Could Jasmin Paris Become The First Woman In History To Finish The Barkley Marathons?

The #smalleuropeanwoman caught Lazarus Lake's attention after storming to victory at the 2019 Montane Spine Race while breastfeeding her infant daughter

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Jasmin Paris, known by her moniker #smalleuropeanwoman, is on the verge of etching her name in the ultrarunning history books as she embarks on uncharted territory at the Barkley Marathons. 

The Barkley, often dubbed as The Race Which Eats Its Young, poses a near-impossible challenge to even the most seasoned athletes, with only 17 runners having finished the race in its history. 

However, Paris stands undeterred, aiming to become the first woman to conquer its legendary course within the grueling 60-hour time limit.

Could Jasmin Paris Become The First Woman In History To Finish The Barkley Marathons? 1
Photo Credit: Paul Dobson

Paris’s accolades prior to the Barkley Marathons are marked by a series of feats that have captivated audiences worldwide. 

Notably, her triumph at the Montane Winter Spine Race in 2019, where she shattered records while expressing breastmilk for her infant daughter, propelled her into the ultrarunning spotlight.

This extraordinary achievement, coupled with her unwavering determination, drew the attention of none other than Lazarus Lake, the mastermind behind the Barkley Marathons.

Lake, a discerning observer of endurance athletics, identified in Paris the potential to rewrite history at his infamous race. 

Could Jasmin Paris Become The First Woman In History To Finish The Barkley Marathons? 2
Photo Credit: Paul Dobson

His foresight proved prescient as Paris embarked on her Barkley odyssey, marked by relentless determination and resilience. In her debut attempt in 2022, Paris blazed a trail by becoming the first woman in a decade to complete a ‘Fun Run,’ conquering three loops within the stringent 40-hour timeframe.

Undeterred by the daunting challenges posed by the Barkley’s rugged terrain, Paris returned for successive attempts, each marked by incremental progress towards her ultimate goal. 

In 2023, she made history once more by commencing a fourth loop, a feat achieved by only one other woman in the race’s storied history. Despite grappling with fatigue and a nagging knee injury during her arduous training, Paris remained steadfast, setting the stage for a triumphant return in 2024.

As the Barkley Marathons unfold amidst the rugged wilderness of Frozen Head State Park, Paris finds herself at a pivotal juncture, poised to make history as she navigates the treacherous terrain of loop four. 

Accompanied by a record-setting cohort of runners, including Ihor Verys of Chilliwack, B.C., Paris stands on the brink of ultrarunning immortality, her sights set on becoming the first woman to complete the Barkley’s fabled five loops.

Could Jasmin Paris Become The First Woman In History To Finish The Barkley Marathons? 3
Photo Credit: Paul Dobson

The Barkley Marathons, shrouded in mystique and folklore, present a formidable test of endurance with its labyrinthine trails and punishing elevation gains. With each stride, she inches closer to her elusive goal, drawing on experience from past triumphs and the support of her fellow competitors.

In the crucible of Frozen Head State Park, where legends are born and limits are tested, Paris’ quest for greatness is within arm’s reach. As the Barkley Marathons unfold, the world watches with bated breath, awaiting the culmination of Paris’s remarkable journey.

To follow along our live updates of the event, click here.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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