The Barkley Marathons

Matt Bixley shares his thorough ahead of lining up at the The Barkley Marathons.

Have I Been Training – No!

Amongst other questions where have is swapped with: what, why or how, the have has been a common theme. The answer is generally the same and I am honest when I say No. I haven’t been doing anything really specific for the Barkley Marathons. The BCR boss sent me a link from another Barkley entrant, , apparently they have been training. I’ve been in contact with a couple of other entrants as well. They too have been training, if Godzone counts as training that is. To me Godzone makes Barkley look like a 5k fun run. One team took 64 hours for the 24km Albert Burn Trek.

I have known and read about the Barkley for nearly as long as I have been running. Whilst many people have placed it on their bucket lists, I doubt that many of them have actually studied it. Have they gone and searched for the Topomaps, deciphered the race reports, plotted the course, stalked strava, learned to navigate, failed at navigating, got lost, suffered, suffered again and still wondered what is next. Have you got the e-mail address, the e-mail list, the university degree(s), the right degrees and most importantly the right date and time to submit your entry. Do you have that point of difference that will get you selected?

Over a long period of time I collected nearly all the things that would make an entry worthwhile and thanks to the connections with Ultimate Direction I got the final piece of the puzzle confirmed last year at a time when I thought I had one and only one shot at entering. Any older and I think I might be on the downslide or just wanting to put more time into family life. So I had one shot and that was all it took. My luck run out and I was given a high enough weighting that I would need to book Tickets to Wartburg, Tennessee. Since then, I haven’t trained for it.

What I have done is just carry-on doing the things I’d normally do, after all, how do you train for a race that takes 60 hours and has some 20,000 meters of climb? One thing I did know was that turning up injury free was going to be the goal and trust that general condition would be enough.





3x 40k +


12hr Rogaine


1x 40k+


Tararua Traverse


1x 40k+


24Hr Rogaine


1x 40k+, 3x 5hr+


Plan 24hr Rogaine


2x 40k+




1x 40k+


12hr Rogaine

So nothing specific to training for Barkley, just out and about doing events, having fun and organising my own events. Work gets in the way, there’s fun things to do with the family. I have enough issues with OCD and running so keeping the Barkley under control hasn’t always been easy. I’ve dropped runs, I’ve quit races all with the long term goal of turning up fresh and injury free.

“How many loops are you going to do?” - ALL OF THEM.

Coverage – there is no coverage of the race, there is no website, there may be sporadic and random posts on Facebook or somewhere else. I don’t know, I’m sorry, I don’t even know when it starts.Sometime on Sunday march 29 (NZ Time). Actually I do know, there will be sporadic coverage on twitter which I don’t think you need to be signed up for. #bm100

So one final thought, everything you read about the Barkley is probably a lie, I might write more lies once I’m at the Yellow Gate, but in the meantime enjoy the above long trailer for the Documentary.

About Mouth of the South

Matt Bixley has written 24 .

Outspoken and opinionated- which is great cause we never have to guess what is on his mind. “The Mouth of the South” started his love of trail running with a 8hr+ Kepler in 2004. Since then he has run 220+km in 24hr while representing New Zealand and now has 5hr50, top 10 finish to his name. You can follow him HERE on his personal blog

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