Review: inov-8 film Last Women Standing: The Barkley Marathons 2019
Nicky Spinks is an ultra-running legend. The 52-year-old Yorkshire farmer has won many ultra races and set and broken numerous long-distance running records. Earlier this year, she took on what many people consider to be the toughest test of ultra running endurance, the Barkley Marathons in America.
The inov-8 film, Last Woman Standing: The Barkley Marathons is captured and brilliantly edited by Summit Fever duo Ellie and Matt Green. It tells the story of Nicky’s attempt to become the first woman to finish the Barkley Marathons.
Yes, you read this correctly. This 100-plus mile race is so tough that only 15 runners – all male – have finished it since it was launched in 1986.
What is The Barkley Marathons?
Made famous by a 2014 Netflix documentary, The Barkley Marathons see runners self-navigate their way around an unmarked course in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee.
There are five laps to complete, each one around 20 miles and involving around 10,000ft of brutally steep, obstacle-laden and muddy mountain ascent through thick woodland and viscous undergrowth.
Checkpoints are hidden books from which runners tear a page and then, at the end of each lap, the pages are presented to the enigmatic event organiser, Laz Lake, as proof of completion.
Nicky’s Barkley Marathons’ test
Nicky, a breast cancer survivor, took on her toughest test yet in the Barkley Marathons earlier this year. The inov-8 film, Last Women Standing: The Barkley Marathons 2019, documents how she gets on.
During the film, made by Summit Fever Media for inov-8, Nicky forms allegiances with fellow female ultra-runner Stephanie Case, from Canada.
Through great story telling, interviews and creative filming, Nicky is seen during the build up to the race, travelling to Tennessee and her bid to complete the challenge.
It’s an intimate film that offers an insight into Nicky’s emotions, as well as showcasing an event that is both legendary and secretive in equal measures.
As a viewer I was left in awe at the magnitude and severity of the task. I wondered why on earth people would want to put themselves through such an extreme challenge. If anyone could complete it, I imagined it would be Nicky.
The film premieres on-line on Tuesday November 19. You can sign up now to find out how you can be one of the first to watch it: www.inov-8.com/last-women-standing
Read more about Nicky Spinks:
- Nicky Spinks: Extreme challenge of the Barkley Marathons.
- Nicky Spinks completes first double Ramsay Round.
- Nicky Spinks smashes double record for Bob Graham Round. (These are just a few of her achievements.)