The Barkley Fall Classic - 2021
Time & Location
About the Event
The Barkley Fall Classic is designed to give the runner a taste of what the Barkley Marathons is all about.
It contains all the elements; beautiful trails thru the rugged Brushy Mountains, surprising new elements to the course every year, with the course map not revealed until the night before the race, numerous hard climbs and descents (including some of the signature hills that have made the Barkley a thing of legend), and a very personal challenge to face down the demons that wait for us at our very limits of endurance.
The BFC is a 50 kilometer race, with a ridiculous amount of climb and descent (with the attendant reward of numerous scenic vistas.) The course is designed to challenge the runner mentally, as well as physically. GPS is NOT ALLOWED, and those choosing to use it run the risk of lifetime ban. Course markings only exist at major turns, leaving the runner to rely on their confidence that they have not made a wrong turn, or missed a right one. Long sections of very runnable trail follow on the heels of strength-sapping sections of hills... requiring the successful BFC runner to run, when every fiber of their being cries out for taking things slow to recover. The most devastating climbs hit at the runner's weakest moments. Everything is arranged to play on the doubts and weaknesses that exist in all of us. The BFC'er must not only beat the course to finish, but they must conquer their own darkest fears....
As a final challenge, there is a 22.1 mile cutoff of nine and a half hours. Those who reach that point within the time limit are presented with a terrible choice. They can, with a word, choose to end the suffering and run an easy downhill grade for another 7 tenths of a mile, to record a marathon finish.... or, they can strike out into another 9 miles of brutal climbs and descents in an attempt to complete the 50k. Unlike other races with "drop-down" choices, those who choose to continue can no longer log a marathon. At the BFC it is all or nothing.
At the BFC, success is not guaranteed. It might even be considered unlikely. Fully a third of the aspiring entrants will come up with some reason to not be at the line when the starting cigarette is lit. (and who can blame them? at the BFC your very best is not good enough. It takes something a little more than that). More than half of those who have the guts to toe the line will not finish the 50k. The Barkley Fall Classic is not for everyone. If you are only looking to impress your friends, there are a lot of better 50k's to choose from. You should pick one where you are sure to finish, if you don't screw up. If you are looking for a chance to find that something extra inside yourself... that something that you do not know for certain is there... the BFC is for you.
Male and Female winners get guaranteed slots in the Big Barkley in the spring. (A lot of others may discover that they really do not even want to appy.)
Hotels in Wartburg: Scenic River Inn 915 Main St. 423-346-5733. Very few rooms.
Frozen Head State Park Camping:
Big Cove – located at the Yellow Gate. Reserve on-line or through the FHSP office. Fills quickly; but oftentimes campers will share if they have space.
Flat Fork Group Camping: just up the road from the turn off to Big Cove; there are 8 sites that hold up to 15 people each. This area is first-come, first-served.
Wartburg area: The American Legion in Wartburg 202 S. Kingston St, is offering sites for camping either behind their building (restrooms and showers available), or other places in Wartburg. To reserve, call Bill Podewils at 423-628-5635. Mr. Podewils only asks that you make a donation to the American Legion.
Flat Forks Road: Very near Frozen Head State Park. Mr. Brian Young has RESIDENTIAL property located on a side road off from Flat Forks Road. For info and reservations, his # is 423-223-7844. He has room for approx. 15 tent sites. His charge is a donation to the Wartburg Fire Dept. for each camp site.
Liberty: close to Wartburg. Bathrooms on site. 423-346-6848. Talk to Janice.
Bed & Breakfasts or Cabins:
Raiford Cabin – call Bill Podewils for info. 423-628-5635
Two Rivers B&B: 885 Genesis Rd, Lancing TN. 423-965-4464 – 15 minutes from Wartburg. www.betweentworiversbedandbreakfast.com
Cabins in Sunbright: 618 Coon Hollow Rd, Sunbright, TN. 423-628-6293
The Alexander-Perrigo House: two rooms available. www.spiritofredhill.com
Grey Gables Bed/Breakfast: http://www.rugbytn.com/
Grey Gables has 10 bedrooms available – 8 with private baths rates range from $95 to $145
Rugby area: 20 minutes north of Wartburg: www.historicrugby.org
1880 Newbury House
BFC gives back to Morgan County and FHSP
Something good comes out of something bad
Thanks to you, we have made some very significant donations to the Morgan County community: Though 2018, over $55,000 to Wartburg High School, and Coalfield High School, to use for their Athletic budget.
All proceeds from the dinner and breakfast go to the American Legion of Morgan County.
The Cattleman's Association uses the proceeds from the Steak Sandwiches served at the finish area for their Agriculture Scholarship Fund. A big portion of your entry fees go to Frozen Head State Park. Donations are also made to the Morgan County Rescue Squad, and the Petros Fire Department. Morgan County thanks you, and so do we.