Barkley Marathon Mastermind Lazarus Lake Appears on HBO’s ‘Real Sports’


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The rather strange and elusive Lake Lazarus graces HBO to talk about how it created the Barkley marathons.

HBO’s new “Real Sports” episode features a creation profile the “infamous and treacherous Barkley marathonsHBO correspondent Mary Carillo will interview race founder Gary Cantrell (aka) Lazarus lake) to discuss the backstory of one of the most challenging races there is.

“The Barkleys”, as it is also known, is a series of five consecutive marathons through a difficult maze of trails over 100,000 feet in height and of course a time limit. Only 15 participants ever finished. As Cantrell put it, the organizers are aiming for a success rate of around 1% – just one step beyond the impossible. “There is no mercy in sport, is there?” he was joking.

“With just 60 hours to complete the race, runners have to navigate unenviable conditions such as temperature swings, rain, and even snow,” said HBO teased in a press release. The episode will delve a little into the history of the race and, more importantly, interview Cantrell about the quirky, grueling details.

The Barkley Marathon episode premieres tonight at 7 p.m. PST / 10 p.m. EST on HBO on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”. Watch live or Stream on HBO max.

Gary Cantrell designed the Barkley Marathons after James Earl Ray escaped from a maximum security prison in the Tennessee Mountains in 1977. Ray only managed to drive 8 miles in about 60 hours before authorities found him. Cantrell suggested he could run 100 miles during that time – and so the race was born.

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Mary Murphy

From Mary Murphy

Mary is based in GearJunkie’s Denver, CO office. She has degrees in English and Journalism and has been writing professionally for over four years. Her outdoor interests range from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to pack paddleboarding. If she’s not writing, you can most likely find her on top of a fourteen or at a local bakery.

Topics: endurance, events, outdoor

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