Athletics News

Ultra runner Jasmin Paris becomes first woman to finish the Barkley Marathons

Ultra runner Jasmin Paris becomes first woman to finish the Barkley Marathons

British athlete finishes gruelling 100-mile event in Tennessee 99 seconds inside 60-hour cut-off time

Jasmin Paris has created history by becoming the first woman to complete one of the world’s toughest footraces – the Barkley Marathons.

The 40-year-old did it with just 99 seconds to spare inside the 60-hour deadline, collapsing across the finish with exhaustion.

She was one of five runners to complete this year’s event, which is made up of five 20-mile loops around the Frozen Head State Park. Her finishing time was 59 hours, 58 minutes and 21 seconds.


The ultra-distance runner made headlines five years ago when winning the Montane Spine Race along the Pennine Way in England, breaking the course record for the mixed-sex event by 12 hours.

And her latest exploit has gone viral on social media within a few hours of her completing it.

Paris has two children and works as a veterinarian and research scientist in Edinburgh. She first competed in the Barkley Marathons in 2022, where she finished three loops. The, in 2023, she completed a fourth loop but was outside the time limit.

Ihor Verys ran the fastest time at this year’s Barkley Marathons, with the Canadian-based Ukrainian runner finishing in 58:44:59.

Jasmin Paris

The Barkleys Marathon features a woodland route that varies from year to year. It is part-ultra-run, part orienteering and part obstacle race as entrants have to tackle an estimated 16,500m of vertical climbing and descent.

It was created by Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell and first run over 50 miles in 1986. In keeping with its cult status, Cantrell lights a ceremonial cigarette to mark the start of each year’s run.

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