Jasmin Paris Becomes First Woman to Ever Complete Barkley Marathons’ 100-Mile Race

Jasmin Paris

Photo: Paul dobson via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Since the Barkley Marathons started in 1989, over 1,000 ultramarathoners have entered, but only 20 people have ever finished within the 60-hour time limit—and they were all men. But on March 22, 2024, Jasmin Paris, a 40-year-old senior veterinary lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, made history for being the first woman to finish the race. Paris came in fifth at 59 hours, 58 minutes, and 21 seconds, just making the cutoff, before collapsing at the finish line.

The race happens every year at the Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee, in late March or early April. The course changes every year, but what remains the same is its length. The event consists of five loops, each 20 miles long and off the trail. These add up to the course being a grueling 100 miles, consisting of uneven forest terrain that includes 60,000 feet of climbing up and down. For reference, Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, is 29,035 feet high. Additionally, due to its intense pace, the racers do not have time to sleep during the entire 60-hour race.

The Barkley Marathons, which is famous for its brutal nature, is also known for its strange traditions. For example, the race doesn't start with the firing of a gun. Instead, racers set off when the race director lights a cigarette. Additionally, there is no official start time, and competitors who make it to the park on the right day are only notified of the race an hour beforehand by the sound of a conch shell being blown.

Despite the quirks of the competition, it is undeniably difficult to complete. And as impressive as Paris' accomplishment at the Barkley Marathons is, it is far from the only running record she has set. Last year she also attempted the race and became the first woman to begin the fourth loop. And prior to Paris, the best score of a female competitor at the Barkley Marathons was Sue Johnston's 66-mile run in 2001.

In an interview with The Guardian, Paris said, “I still find it really exciting to push myself, especially when I don’t know whether I can do something. It sounds a bit corny, but you also find out more about yourself, when you strip away all the stuff that makes life easier.”

Jasmin Paris became the first woman to begin the fourth loop of the Barkley Marathons in 2023. The following year, she was back at the challenge.

On March 22, 2024, Paris made history as the first woman to ever finish the grueling race, which spans 100 miles in under 60 hours.

Jasmin Paris: BlogX
h/t: [BBC]

Related Articles:

Struggling London Marathon Runner Gets Help From Fellow Athletes To Finish the Race

After Losing His Leg, 21-Year-Old Runs Full Marathon Every Day To Raise Money for Cancer Research

10-Year-Old Girl Jumps From Sidelines to Help Struggling Marathoner Mom Finish the Race

Over 100 Golden Retrievers Will Honor Boston Marathon’s Official Dog, Spencer, Day Before Race

Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content