I’m sure I don’t need to hark on about the brutality the Barkley Marathons inflicts upon those who toe the line. Where else, if you’ve successfully managed to obtain one of 40 coveted starting places, does the Race Director, Laz, send you an email of condolence, notifying you that the honourable thing is to not attempt the race.
100 miles, 5 laps, a load of elevation gain over wild, untamed, unrelenting ground, strewn with briars, undergrowth, streams, steep sided valleys, no marked trail and no gps allowed.
Only a series of words to aid plotting a route on the supplied map.
So much is the secrecy of the race, the film crew of Matt and Ellie were prohibited from revealing the course.
Last Woman Standing follows Nicky Spinks on her attempt to become the first woman to finish the notorious Barkley Marathons, the hardest 100 mile race in the World. Since 1986 only 15 men have completed all 5 loops (which change every year). Audio plays a large part in Last Woman Standing. From the sound track which sets the eery tone from the opening frames, to the voices of Nicky Spinks and Stephanie Case, captured on course, this isn’t your standard ultra or mountain running film. What isn’t seen pales into insignificance, as every word becomes more meaningful, the way in which it is phrased and pronounced resonates within. When combined with race footage and the needle sharp briars, for a brief moment you have a small perspective of how it felt.
However, to me, there was an underlying theme.
One bigger than the Barkley Marathons and Nicky herself. One which is very of the time, important and goes beyond the sport of running. Nicky provides context to where the Barkley sits within this and I praise the Summit Fever Media and Nicky for highlighting it and raising awareness.
If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to the World Premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival, you’re in for something special.
If you came here ready to learn every detail of the Last Woman Standing, just like the Barkley Marathons, you have to experience it first hand to know the truth.
Make a brew, grab some rice pudding and enjoy below.