Reading prompt #24: A book set in the wilderness

This pick is a bit of a weird one but it’s perfectly in line with my recent trail and ultra obsession. And Barkley is definitely set in the wilderness.

I’m running more and more consistently than I have in the last year and have been thinking a lot about doing an ultramarathon (50km minimum) in 2018. As part of my pseudo-research, I watched The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young  on Netflix. That, coupled with the recent running of the 2017 Barkley and the gripping efforts of Canadian Gary Robbins, fascinated me and has encouraged the growth of the ultra idea. That of course, led to a book purchase… And here we are.

This book is self-published and would benefit from some gentle editorial attention. However, part of the charm of the book is the approach and rambling of an original Barkley sicko, Frozen Ed. It captures both the history of the Barkley and the author’s experiences of multiple racing attempts (and one finish) from 1986-2009. There are also course descriptions, colour commentary and some of the crazier stories of the Barkley. 

As a person interested in the sport of ultrarunning, I was hoping for more information on how to manage some of the logistics of running long distances; strategies for eating, foot management, training methodologies/philosophies were some of the logistics I was hoping to learn about, given Frozen Ed’s 10+ starts and training periods for Barkley. I think if you are dreaming of starting Barkley, you probably want to read this book for context and historical information. For the rest of us, this is another way to feed your curiosity but the documentary is better. It’s got a better narrative. 

There will not be a Barkley in my future. I shall be satisfied if I write a book that gets used as a Barkley Marathons checkpoint book.

Number of books completed: 12/52

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