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RUN247 / Running News / Trail Running News / Two runners facing DISQUALIFICATION from the Barkley Marathons

Two runners facing DISQUALIFICATION from the Barkley Marathons

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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The Barkley Marathons looks to have had one of the most dramatic starts in its infamous history today.

The brutal ultramarathon in Tennessee is known as ‘The Race That Eats Its Young’ but getting an invite is one of the hardest gigs in sport.

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Trash talk

The 2024 field of 40 runners – after a false alarm a little earlier – were sent on their way in traditional style at 05:17 local time on Wednesday morning when race creator Laz Lake lit a ceremonial cigarette.

And what happened in the few seconds around that could cost two runners their place in the event.

The race is shrouded in secrecy – even midway through the first of five potential 20-mile loops we only know the identity of around half the runners.

But two of them are now facing disqualification when they make it back to the famed yellow starting gate for the first time.

For Keith Dunn, who provides the only official updates on the event via Twitter / X, posted: “Two runners threw trash on the ground at the start. We are trying to identify them so they can be disqualified.”

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Protected venue

There was little sympathy for the runners in response to Keith’s post and no wonder as part of the reason for so much secrecy – especially around the start date – is because of the delicate ecological nature of Frozen Head State Park, which hosts the race.

UPDATE: It appears that the ‘littering’ was a misunderstanding and was actually two watch boxes which crew / support members were always going to pick up after the runners set off!

You can follow all the drama as it unfolds with our live race tracker.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

THE SBRX Show

In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more

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