DC man only 15th ever to finish nearly impossible marathon

March 31, 2014: One man finished the 2014 Barkley Marathons, a ridiculous race that humbles the largest ultra-marathon egos in the running world.

MORGAN COUNTY, TENN. (WBIR) - On Monday afternoon, John Kelly joined one of the world's most elite running groups by finishing the 2017 Barkley Marathons. 

The insane course is a 100 mile race up and down the steep cliffs of Frozen Head State Park in Morgan County, Tenn. Runners have just 60 hours to complete five 20-mile loops and collect pages from books placed at checkpoints along the way.  

With a time of 59 hours and 30 minutes, Kelly, a Washington, D.C. resident, became only the fifteenth person to successfully complete the monster course since it began in the mid-1980's. 

This year's ending was especially heartbreaking as runner Gary Robbins made it to the finish line just six seconds over the 60 hour time limit. 

Video from Canadian Running Magazine showed Robbins reach the finish and immediately collapse.

While Robbins had all the pages to prove he made it to the checkpoints, he finished the course in the wrong direction after he said he took a wrong turn in the fog and went down the opposite trial. 

According to Canadian Running magazine, Robbins was supposed to be running the final lap in a counter-clockwise direction but he tagged the final gate from the opposite side. 

Many runners turned to social media after the race to congratulate Kelly and send well wishes to Robbins. 







© 2017 WBIR.COM


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