First Teaser Trailer released for BARKLEY: SADISTIC RACE, a groundbreaking new trail film from the IRUN4ULTRA team

YEAR: 2019     LENGTH: 1:47     LOCATIONS: Barkley     LANGUAGES: English

This teaser introduces viewers to Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell, the brilliant, eccentric and enigmatic founder of the Barkley. In 1977, James Earl Ray — the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. — escaped Tennessee’s Brushy Mountain State Prison, where he was serving out a 99-year sentence. For 3 days, Ray fled across punishing forest terrain before being hunted down by an FBI team’s bloodhound in the middle of the night. Hearing that Ray only made it 8 miles, Cantrell dismissively remarked: “I could do at least 100 miles.” Now, every year dozens of runners navigate the woods of Tennessee attempting to do exactly that, in what has been dubbed “the race that eats its young.”

It is one of the world’s most punishing races, fueled by eccentric traditions that require letters of condolence and human sacrifices. The Barkley Ultra-Marathon features 40 hand-picked athletes running 100 miles with a steep vertical climb, sometimes in the dark of night; nearly half the time, the race ends with no finishers. Every March, the runners leave the starting line not with the firing of a pistol, but with a cigarette lit by the race’s controversial founder — who was inspired by an assassin’s jailbreak.