Race (hah) Report
Troubadour ("Barkley scRitch")
OK, people, we got a greetings!
Remember Woodstock? You should! And
so, we now also got a theme.
And since we now have a theme, I've thus
conjured up the following little imagery-from-memory "thingy" about a particular
testicular challenge that happened to me earlier this past weekend.
[Note that the mentioned "Testicle Spectacle"
refers to one GIGANTIC powerline HILL on the Barkley course. The Barkley
Marathons enjoy the universally-approved dubious distinction of being considered
one of the toughest footraces on earth. There's 11,000 vertical feet of
climb per 20-mile loop. You're supposed to "run" 5 loops. In the
entire history of the race--from 1986 to this past weekend--there have been
exactly six people who've finished. Everybody else quits, or nearly dies,
long LONG before that.]
Here's how the Testicle Spectacle got its
name--from the Jewish gentleman who first laid eyes on it. He gawked, his
jaw dropped, and he of all people made The Sign of The Cross, but with this
difference--touching his hand to all bodyparts and/or accoutrements mentioned,
and praying: "Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet and Watch."
That is sometimes how "hills" [read: mountains]
are named for the benefit of ultramarathon running events in eastern
Tennessee. [F.Y.I., eye'mzhur. ;-]
Oh yeah, and the course change referenced
[below, far below] is that the Testicle Spectacle has now and forevermore
replaced "The Hump." [Hmmm, do we now wonder how that got ITS
Finally, you also need to realize that no less a
media reportáge than the Washington Post itself was in attendance the
whole frickin' weekend--driving us all nuts. They even tagged along to
Granny's Diner Monday morning, to report on us eating breakfast.
( O_O )
Alright, so OK, THIS is the "finally":
Again this year nobody finished. Nope. Da nada. Not a single
still-breathing human being.
Oh yeah, and there was yet another interesting
little tidbit that happened which I now call: "The Hungarian's
This young Balls-Adz Somethingorother--strange
visitor from another kingdom--somehow managed to spear a tree branch right
through his leg all the way to the knee bone about 1/3rd of the way along the
first tenth of the race. So THEN he had to turn around and limp-hike that
many boucou miles back to camp [his next "escape route" would only occur after
that whole tenth of the race], so somebody there could drive him to the
hospital. Another buddy, in the Barkley tradition, brought that selfsame
tree branch back to camp--with Hungarian flesh still stuck on it. And yet
a third buddy, in the Lazarus Lake tradition [he's the R.D.], then hollered:
"Fresh MEAT! Let's EAT!"
Yo! Gimme mo
[No, I wasn't either one of the
above-mentioned "buddies." I was asshole-over-shoulder-blades deep into
OK, so now we have magically conjured up all
THIS, as follows, for all the Barkleyites:
( Q_Q )
Washington Post - Early
As read this past Saturday from the Staging
Area by Campsite 12:
Okay, okay, people, we got a
Post. Okay. On the front page you have, on the left, a very
big full color photo of a huge mass of idiots, which are you. And it says,
"Barkley was the magic for dozens at annual April Fools' race... Thirty-five
whack-jobs and their support crews camp out in a pit of doom."
Hah! Dig it, dig it:
"Towers on the mountain hold weird
fascination..." wait a second, wait a second, I'm doin' this.
"Wartburg, Tennessee, March 31st---Despite massive previous failures, sizzling
heat, shortages of food, water, and, uh, medical facilities, about, uh, three
dozen fairly old and young people swarmed over these hills today for the Barkley
Marathons at Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area. With the prospect of
endorphins and the making of history, these grizzled people came in vans,
camping in the park, romping in the briars, cursing, falling, and sucking air
through blowdowns. Participants..." quote "participants well
behaved! The crowd, which was camped and fed by six cases of frozen
chicken donated by the Barkley farm near here, ('let's hear it for him,
people!') was well behaved according to both the sponsors and the rangers, even
though at least one European told of having been chased down, arrested, and
interrogated at gunpoint inside the nearby Brushy Mountain prison--mostly on
possession of cranberry pills--as he was being accused of either having escaped
or operating there under cover as a terrorist." Hmmm, bummer
It says other things here, man, like about
shortages of aid, bottled water, and, uh, emergency medical facilities for
visiting Hungarians who impale legs clear through to the bone on fallen tree
limbs... how cars are double parked all over the campground... and huge, huge
displays of ridiculous testicular braggadocio, and all this other good shit...
