One thing the internet has brought to us is the ability to find interesting stories and events. Yesterday I stumbled across this 20 minute documentary about the Barkley 100. There are 40 entries a year and in the last 30 years only 14 runners have actually finished. So out of 1200 starters only 14 have finished. The course consists of 20 miles laps with no aid stations except for 2 water spots. There is around 60,000 feet of climbing on the course. In addition the runners must find around 10 books along the course and remove a page that corresponds to the runners race number as proof of completion of the course. The cut off time is 12 hours per lap and 60 hours for the whole event. When you think that in your average 100 mile race most mid pack runners would hope to finish within 20 hours. So a 60 hour cut off shows the difficulty of the race.
This is a great film and worth a look even if you’re not a runner. Also this is worth a look http://www.mattmahoney.net/barkley/