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#Lazcon is a go – Barkley Marathons genius Laz Lake begins his trek across America

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Published on
Endure 24
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Only Laz Lake – the mastermind behind the Barkley Marathons, Backyard Ultras and much more besides – would begin his own epic walking challenge across the United States on April Fool’s Day.

But that’s what happened earlier this week as he embarked on a 150-day trek from Delaware to San Francisco.

The 69-year-old started on the East Coast by dipping his toes in the Atlantic and is aiming to do the same in 150 days time in the Pacific, having covered around 3,000 miles.

He’s meticulously planned the next six months, with the feat even more remarkable given that according to Jared Beasley, who is crewing for him for a couple of weeks early on, Lake is “battling blockage in a femoral artery and multiple other health issues” and “is determined to make San Francisco”.


‘Lucky’ start

Writing on his Facebook page, in typical fashion, Laz said: “The first full day and the luck could not be better. It did, as forecast, rain cats and dogs all day…

“Just north of us! We did not get a drop.”

And summing up the adventure that awaits, Laz wrote the following, again in his own inimitable style:

“half a year in another world
the real world,
no trumpers
no wokers
just people.
helpful, friendly, encouraging, supportive people.
we will walk together
and talk together
and sometimes sit and eat together

And afterwards someone will tell me;
i am really glad we got to meet those folks
from everything i have heard they are some kind of monsters…

but they are just good people.

yes. just like you and me.”

Lazarus Lake day 2 Barkley Marathons 2023 photo credit: Davidmillerphotography_ on Instagram
Laz Lake – the genius behind the Barkley Marathons [Photo credit: Davidmillerphotography_ on Instagram]

‘My heart is ready’

Laz added that he’s relishing the learning he’ll do during the course of the adventure – everything from history and geography to geology.

He rounded it all off my saying: “I suppose if my body holds together it will take me half a year to cross this mighty continent.
half a year free from the bullshit.
half a year of knowing that aches and pains are just god’s way of telling me i am still alive.
half a year of magic
crossing this magnificent land
with its wonderful people.

my body thinks this is crazy.
but my heart is ready.”

We wish him well and will be following his progress closely over the coming weeks and months.

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.  


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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