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The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Annika Iltis & Timothy Kane

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About the Movie

Every year, 40 international runners descend upon a small town in Tennessee to test their mental and physical limits against the Barkley Marathons. Devised as a mockery of James Earl Ray’s historic prison escape gone awry, the race has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. The race’s co-founder Lazarus Lake is as weird, unpredictable and irresistible a character as is the idiosyncratic event he has created. With a secret application process, unknown start time, and treacherous terrain, the Barkley has gained cult-like status with ultra-runners and amateurs alike. This award-winning, oddly inspiring, and wildly funny documentary invites you to the sports world’s most guarded secret; where pain has value, failure is spectacular, and it only costs $1. 60.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 6
  • Fresh: 4
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 5.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: An insanely difficult endurance race that few have ever finished is chronicled in this delightful documentary. – Dennis Harvey, Variety, Nov 30, 2015

Rotten: The movie runs out of eccentricity capital and becomes just another contest documentary about determined participants - in this case, mostly obsessive young white men - and the well-worn narrative of defeat or accomplishment. – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, Nov 27, 2015

Fresh: Irreverent homespun Zen gives this doc zing. – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter, Nov 26, 2015

Fresh: Codirectors Timothy Kane and Annika Iltis provide helpful graphics between scenes and provide plenty of context as to why one would choose to push one's body and mind to their breaking points. – Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader, Jan 28, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Greatest movie ever!

I'm addicted to watching documentaries...I binge watch them all day. The Barkley Marathons movie...I will probably watch it at least 14 more times in a row.

A well told tale, a riveting feat of endurance and probably some of the most unique characters walking the planet!


My older brother had already convinced me to sign up for the "mini" version of this race (The Barkley Fall Classic) and then this comes out about a week later. Fate, karma?
Incredibly entertaining and inspiring. Amazing to see what the human body and mind are capable of when you push yourself beyond your comfort zone. The film is very well made and provides a real insight into an event most people know nothing about.


I have been waiting well over a year to see this movie, and it was not at all a let down. It makes you smile at the raw humanity displayed throughout, and the beauty of the human spirit. Thank you.

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The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2015

Customer Ratings