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The world's most badass female runner!

This is the sickest race I've ever heard of. Watched the documentary below a few years ago. Great flick. The fact that Jasmin is the first female to finish this race (only 10 humans have) is bomber. Kudos to her.

Where to watch

Link to her Wiki page. What a stud!

Jasmin Paris first woman to complete Barkley Marathons race

By Angie Brown,

BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

Mar 24, 2024

Jasmin Paris slumped to the ground at the finish line after running for 59hrs 58mins and 21 seconds

A British runner has made history by becoming the first woman to finish one of the world's hardest ultramarathons.

Jasmin Paris from Midlothian completed the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee with just one minute 39 seconds to spare of the 60-hour cut off.

She told the BBC she was "overjoyed" and had a "strong feeling" during training that she could complete it.

She was so exhausted she slumped to the ground after finishing the race which is inspired by a famous prison escape.

The course, at Frozen Head State Park, changes every year but covers 100 miles involving 60,000ft of climb and descent - about twice the height of the Mount Everest.

Is this the toughest race in the world?

First female winner of 'Britain's most brutal race'

Only 20 people have ever made it to the end of the race within the allotted 60 hours since it was extended to 100 miles in 1989.

The 40-year-old vet had to navigate through extreme and often pathless terrain, continuing to run through the night.

Pictures at the race finish line on Friday show her legs scratched from pushing through sharp bushes and scrub in dense forest on steep slopes.

Having lost her voice from heavy breathing during the race, Jasmin was unable to speak but told BBC Breakfast by text message she was "overjoyed" to have completed it.

She said: "It still hasn't really sunk in that I've finally done it.

"This year I had a strong feeling in the months of training and run up to the race that I could do it.

"Those final moments have redefined for me what I am capable of."

David Miller, a professional photographer at the race, told BBC Scotland he had witnessed the "greatest ultramarathon achievement of all time".

"There was a lot of anticipation at the finish line and three minutes before the 60 hour cut off we heard shouting and a roar and it was people cheering Jasmin on.

"She was sprinting and giving it her all as there was no room for error because otherwise she would not have made the cut off.

"She touched the gate and collapsed in exhaustion. It was the best thing I have ever seen, it was unbelievable.

"Obviously I was very focused on trying to capture Jasmin and a moment in history but at the same time I could feel a tear behind the lens because it was such an emotional moment."

The race is not only known for being physically gruelling but also for its odd traditions.

The course changes every year but is roughly five loops of 20 miles with only 35 participants allowed each year.

The Barkley course was created by Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell and Karl Henn.

The idea for the race came when they read about the 1977 escape of James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr, from nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary.

When they discovered he had only managed to travel eight miles (13km) in 60 hours before he was caught the keen ultrarunners mocked the distance.

Mr Cantrell believed he could cover at least 100 miles in the time it took Ray to be found so he set about creating the race.

The Barkley is almost as tough to enter as it is to complete.

Those who are able to acquire a little-known email address have to file an essay - "Why I should be allowed to run in the Barkley" - on the right minute of the right day to stand any chance of bagging a spot.

The race, in Tennessee, traditionally begins on the weekend nearest April Fools' Day with an entry fee of just $1.60 (£1.27), plus a licence plate for Barkley "virgins".

There is no official start time, with those who make it to Frozen Head State Park campground on the correct date notified one hour beforehand by the sound of a conch shell horn.

The race officially begins when the race director lights a cigarette.

On every lap, runners have to collect a page corresponding to their race number from the 14 books hidden around the unmarked course - which includes a tunnel at the now defunct prison.

They have no GPS, only a brief time to memorise the map and with limited notes on where to find them.

They take them to race creator and director Mr Cantrell, otherwise known as "Laz", at the end of each lap.

He waits at the yellow gate made iconic by the 2014 documentary Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young.

The first and third loops are run clockwise, while the second and fourth loops are run anticlockwise. The first finisher of the fourth loop gets to decide which direction they go on the last loop.

David Miller Laz Lake at the start of the 2023 Barkley MarathonsDavid Miller

The Barkley Marathons race starts when Laz Lake Cantrell is seen lighting a cigarette

Jasmin, who was born in Hadfield in Derbyshire, had previously completed what is called a "Fun Run" on her debut in 2022 by getting through three of the loops.

Despite its title, the race is still 60-miles long. In 2006 nobody managed to finish it in under 40 hours.

Last year Jasmin became the first female since 2001 to embark on a fourth loop.

Jasmin Paris stopping for a drink during the race

Previously the best women's achievement was Sue Johnston's 66 miles (106 km) in 2001 when more than 30 competitors failed to reach the first book (two miles).

In January 2019 mother-of-two Jasmin expressed milk for her baby during a 268-mile race along the Pennine Way to break the course record by more than 12 hours.

She completed the Montane Spine Race - from Derbyshire to the Scottish borders - in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.

Her previous sponsor, Inov8, said her achievement was "one of the greatest stories" in the sport. She has since co-founded The Green Runners.

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