WATCH: Ihor Verys First To Cross Barkley Marathons Finish Line

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Six other runners are still on course, we will update results as they come in.

After 58 hours, 44 minutes, and 59 seconds, Ukrainian Canadian Ihor Verys was the first of the seven to cross the finish line of the Barkley Marathons before the 60-hour cutoff time.

Ihor Verys made an astonishing debut at the 2024 Barkley Marathons, emerging as the first finisher of the notorious race held in Frozen Head State Park.

Hailing from Ukraine and now residing in Canada since his student days nine years ago, Verys has quickly ascended the ranks of ultrarunning, clinching victory in nearly every race he’s entered since his inaugural performance at the Finlayson Arm 100K in 2021.

Among his notable triumphs was the recent conquest of the HURT 100 in Honolulu earlier this year. However, it was his unforgettable duel with Harvey Lewis at the Big’s Backyard Ultra last year, where he narrowly missed the win by a single loop, that truly captured attention.

WATCH: Ihor Verys First To Cross Barkley Marathons Finish Line 1
Photo Credit: Howie Stern

In a fascinating twist, Gary Robbins, a figure closely associated with the Barkley Marathons, happened to be Verys’ neighbor just ten doors down and introduced him to ultrarunning.

Verys’ performance at the Barkley was nothing short of extraordinary. Over the event’s 30+ year history, only 17 individuals had completed the grueling five 20-mile loops within the allotted 60 hours, a challenge equivalent to scaling Mount Everest twice in elevation.

Maintaining a strong position throughout the race, Verys remained within the leading group of six runners after the first loop. Despite reductions in numbers, he persisted, ultimately emerging as the frontrunner after the third loop and maintaining that lead through the fourth. 

This strategic positioning granted him the advantage of selecting his route for the final loop, opting to traverse it clockwise.

Accounts from Rat Jaw during the final loop indicated Verys’ remarkable condition. According to Harvey Lewis, he quipped at one point, “It’s only 60 hours, not 107,” alluding to their epic showdown at Big’s Backyard.

Crossing the finish line at the renowned yellow gate with over an hour to spare, Verys clocked in at 58:44:59, following in the footsteps of last year’s victor, Aurélien Sanchez, who also clinched victory on his inaugural visit to Frozen Head State Park.

More Of The “Maginficent Seven” Make Their Way To The Finish

Barkley Marathons veteran John Kelly, in his seventh appearance, secured his third finish, coming in half an hour behind Verys in 59:15:38.

Jared Campbell becomes the first-ever to finish the Barkley Marathons four time, coming in third with a time of 59:30:32.

Greig Hamilton becomes the fourth finisher of this year’s Barkley Marathons, finishing in 59:38:42 and making history as the highest number of finishers ever.

Jasmin Paris becomes the first woman to finish the Barkley Marathons!

Damian Hall unfortunately came in from the wrong direction, and did not complete loop five.

Sebastien Raichon was so close, yet so far, and unfortunately could not complete the final lap.

In a trial as physically and mentally demanding as the Barkley Marathons, the emphasis lies not on the order of arrival but on the sheer accomplishment of completion. With a record seven runners embarking on the fifth and final loop, attention now turns to their fate as they brave the ultimate challenge.

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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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