARD ROAD RACE RESULTS HERE
21 Mar ROOTED MTB & RUN RESULTS HERE
21 Mar TYGER RUN WALK 15KM & 6KM RESULTS HERE
23 Mar MAGOEBAS ULTRA RESULTS HERE
23 Mar OVERKRUIN BEAST RACE RESULTS HERE
23 Mar SASOL MARATHON SASOLBURG RESULTS HERE
23 Mar AFRICA TRIATHLON CUP RESULTS HERE
23 Mar NMC FAST 3-IN-1 RACE RESULTS HERE
23 Mar BELLBUOY CHALLENGE RESULTS HERE
23 Mar MUNGA SWORD RESULTS HERE
24 Mar DURBAN CITY MARATHON RESULTS HERE
24 Mar EMPORERS PALACE RESULTS HERE
24 Mar SPAR WOMEN'S RACE – CAPE TOWN RESULTS HERE
30 Mar SA XCO EVENT 1 RESULTS HERE
30 Mar EASTER BUNNY ROAD CYCLE RESULTS HERE
31 Mar CITY 2 CITY MARATHON RESULTS HERE
06-07 Apr AFRICAN CUP / SA TRIATHLON CHAMPS RESULTS HERE
06 Apr CMS FARM VASTAP RESULTS HERE
06 Apr VLAKLAAGTE MTB RESULTS HERE
06 Apr MALUTI DOUBLE 90 RESULTS HERE
06 Apr THE MUNGA SWORD RESULTS HERE
07 Apr IRENE RUNNING FESTIVAL RESULTS HERE
07 Apr GALLERIA MALL CHALLENGE RESULTS HERE
07 Apr DIE GROOT TRAP RESULTS HERE
07 Apr DECATHLON SWIM RUN RESULTS HERE
10 Apr KLEINSPORT SKOLE XCO RESULTS HERE
13-14 Apr TWO OCEANS MARATHON RESULTS HERE
13 Apr GREEN MILE RESULTS HERE
13 Apr GAUTENG XCO #4 RESULTS HERE
13 Apr BUNGE MARATHON RESULTS HERE
13 Apr ROOIWAL CYCLE CHALLENGE #2 RESULTS HERE
14 Apr KZN XCO LAP RACE #2 RESULTS HERE
14 Apr DOLPHIN MILE #2 RESULTS HERE
14 Apr MOKA RANGERS XC RESULTS HERE

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