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RUN247 / Running News / Trail Running News / Barkley Marathons 2024: Weather forecast looking kind at Frozen Head State Park

Barkley Marathons 2024: Weather forecast looking kind at Frozen Head State Park

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Published on
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How Far Will You Go? UK's Biggest 24hr Trail Race

The 2024 Barkley Marathons is under way, with a whole host of challenges for the 40 hopefuls to overcome if they want to join the select list of 17 who have finished the race by completing five 20-mile loops.

But one aspect that looks to be in favour of the runners is the weather, following the start at 05:17 local time on Wednesday 20 March.

In the relatively recent past, Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee has lived up to its name with sleet, ice, snow, rain and strong winds all thrown at the runners already battling the extreme elevation, thick undergrowth and navigational challenges.

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Bright day dawns soon after start

However this year the forecast could hardly be better.

Looking at a range of predictions for Wartburg, which is the nearest small town, they are all currently agreed that both Wednesday and Thursday should be dry and sunny.

Forest track day 2 Barkley Marathons 2023 photo credit: Davidmillerphotography_ on Instagram
Conditions are looking good for the runners [Photo credit: Davidmillerphotography_ on Instagram]

Highs of 17 degrees Celsius (or 63 Fahrenheit) are in prospect – and crucially the temperature isn’t expected to drop below freezing. A low of 2 degrees on a clear day on Thursday is as chilly as it gets.

And even though some rain is predicted on Friday, it’s likely to just be showers. And in any case it’s forecast to arrive just after the 60-hour cut-off point of 17:17 local time.

What winds there are should be light and runners will also have more than 12 hours of daylight each day.

The sunrise came two-and-a-half hours into the race on Wednesday at 07:41 local time, with sunset at 19:50.

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Tougher than last year?

Race creator Lazarus Lake will no doubt have many tricks up his sleeve to make completing the five loops in the allotted time as close to impossible as it can be without tipping over the edge – especially as there were three finishers last year, the first since 2017.

Head over to our live updates section to keep track of the 2024 event as it unfolds – it promises to be another fascinating one.

And if you’re a relative newbie to what is billed as ‘the race that eats its young’ then check out our guides to what makes it so special as well as our round-up of some of the best documentaries out there.

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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