#68 in Top Films > Sports



Every year, 40 international runners descend upon a small town in Tennessee to test their mental and physical limits against the Barkley Marathons. Devised as a mockery of James Earl Ray’s historic prison escape gone awry, the race has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. The race’s co-founder Lazarus Lake is as weird, unpredictable and irresistible a character as the idiosyncratic event he has created. With a secret application process, unknown start time, and treacherous terrain, the Barkley has gained cult-like status with ultra-runners and amateurs alike. This award-winning, oddly inspiring, and wildly funny documentary invites you to the sports world’s most guarded secret; where pain has value, failure is spectacular, and it only costs $1.60.

Customer Reviews


if you are into endurance sports... this is a must see

Strangely, hugely compelling

A motley crew of characters, and the chance to see the best of the camaraderie and spirit of ultra running. It looks like a form of torture...

Runners' delight

Never heard of the race before watching this documentary, but it's a great story and well crafted film.