For the first time, a female runner has completed the grueling Barkley Marathons, among 5 fearless finishers

running with poles
British ultra runner Jasmin Paris broke Sue Johnston's record, set back in 2001 (Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2024 Barkley Marathons drew to a close last night and for the first time ever, a female runner completed all five laps of the grueling race. British ultra runner Jasmin Paris was the last of the five remaining runners to cross the finish line, managing the brutal feat with just seconds to spare. In doing so, she makes history as the first woman to do so.

Yesterday, we reported that for the first time, seven runners had entered into the final lap of the event that is famously known as "the race that eats its young." However, Sebastian Raichon from France and Britain's Damian Hall both failed to complete the final lap, leaving Paris among a relatively healthy lineup of finishers that includes John Kelly, who enjoyed his third finish, Greig Hamilton, Jared Campbell and Ihor Verys, who came in first at 58:44:59. The group was photographed in a social media post by Keith Dunn, which you can see below, looking a little muddied and bloodied, but otherwise very pleased with themselves.

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Paris, who has two children and works as a veterinarian and research scientist in Edinburgh, crossed the finish like in 59:58:21, less than two minutes before the 60-hour cutoff. She set another record in 2021 when she reached 29 Scottish peaks over 3000 feet in 24 hours. The 40-year-old has yet to comment on her most recent feat, no doubt in need of a lot of rest first, but her win places her in the history books of ultra running. The women's record had long been held by Sue Johnston, who managed 66 miles all the way back in 2001.

The race typically begins with 35 hand-selected runners, but on Thursday we reported that two were disqualified for littering at the starting line. The course involves making five loops of a 20-mile circuit in Frozen Head State Parks that sees runners battling through extremely tough, overgrown terrain.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.