I was really looking forward to watching The Barkley Marathons but ended up turning it off after 25 minutes. I hoped for a theme to emerge. A story. Something? As another reviewer mentions, it's 'drive" that connects all the runners, but that doesn't come through in the documentary. I wasted 20+ minutes watching dudes pat other dudes on the back for the "cool" and "elusive" event they created and were running. COOL.
From the documentary, you'd think only men run the race (does the exclusive, mystery registration process passed on from veteran to veteran unintentionally create a gender barrier? Bro running culture? Probably) BUT! In spite of that, I caught a glimpse of a few women in the background. I saw them lacing up, a look of determination in their eyes. Why weren't they interviewed? IDK?
What makes Barklay runners different from other distance runners or even adventure racers (who also have to map their own course) except that they know the secret handshake? IDK.
There are some great running documentaries out there, this is not one of them.