‘Barkley 100’, A Short Documentary About an Unconventional 100-Mile Ultramarathon in Tennessee

“Barkley 100” is a short documentary by Denver-based filmmaker Brendan Young that takes a look at the Barkley Marathons, a 100-mile ultramarathon in Tennessee that was inspired by a prison break. Founder Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell got the idea for the race after watching a news report of a failed prison break by Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray.

When James Earl Ray Escaped, we were watching it on TV like everyone else. We were laughing at him only making eight and a half miles in 54 hours. I said, “in that length of time, I could have gone 100 miles.”

Fittingly, the notoriously difficult race has a number of unique features, including an uncertain starting time that occurs when Lake lights up a cigarette.

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Brian Heater
Brian Heater