Arguably the most intriguing foot race in the country, if not the world, the Barkley Marathons operates today as it did in its inception over 30 years ago. Virtually impossible to enter (& finish), the Barkley eschews high profile fanfare and slick advertising in favor of an anomalous dreary death march tucked out of sight of sports enthusiasts.
Despite the fact that I would love to get a taste of the experience, what I appreciate about the Barkley is that it has stayed true to its roots. When others would be looking to expand the number of participants, accept sponsorships, sell merchandise, and offer similar events in other regions of the country, Laz has avoided the temptation of commercialization. Our society seems to believe that bigger, better, faster, shinier, and more accessible is universally equated with better. I don’t. We should not feel entitled for every race/event/company to expand to meet our personal needs and desires.
Even if it means I never get a shot, I would rather the Barkley remain a special and unique experience for those unfortunate (that’s a spin off of the acceptance letter if you didn’t catch it) enough to have that painful and torturous bond.