On the evening of April 4, Barkley Marathons race director, Gary “Laz” Cantrell watched as Jared Campbell — the only finisher out of an original field of 40 — made his way toward the yellow gate that serves as the finish line for the five lap, 100-mile course through the unforgiving landscape of Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, Tennessee.
Unlike most race directors, Cantrell did not have a medal to drape over Campbell’s or any of the other runner’s necks, nor did he have a podium ceremony to announce the winner and present a cash prize. Instead, he had a lawn chair that he pulled up along the finish line for Campbell to to sit in and share stories from his 60 hour adventure in the woods.
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Cover Photo courtesy Jegard Remy from www.runningmag.fr