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One of the great sporting gestures: How Jared helped Jasmin to Barkley Marathons immortality

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on

A wonderful sporting gesture from Jared Campbell may just have made Jasmin Paris‘ history-making Barkley Marathons finish a fraction less challenging.

Earlier today Paris became the first woman to ever finish the infamous event, one of the most brutal ultra marathons in the world, which is dubbed ‘The Race That Eats Its Young’.

And the margins were tight. She had 60 hours to complete the extreme 100 miles – and did it with less than two minutes to spare.

Until this year only 17 people, all men, had previously managed the feat. It’s an extreme physical and mental challenge which contains as much elevation as climbing and descending Mount Everest twice from sea level.

Class – and presence of mind

But British runner Paris, a mum with two young children who is also a small animal vet and research scientist, had already produced a ground-breaking performance when she became the first female to complete four 20-mile loops at this year’s race – but there was still one to go.

Anyone who gets to that point – and only a handful do, some years none – go out in alternate clockwise / anti-clockwise order so that they are not running together.

Clockwise is considered the slightly less difficult option but only the first to head out can choose it – as did eventual first finisher Ihor Verys in this year’s race.

Campbell, an American with what’s now an unrivalled record at the Barkley, had come into the inter-loop ‘camp’ almost exactly 10 minutes ahead of Paris and knew that if he stayed in front of her then he too would be going in a clockwise direction.

But as the video below shows he made one of the great sporting gestures by seemingly offering Paris the choice, underlining the incredible camaraderie between the runners. Indeed rather than a battle between each other it’s more about them versus the race.

Another chapter in Barkley legend

And don’t for a minute think Campbell didn’t have a huge amount at stake himself as he was aiming for what would be an unprecedented fourth finish at the race.

Which he duly achieved.

Absolute legends both and another absorbing chapter in the remarkable folklore of the Barkley Marathons.

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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