Marathons, ultra-marathons….and Barkley marathons

If you are looking for an interesting documentary, we’d suggest you fire up Netflix and hook into a film called The Barkley marathons. Without giving too much away, this film focuses on a 130-mile race through the Tennessee woods. Participants run five 26-mile loops, rotating between clockwise and anti-clockwise directions, through very difficult terrain, scaling an accumulated vertical climb of > 16, 000m and only have 60-hours to complete it. The inaugural race was in 1986 and since then only 14 people have ever finished.

One of the striking aspects of the film is what people put their feet through. In one scene, a participant has a large blister on his heel lanced as the pain becomes unbearable, while also dealing with heavily macerated feet and wet socks. The current record-holder, Brett Maune, explains that bandaging his feet prior to the race was essential to avoid pain and blistering and that he didn’t know how anyone could get through the race unless they did so too. He should know.

If you plan on doing some trekking, long distance running or even a Barkley marathon, knowing how to deal with (or better yet, avoid) acute foot complaints could be the difference. At Adelaide Podiatry Clinic we can give you advice on how to avoid and manage injuries, including what shoes to wear.

Try to watch The Barkley marathons and not get just a little inspired to be a bit more active. If you do get more active, it might be worth getting your feet in order too.