Ultimate Direction announces sponsorship of the Barkley Marathons
Boulder, CO:  Ultimate Direction, a market-leading manufacturer of gear for runners, hikers, and skiers, is proud to announce a new partnership with the Barkley Marathons.
BarkleyThis legendary race, held sometime in the spring at Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee, has grown in stature, with entries coming in from all over the United States as well as 8 countries, and has become the subject of a new film seemingly every year.
“The Barkley Marathons need to keep up with the times”, announced Gary Cantrell, Race Director, when asked if pressure from a huge corporate entity such as Ultimate Direction would mandate any changes.  “However, what you know and have come to love will not change”.
He then announced the Entry Fee would be increased from $1.60, to $5,000.00 per person.
“We believe this slight increase will ensure a better experience for all participants” noted Gary, speaking from his new home in the south of France.  “Plus, now that Amelia Boone is in it, I can charge anything; people will show up no matter what.”
In keeping with the well known idiosyncrasies of the event, the Entry Fee is actually $1,000 per lap. Entrants who expect to finish one lap will only pay $1,000, but can only start the number of laps paid for in advance.  Since only 5 people finished two laps this year and just 1 person three laps, reporters speculated that no one would be dumb enough to pay the $5,000, so the Entry Fees might not support the RD’s new lifestyle.
“No problem at all”, said Gary, demonstrating once again his legendary insights into human nature, or at least ultra-runner nature.  “Won’t make a difference.  Everyone is convinced they can do it.  Rationality has not, is not, and never will be part of the Barkley Marathons.”
Experienced participants were quick to agree with this assessment.
“Certainly.  $5,000 is no problem,” stated Gary Robbins, super good guy and outstanding ultra-runner.  “I’ve already sold my house in order to train for this, so all I have to do now is sell my car and the clothes off my back.  I’ll be there.”
Jamil Coury, Race Director, multiple HR100 Finisher, and aspiring filmmaker, fully agreed.  “This year, on my fourth try, I managed to hike more miles at Barkley than I did getting from the airport gate to the rental car parking lot.  That’s progress.  I totally got this.”
Buzz Burrell, figure-head for Ultimate Direction and various other public endeavors he performs no actual work for, was expressed excitement. “Barkley is a natural fit for UD.  It has already been demonstrated by the last three finishers that the only way to finish is to wear our PB Adventure Vest.  That, and maybe a torn-up plastic garbage bag and weird orange stocking cap.”
Co-Sponsors of the event include Men’s Journal, and Eli Lilly and Company, developer of Prozac.
“Once we heard that numerous well-known people associated with the race have categorically stated, “No woman will ever be able to finish Barkley”, we were in”, said Myke M. Sogonist, chief publicist, Men’s Journal.
Past Finishers were generally supportive as well.
David Horton, holder of more long-trail and heart-bypass records than anyone still alive, and for impromptu invocations that totally mesmerized anyone standing within a 20’ radius, felt the spirit of Barkley would not change.  “It’s still the hardest race there is. There’s nothing like it. It’s far, far longer than 100 miles. And by the way, that wasn’t me who said, ‘No woman is tough enough to finish Barkley’”.
Blake Wood, one of the best all-around runners and home-brewers ever, and designer of the HR100 lottery system as well as hydrogen bombs, said, “This is a fair system.  Even I can’t understand it, but Gary somehow tricks people into finding meaning by emphasizing lack of meaning, so it works.”
Jared Campbell, formerly an extremely well respected and liked runner, now secretly resented for finishing Barkley so many times he’s caused the course to be made so hard nobody else can finish it, was out running his daily 10k (measured vertically, not horizontally) on Grandeur Peak, and was not available for comment.