British mum, 40, becomes first woman ever to complete world’s toughest ultra marathon | UK | News


A British mum has made history by becoming the first woman to complete what is said to be one of the hardest ultra marathons in the world.

Jasmin Paris, 40, from Midlothian, Scotland, crossed the finish line at the Barkley Marathons event in Tennessee after running day and night for 59 hours, 58 minutes and 21 seconds.

The mother of two’s time was just one minute and 39 seconds ahead of the gruelling event’s 60-hour cut-off point.

Ms Paris, who works as a vet, slumped to the ground after completing the course at Frozen Head State Park.

The route changes each year, but measures 100 miles and includes a 60,000ft climb and descent, about twice the height of Mount Everest.

Since the length of the course was extended in 1989, only 20 people have made it to the end inside of the 60-hour time limit.

Pictures posted online appeared to show a completely exhausted Ms Paris slumped on the ground after finishing the race, which was inspired by a prison escape.

The BBC quotes her as saying previously: “Barkley Marathons is a truly unique challenge and the idea of running it has been growing on me for the last few years.

“(I feel) a mixture of excitement and nerves. I know it’s going to be very hard, possibly impossible, but at the same time that’s what makes me want to run it.”

Professional photographer David Miller told the broadcaster he had borne witness to the greatest ultra marathon achievement of all time.

He said: “She was sprinting and giving it her all as there was no room for error because otherwise she would not have made the cut off.

“She touched the gate and collapsed in exhaustion. It was the best thing I have ever seen. It was unbelievable.”

Barkley’s course was masterminded by Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell and Karl Henn. The idea was inspired by the 1977 escape of Martin Luther King Jr assassin James Earl Ray from nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary.

Ray covered about 12 miles (19 km) after running for more than 50 hours in woodland, hiding from searches by air during daylight hours. Mr Cantrell reportedly mocked the distance Ray covered, boasting: “I could do at least 100 miles.”

To prove they have completed the race, runners have to find between nine to 14 books along the course and remove the page which corresponds to their race number, according to the BBC.

At the end of each lap along the unmarked route that the runners must memorise, participants have to hand in the pages.



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