The concept is brutally simple. Race until every runner, save one, surrenders.
Local time: 4:18 AM
At 0700 hours, on October 18, 2014, a cowbell will ring in the front yard of the Big Farm.
Fifty runners will commence running on a 4.166667 mile trail loop thru the woods and fields. They will have one hour exactly to complete that loop. The trail is scenic, but not exceedingly difficult. It is not at altitude. There are no steep or long climbs or descents. The weather is expected to be excellent; neither too hot during the day, nor too cold at night. Completing the loop should be no great challenge for the average ultrarunner…
But there is a catch.
At 0800 hours, the cowbell will ring again, and the runners who have completed their first loop, will be called on to repeat the process. The same thing will occur at 0900… and at 1000… and 1100… and on and on, until only one runner is able to complete the loop. Failing to answer the bell for any loop will disqualify the runner. Failing to complete a loop within an hour will disqualify the runner. Every runner, with the exception of the winner, will be an official DNF. If no runner is able to complete one loop more than anyone else, there will be no winner.
Last year’s event went on for 35 hours, before Tim Englund finally emerged victorious with more than 145 miles. This year’s race will last however many hours it takes, until we know who, among the field of 50, possesses the greatest will to win. This is not a race for the faint of heart.
Ample camping space will be available near the start/finish area. Space immediately around the start/finish will be reserved for the runners resting between loops. Runners will provide their own aid for the race, however there will be a campfire with food and drink near the start/finish, for crews and defeated runners for the duration of the event. (Active runners will be welcome to share… between loops) At 1900 hours, the race will shift for the duration of darkness, to an easy 4.166667 mile road course. At 0700 hours (24 hours into the race) the race will return to the trail.
For the runner who believes they will never quit. This is your chance to put it to the test. No matter what their respective speed, every surviving runner is tied for first place at the beginning of every hour. Anyone can win. They just need to want it more than anyone else. And, just in case the suffering in Big’s backyard is not enough; the winner gets a guaranteed entry into the 2015 Barkley Marathons.
The entry fee is $75. Officially it is nonrefundable. However, if you are replaced off the wait list, you will be refunded $65. Last year’s race was full early.