An interview with Gary Cantrell on the Barkley marathon!
In 1997 James Earl Ray was being held in Frozen Head State Park after committing the murder of Martin Luther King JR. The ambitious criminal made his escape from Brushy Mountain Penitentiary with big ideas of freedom in mind. However, James only managed to get 8 miles from his cell in his 54 hours of stolen time before being caught. Navigating through the American terrain that legend tells, ‘eats its intruders and spits them out’ he was swallowed by the landscape and threw back into the hands of the law.
When ‘the rebel of Tennessee’, Gary Cantrell, faced those same furious lands in 1985, rather than be given an arse-kicking, much like James had received, he was inspired by the sharp and unforgiving beauty of the merciless trails. The idea of the Barkley marathon was born and over 35 years later, only 15 runners have ever made it to the finish line of ‘the most gruelling footrace on earth!”.
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