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The Roughest, Toughest Race in the World

Jun 09, 2014 | 595 videos
Video by Brendan Young

The Barkley Marathons, held every year in the rugged hill country of Tennessee, pit runners against their absolute mental and physical limits. The race is five 20-mile loops, almost entirely off-trail, with a total elevation gain that more than doubles the height of Mt. Everest. In three decades, only 14 people have ever finished.

In this short documentary, filmmaker Brendan L. Young profiles a few of the athletes who were daring enough to compete this year. To learn more about the Barkley Marathons, read Leslie Jamison's superb essay at The Believer

Author: Chris Heller


About This Series

A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic