The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats its Young (2014, Annika Iltis, Timothy James Kane)

Categories: 2014, Movies, and Sports.

This is a very conventional documentary about one of the craziest races you’ll ever hear about. Not only is it insane (somewhere between 100 and 130 miles in 60 hours, over hills and through the woods) but is run in such a kooky way.

Part of the appeal of this film is the sheer accomplishment of these people – I could never do anything like this, I’d merely be able to complete 1 loop walking and then I’d be done like dinner. But the other part is the sheer kooky traditions of the race – the conch shell that gives runner an hour warning for the start, the cigarette that starts the race, the bugle that ends it for all but 14 people ever. This feels like a runner’s race, a race untouched by money or modern conveniences (even though the race is only 30 years old). And that’s what makes the film fun. It gives you insight into extraordinary people doing extraordinary things in an interesting way in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee.

7/10

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