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Posted: 26th March 2024

Vet becomes first woman to complete Barkley Marathons
Jasmin Paris works as a vet and senior lecture at the Royal (Dick) School.
Jasmin Paris finished race with just seconds to spare.

A veterinary surgeon from Scotland has become the first woman to complete the 100-mile Barkley Marathons.

Jasmin Paris finished the race, which has a 60-hour time limit, in 59 hours 58 minutes and 21 seconds.

When not competing in ultramarathons and other endurance events, 40-year-old Dr Paris works as a small animal veterinary surgeon and senior lecturer at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

The Barkley Marathons race is held each year at Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee, USA, and features a series of unusual customs. The race begins when the race director lights a cigarette. The runners then attempt to complete five loops of the 20-mile track.

On the way, the competitors have to rip out pages from books placed along the course to prove that they have followed the route.

Since it began in 1986, only twenty people have finished the race within the time limit. When she competed in 2022, Dr Paris achieved three loops of the race. The next year, she became the first woman to attempt a fourth loop, but was unable to complete it in time.

Dr Paris has previously set records in a number of endurance events. Among her many achievements, she set a new race record for the 268-mile Spine Race across the Pennine Way in 2019 and has broken records in the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round.

Peter Mathieson, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “It is an honour to call Jasmin a colleague and we were all delighted to hear the news from the Barkley Marathons.

“Everyone at the university sends their huge congratulations to Jasmin. She is truly an exceptional sportsperson and is an inspiration to our whole university community.”

Image © University of Edinburgh

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