The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young at the Silver Screen Drive-in

July 15 9:15 to 10:45 pm

A famous prison escape sparked the idea for a cult-like race that only had 10 finishers in its first 25 years, in the oddly inspiring, and wildly funny, documentary The Barkley Chronicles, about the sports world's most guarded secret. Screening July 15, the film celebrates dedicated runners, like those who would normally be attempting “The Broken Goat” race on the same weekend!

Created as a mockery of a famous historic prison escape, in 25 years only 10 people have finished the Barkley Marathons.

Every year 40 runners come from around the world to a small town in Tennessee to test their limits
in a cult­like, quirky, and virtually impossible trail race. Through the competitors’ spectacular failures and
unprecedented successes, this film contemplates the value of pain in a society that favors comfort.
Lazarus Lake, the co­founder of the Barkley, has been running ultramarathons since the early 1970’s with his cigarette laden southern drawl and sardonic wit. As the mastermind of this race, his mission is to keep the Barkley at the absolute limit of human potential. For Laz, there is no point in presenting a challenge that does not include the possibility of failure.

With a secret application process, unknown start time, and a course that changes every year, Laz places
hurdles to challenge these non­traditional athletes mentally as well as physically. The Barkley consists of 5 loops. To finish, runners must traverse 130 miles, 120,000 feet of elevation change, all within 60 hours. With only a map and compass on the unmarked and un­aided course, runners navigate their way through
treacherous terrain to find hidden books as proof of following the route.

In the middle of each loop, runners tunnel through the historic prison that ignited the idea for the Barkley. In 1977 James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison, into the Tennessee wilderness. He was captured 54 hours later, less than 8 miles from the prison. Upon hearing of his failed attempt, Laz mockingly declared that he could run 100 miles in that same amount of time, and so, the Barkley Marathons race was born.

The Barkley is a puzzle; at once drama, tragedy, and comedy. The movie follows unlikely athletes who face their demons, enter the deep woods of Tennessee, and refuse to turn back. Immersed in a real-life southern gothic tale imbued with American history, the filmmakers capture spectacular failures and mythic successes. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young will enthrall a wide audience with its absurdist, sardonic, and unusually inspiring story.


“An insanely difficult endurance race that few have ever finished is chronicled in this delightful documentary.” –Variety

“Captivating and thrilling…It’s truly something to behold, in all its excruciating glory.” Exclaim!


Director: Annika Iltis and Timothy James Kane/ Cast: Lazarus Lake/

Genre: Documentary, Adventure, History, Sport / Length: 1h 29min / Rating: PG / Country: USA / Language: English

94% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes

Limited capacity. So, get your ticket at 250-368-9669, or online at! $12 per person. Please note: from July 1 phone sales only available Thursdays from 10am to 4 pm.

Please note: earlier show start of 9:15 pm.

Remember, get there an hour before to pick up your popcorn and get a good spot. Doors close 15 minutes before showtime – no late entries!

About the Silver Screen Drive-in

The Royal Theatre and Trail & District Arts Council have joined forces to imagine your new, favourite summer experience, the Silver Screen Drive-in. Running from June to September, films will screen Thursday through Saturday at sunset in the Waneta Plaza upper parking lot. Upcoming films will include those event movies that you’ve missed seeing on a big screen, retro classics from comedy to horror, as well as those Sunday Cinema favourites been as well as Oscar winning independent films and documentaries. Plus, live performances of music, theatre, dance and more!

The Silver Screen Drive-in is sponsored by Bounce Radio, Century 21, Kootenay Savings Credit Union, Teck Metals Ltd. and Tourism Rossland, and made possible thanks to support from Waneta Plaza and funding from the Government of British Columbia, BC Arts Council, and Canadian Heritage.

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Town: Rossland, BC
Venue: Waneta Plaza Upper Rear Parking Lot
Address: 8100 BC-3B