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British Vet, 40, Makes History as First Woman to Finish One of World’s Toughest Ultramarathons, Crossing the Line with Just 99 Seconds to Spare

Credits: The Times

A British veterinarian, Jasmin Paris, has made history by becoming the first woman to finish one of the world’s toughest ultramarathons, The Barkley Marathons. She completed the grueling 100-mile race in 59 hours, 58 minutes, and 21 seconds, with only 99 seconds to spare before the 60-hour cut-off time.

The Barkley Marathons, which takes place annually in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee, is notorious for its extreme difficulty. It consists of five 20-mile loops around the park, with a total climb and descent of about 60,000 feet, roughly double the height of Mount Everest. There are no aid stations along the course, except for water at two places.

Jasmin Paris (Credits: The Mirror)

Participants must submit an essay and a small entrance fee to be considered for the race. If accepted, they receive a letter of condolence reflecting the immense challenge ahead. Jasmin Paris, a veterinarian scientist from Edinburgh, attempted the race in 2021 but was unable to complete it within the time limit.

The Barkley Marathons were inspired by the escape of James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., who managed to cover about 12 miles in 54.5 hours after breaking out of prison in 1977.

Exhausted British Ultrarunner (Credits: Daily Mail)

Jasmin Paris, a mother of two, pushed herself to the limit during the race, with photos showing her legs covered in scratches from the rugged terrain. Despite her exhaustion, she persevered and sprinted to the finish line just in time.

David Miller, a photographer at the race, described Jasmin’s achievement as the “greatest ultramarathon achievement of all time.” Only 20 people have ever finished the race within the 60-hour time limit.

The Barkley Marathons was created by Gary ‘Lazarus Lake’ Cantrell and Karl Henn, with the race officially starting when ‘Laz’ lights a cigarette. This year’s winner, Ihor Varys, completed the race in 58 hours, 44 minutes, and 59 seconds.

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