‘The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young’ Chronicles a Race Like No Other

GameStop, Inc.

the-barkley-marathons-0001

I look at people who run marathons with a certain skepticism. After all, I’m not a particularly active person and don’t really understand the concept of subjecting one’s self to the grueling endurance test of running 20-plus miles in a day. After watching The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young, I’ve come to the conclusion that those who run in regular run-of-the-mill marathons may not be that crazy. Compared to those who subject themselves to the Barkley Marathons, they seem like entirely rational people. As a film, The Barkley Marathons finds the history of its oddball obstacle course and the humanity of its participants. Of course, the actions that everyone subjects themselves to don’t always make the most sense, but it still makes for an entertaining look at one of the craziest races in America.

Documentarians Annika Iltis and Timothy James Kane paint a thoroughly entertaining portrait of the 2012 running of the Barkley Marathons. The race was co-founded by Gary Cantrell and every year he redesigns the race, which is run in the hills of Tennessee. With 60 hours to complete the task, competitors must complete five 20-mile loops around the path, ripping pages from books along the trail to prove that they haven’t attempted any shortcuts. Since the inaugural Barkley Marathons in 1986, only 15 people have completed the race. One of those that has finished the race is Brett Maune, who returns once again in hopes of breaking the record for the quickest time. Even if he doesn’t, he takes home the consolation prize of being the only person to ever finish the race twice, but finishing isn’t guaranteed here.

The race was inspired by the prison escape of James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King, in 1977 from the Bushy Mountain State Penitentiary, which is actually part of the Barkley Marathons. Having only made it eight miles from the prison over the course of a couple days, Gary Cantrell felt he could do 100 miles in the same time frame, and thus the Barkley Marathons were born. But for those suspecting that this grueling marathon is an ode to James Earl Ray, Cantrell is quick to dismiss those notions and views it more of a tradition mocking Ray’s lacking toughness.

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young works as a movie because Iltis and Kane are able to get into this unusual tradition, and Cantrell is an odd figure who can be very entertaining in his quirkiness. The race doesn’t start until Cantrell lights a cigarette. The application fee is $1.60, which he keeps, and all participants must bring a license plate from their home town (people come from all over the world) and whatever other item Cantrell might desire – some years it’s white t-shirts, socks, or flannel. But the filmmakers also profile the participants, each with their own reason for subjecting themselves to this mad race.

There’s a wonderful balance between the madness of the event and the humans involved with The Barkley Trials. One doesn’t have to be a fitness nut to enjoy the story unfolding on the screen. At times, it’s rather rote but never dull or clichéd, and the sense of humor from its participants and Gary Cantrell in particular elevate The Barkley Trials from just a passable documentary to a genuinely entertaining examination of an event that many attempt and few finish.

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young is currently available on VOD.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Eric Bana Talks ‘Force of Nature: The Dry 2’ – Interview

Eric Bana Returns for the sequel to ‘The Dry‘ in ‘Force...

Letitia Wright’s Talks about her Latest Film ‘Aisha’ – Interview

Letitia Wright’s latest film, ‘Aisha‘, a story about immigration, resilience, friendship...

Blake Crouch and Matt Tolmach Talk ‘Dark Matter’ Coming to AppleTV+ – Interview

‘Dark Matter‘ a science fiction thriller series based on the novel...

Event News Event Reviews
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Takes You to A Whole New World at Segerstrom – Review

Disney’s Aladdin takes the audience on a thrilling chase and a wonderous place...

Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach on The Queen Mary this Halloween

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach for the...

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice’ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the Arts – Review

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice‘ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part something: Hermione and the Mini-gun pt 2

Have a lead salad instead!

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part ?: Hermione and the mini-gun pt 1

It can't fire more than 6,000 per minute!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Kurt v Sid – HASTA!

Hasta La Vista Baby!

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...