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Jasmin Paris on ‘most wonderful thing’ at Barkley and why she’s so grateful to Jared Campbell

Jonathan Turner
News Director
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There were so many memorable moments from this year’s Barkley Marathons but very near the top of the list was a lovely sporting gesture from Jared Campbell.

He would go on to become the first person to finish the infamous race four times, while Jasmin Paris made global headlines as she became the first woman to complete the five loops before the 60-hour cut-off – with 99 seconds to spare.

You can read much more here about the moment itself – and listen to the chat as it happened between Jasmin and Jared – but in a fantastic interview with Dylan Bowman on the Freetrail Podcast, Paris has now given her perspective on what played out.

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‘Incredibly kind and generous’

The interview is well worth watching in full via the embed below but, on Campbell’s call to effectively offer her the choice of clockwise or anti-clockwise on the final loop, Jasmin said: “That’s, I think, an incredible moment. A kind of a real example, I guess, of the spirit of our sport.

“It just mirrors what I experienced out on the trails with those guys, on the loops – two, three and four – when I was running with them.

“Basically, Jared and I came in, with John Kelly, Damian [Hall] and Greig [Hamilton] all pretty much headed out shortly after I got in [Ihor Verys had gone a little earlier].

“And I was in a kind of a bit of a mess. I was like ‘I’ve not really got enough time to sort myself out’. So I said, I’m going have a three-minute power nap. And I tried to eat something and I couldn’t really eat. I tried to eat my pasta, I tried my porridge, drank some coke, and I started eating a rice pudding and sort of, like, semi fell asleep.

“But then somebody said, you know Jared’s still here? He’s getting ready to go. And then someone said if you want to go clockwise, you need to go now. And that was before Jared came over.

“But actually, what happened was kind of the most wonderful thing. I mean, I wasn’t capable of getting up at that moment. So I was just like, he’s just going to go clockwise and that’s going to be it.

“But a few minutes later…he said, you know, if you’re nearly ready, clockwise is yours if you want it.

“And for anybody that doesn’t know… clockwise is regarded as basically easier. I mean, it’s all relative in Barkley terms, but it’s easier because the last three big climbs are not beasts in the way that they are on the anti-clockwise direction.

“So it was a massive kind of offering to me. And it was incredibly kind and incredibly generous and I was aware of that.”

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‘I was back in the game again’

What happened next wasn’t quite the way Jasmin wanted to say thank you but underlined just what all the remaining runners were going through.

She explained: “I got up and I thanked him and I was trying to say something, but then I basically threw up in my hand and took it to the side, wiped it on the grass and said, I’m sorry to everybody around because I felt bad.”

Both Jasmin and Jared would head out soon after for their own moments of history, albeit in the opposite direction, with Paris adding: “I took my banana from [husband] Konrad [but] I was definitely not in the best state.

“I managed to eat the banana and then I set off up the steep climb again. And I really said to myself out loud, come on now, we can do this. Like, you can do this. And then I was back in the game again.

“But I think what Jared did in itself just was enough to give me that kind of shove I needed. And to be honest, if he hadn’t offered that, who knows how long would I have stayed sitting there? And then even regardless of the fact that I was anti-clockwise or clockwise, I probably would have spent too long in camp to finish anyway. So on so many levels, he helped me out by doing that and I’m so grateful to him.”

A wonderful moment that will go down in Barkley – and ultrarunning – folklore. And what Paris would go on to achieve also made an incredible mark on Campbell and his family as everything went full circle.

Jasmin Paris climbing Barkley Marathons loop three 2023 photo credit: Davidmillerphotography_ on Instagram
Jasmin Paris at the Barkley Marathons [Photo credit: Davidmillerphotography_ on Instagram]
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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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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