Amidst the spotlight on the remarkable achievements of the five runners who conquered this year’s Barkley Marathons, the impressive display of resilience by Damian Hall at Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee deserves equal recognition.

Hall, the reigning champion of the Montane Winter Spine Race, showcased his endurance by reaching the final loop for the second time in his Barkley journey. However, despite his tenacity, he narrowly missed the mark, joining another participant who didn’t cross the finish line, despite starting among the first seven.

The spotlight rightfully shines on the triumphant quintet – Ivor Verys, John Kelly, Jared Campbell, Greig Hamilton, and Jasmin Paris, the trailblazing first woman to achieve this feat. Yet, Hall’s unwavering commitment amidst adversity places him in an elite league of athletes.

Photo © howiesternphoto on Instagram

Reflecting on his journey, Hall candidly shared his setback: a navigational error in locating a crucial checkpoint. Despite the setback, he acknowledged the overall success of his journey until that point.

Despite the disappointment, Hall remains undeterred, seizing the opportunity to further familiarize himself with the course and prepare for future attempts.


Photo © David Miller

Hall’s dedication extends beyond athletic pursuits; he demonstrates environmental consciousness by limiting his air travel, underscoring the Barkley’s significance in his calendar.

Moreover, he applauds Jasmin Paris’s historic achievement, emphasizing its profound impact on him and the running community at large.

In celebrating record-breaking accomplishments, let us not overlook Damian Hall’s inspiring resilience and unwavering determination at the Barkley Marathons. His story of perseverance deserves acknowledgment alongside the triumphs of his peers.