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Bloor Cinema Release: The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

November 27, 2015

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

The Barkley Marathons PosterAfter premiering at Hot Docs, and becoming a top twenty finalist for the Audience Award, The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young is opening at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema this weekend, tickets and showtimes can be found right here.

With a bizarre application process and only forty participants selected every year, the Barkley Marathon is the toughest trail race on earth.  Run in a series of loops in the backwoods of Tennessee, that amount to a total of 130 miles and have to be completed in under sixty hours, and inspired by the infamous prison escape of James Earl Rey, only ten winners have finished the strenuous course in its 25 year history.

Directors Timothy Kane and Annika Iltis follow a selection of competitors throughout the eventful three days in the eccentric human interest documentary The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young.  They interview the eccentric mastermind behind the race, an intriguing oddball by the name of Lazarus Lake, and introduce us to a group of unique subjects who we find ourselves genuinely rooting for as they take part in this ludicrous competition.

Building up suspense as the final competitors struggle to reach the finish line, The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young is a super entertaining crowdpleaser, that provides a weirdly inspiring testimony to pushing yourself to the limits and persevering no matter what.  The result is a fascinating and delightfully offbeat study in human resilience that’s a lot of fun to watch, regardless of whether or not you actually intend to compete in the titular race.

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