but, all in all, man, it says you've been pretty groovy and that you've been
doin' a groovy scene out here. And we gotta thank you for it. You're
being very meek and humbled by it all. You're making this
OK, I admit. The "true inspiration"
for all this came from my 2-disk CD of Woodstock--listened to for
twelve solid hours during my drive back home--mostly because this is the first
time in my life I've ever owned a vehicle with a CD player, but probably more so
because Woodstock is the only actual record I've ever
And in case you weren't there, or were born
years afterward, or have zero clue in the universe as to just what in the heck
I'm talking about, here. . . over the course of the past 37-and-a-half
years, I've memorized those "stage announcements" completely:
"Okay, okay, people. We got a
Times. Okay. On the front page, you have, on the left, a
very big aerial photo of a huge mass of people, which are you. And it
says, `Music was the magic for throngs at folk-rock fair... Three hundred
thousand camp out in a sea of mud.' Ha! Dig it, dig it:
'Towers near the stage hold loudspeakers...' wait a second, wait a second,
I'm doin' this. `Bethtown, New York, August 16th---Despite massive traffic
jams, drenching thunderstorms, shortages of food, water, and,' ah, `medical
facilities; about,' ah, `three hundred thousand peop... young people swarmed
over this rural area today for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. ...the prospect
of drugs and making a scene, the young people came in droves, camping in the
woods, romping in the mud, talking, smoking, and listening to wailing
music. Participants...' quote, `participants well behaved... The crowd,
which camped on the six hundred acre farm of Max Yazgur, near here, ("let's hear
it for him, people!") was well behaved, according to both the sponsors and the
police, even though about seventy-five persons in the area were arrested, mostly
on possessing narcotics.' Hmmm, bumma bumma.
"It says other things here, man, like about how
shortages of food, water, and, ah, medical facilities... how cars are lined up
for miles... and huge, huge traffic jams, and all this other good shit... but,
all in all, man, it says you've been pretty groovy and that you've been doin' a
groovy scene out here. And we gotta thank you for it. You're being
very beautiful. You're making this show."
Oh yeah. And let's not forget this
"Gimme an `F'! ("eff!!!") Gimme
a `U'! ("yoo!!!") Gimme a `C'! ("see!!!") Gimme a `K'!
("kay!!!") What's that spell? ("fuck!!!") What's that
spell? ("fuck!!!") What's that spell? ("fuck!!!") What's that
So put down your gun. Pick up a
book. [The Barkley has paperback books planted at all the extreme
edges of the course. You need to tear out a page and carry it back to the
start/finish camp to prove you were there.] We're gonna have a whole
And it's four-five-six. What're we
runnin' for? Don't ask me, I don't give a rip--the next candyass is
the end of our trip. And it's seven-eight-nine, park it at the self-serve
pump. Well, our boys are back now in Iraq. Whoopie, we're all in
Listen, there's about three hundred million of
you fuckers out there, an' all I see is everybody drivin'! I don't know
how you people ever expect to stop global warming if ya can't transport
yerselves any better'n that. Come on, RUN! And it's
Well okay, dear fiends,
Let's not get all political here.
Let's just forget all this Testicle Spectacle
shit, and go on back to the Hump.
You kick rocks or you can roll, you get
stabbed or you can stroll at the Hump. (Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump!)
You can sway n' you can move n' you can really get to groovin' at the Hump.
(Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump!) All the cats n' chicks can really get their
kicks at the Hump. (Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump!) Let's go to the
Hump. (Oh, baby!) Let's go to the Hump! (Oh, baby!)
Let's go to the Hump. (Oh, baby!) Let's go to the Hump! ...Come on,
let's go to the Hump. Let's go to the Hump. (Oh, baby!) Let's
go to the Hump! (Oh, baby!) Let's go to the Hump. (Oh,
baby!) Let's go to the Hump! All the cats n' chicks can really get
their kicks at the Hump. (Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump-Hump!) Let's
this year before being timed out,
managed to complete
0.14ths of the course
by retrieving 7 ripped-out pages...
which I still
have, if anybody wants
to read them)