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Barkley Marathons 2024 results: Ihor Verys first to finish as Jasmin Paris makes history

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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Ihor Verys crowned an incredible debut at the 2024 Barkley Marathons by being the first finisher of the infamous race in rural Tennessee.

Verys, who moved to Canada from Ukraine as a student nine years ago, has had a meteoric rise in ultrarunning circles – winning virtually every race since his opener at the Finlayson Arm 100K, which was only in 2021.

That included the HURT 100 in Honolulu earlier this year but until now he is probably best known for the “assist” to winner Harvey Lewis in what was an epic – and world-record breaking duel – at the Big’s Backyard Ultra last year.

Lewis was last person standing with 108 hour loops to Verys’ 107 and there’s a remarkable connection too with Gary Robbins, a man inextricably linked to the Barkley, who just happened to be the neighbour (10 doors down) who introduced Verys to ultrarunning!

Verys’ performance at the Barkley could hardly have been more accomplished. Before him in the 30+ years history of the event, just 17 had completed five 20-mile loops in the allotted 60 hours, featuring the elevation equivalent of climbing up and down Mount Everest twice, from sea level.

He was in the leading group of six after loop one, stayed there as it was reduced to five on loop two, was first out following loop three and then repeated that after loop four which allowed him to choose his direction for the fifth and final loop, going for clockwise.

How the final loop played out

Reports from Rat Jaw well into that last loop suggested Verys was in great shape – Harvey Lewis says he told him at that point: “It’s only 60 hours, not 107,” in reference to their prolonged battle at Big’s Backyard.

And he had more than an hour to spare when he made it back to the famed yellow gate in a time of 58:44:59 to follow in the footsteps of last year’s first home Aurélien Sanchez, who also triumphed on his first visit to Frozen Head State Park.

In what is such a brutal physical and mental test the emphasis is very much on anyone who manages to complete it – rather than the order they arrive back – and that was the next question as a record seven runners had started the fifth and final loop.

All eyes then on Jasmin Paris and the others

And next back was John Kelly at 59:15:38 who cemented his position as a Barkley Marathons legend with what at that point was a record-equalling third finish.

American star Kelly was #15 finisher in 2017 and no one would rack up five laps again until last year when he claimed completion number two alongside Aurélien Sanchez and Karel Sabbe.

But, not long after that, the benchmark for Barkley finishes was raised from three to four by Jared Campbell, who earlier had been responsible for one of the great sporting gestures.

New Zealander Greig Hamilton rewrote the record books again as he became the fourth person (and #19 on the all-time list after Verys at #18) to finish the same Barkley, the first time that has ever happened, clocking 59:38:42.

But there was heartbreak for Brit Damian Hall who came in from the wrong direction and didn’t finish. We have more news on that here.

By now it had also been announced Frenchman Sébastien Raichon did not complete loop five and faced the bugler.

All of which left one person out on course – Briton Jasmin Paris, who had already made history by becoming the first woman to start a fifth loop and was then aiming to go all the way.

And the magical news came through less than two minutes before the cut off that she had indeed made it (#20) – lots more on that here!

Barkley Marathons 2024 five finishers photo credit Keith Dunn on X
The five finishers [Photo credit: Keith Dunn on X]
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.  

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