2017 Podcasts and Interviews

As might be expected, these are mostly on Barkley. But there are a few on Kona thrown in too.

Barkley Articles

The National

They say save the best for last. There have been a lot of good articles so I’m not sure if this is best, but it’s definitely great and the last 2017 Barkley article to my knowledge.

For the record, though, I’ve never focused training on Barkley year-round. I haven’t even focused training on running year round. I’ve focused on Barkley for 6 month chunks, which is something I believe every finisher has done at a minimum.

Each spring in the mountains of rural Tennessee, a rogue marathoner puts on the world’s toughest footrace, a dizzying test of endurance inspired by an assassin’s prisonbreak


This is a long-awaited feature on the 2017 Barkley Marathons in Esquire. The author, George Pendle, was a pleasure to speak with and is an extremely nice guy who I know wanted to to portray the race as accurately as possible. Overall, it’s a great article. With today’s editing and sensationalized headlines, though, it should be no surprise what appears on the first page and the title that was chosen.

“Masochist’s Marathon” implies pleasure in the pain itself. The pleasure is in overcoming the obstacles that cause the pain. Despite an impressive amount of fact-checking, I believe the article also misquotes me just a bit (I don’t think I’ve said “daddy” since I was 3) to further cast me as the local yokel dark horse who somehow managed to finish (no one who knew anything about the race considered me a dark horse). But that doesn’t really matter, and the article is a very entertaining read. To paraphrase (not quote) laz, the world at large can never truly know what it’s like out there, and those that do (including myself) know what we did and why we did it.

As of race time this year, only 14 people had completed it.

Washington Post

Kelyn Soong wrote the kind of quality article you’d expect from The Washington Post, and I’m happy I got to chat with him to help him do it.



Raishad came over to my parents’ house to interview me the day after the race. I’m still kind of in rough shape, and he probably caught me between naps, but it was awesome to get to talk to him and tell some of the story to the same news program that I grew up watching.

Morgan County native John Kelly is now the 15th person to ever successfully complete the 100-mile mega marathon since it began in the mid-1980s.


Of all the people I’ve talked to after the race, it’s still one of the coolest things to me to see the local media interest and to get to talk to them.

It is a race that is notorious for how many people have not completed.


This is a great article with some unique, straight forward views into the race! Charlie Ban really did a thorough job and genuinely wanted to tell the story right.

Ultrarunning Magazine

It was great to talk with Matt Flaherty not only about this year’s Barkley but some of the previous ones and what led me down that path.

Trail Runner Magazine

They may have stolen my initial title for my race report,  but Ariella did a great job and the title worked better here anyway! It also forced me to come up with a title that I think was better for my race report.

“Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please. Only please, Brer laz, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”


My own full race report, hosted at iRunFar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors

A nice little feature done by Josh Patton, one of the talented photographers who was at Barkley.


It was great to do an interview that really went beyond Barkley and got a bit deeper. Awesome pictures from a lot of talented people like Talbot CoxHowie Stern, and Josh Patton Designs.

Athlete-driven content from your favourite cyclists, triathletes, runners and swimmers. Authentic and inspiring storytelling for people with a passion for endurance sports.

Canadian Running

I feel like “Who is John Kelly?” is what people have asked at every Barkley for the past 3 years. Thank you very much to Canadian Running Magazine for helping to clear that up. 


For the record I’ll always consider myself an ultrarunner who does triathlons, not vice versa,  but I really enjoyed this interview and getting to look at Barkley from a bit of a different perspective.

A week ago triathlete and ultrarunner John Kelly became the 15th person since 1986 to conquer the infamous Barkley Marathons – a ultra difficult 100 mile trail race in the Frozen Head State Park in TN. This humble Every Man Jack athlete talked to us about that experience and more.
Slowtwitch.com | Slowtwitch.com


I’ve seen a lot of stories in other languages, but this is the first where I don’t even understand what I’m saying. 

Barkley Podcasts

Ginger Runner Live

Ethan and Kimberley know Barkley better than any of the people who interviewed me, and it was a lot of fun to be on their show and take some live audience questions.

Ultrarunner Podcast

Eric Schranz from Ultrarunnerpodcast did some great research and I had a great time walking through my Barkley experience with him.

Slate – Hang Up and Listen

That time when two people in DC disagreed but then actually discussed like civilized human beings. Not all Barkley views are rainbows & unicorns, but enjoyed the chat! The Barkley portion starts at 34:52. The original segment in question was on the April 17 episode at 58:25.

Their goal may be more feasible than many realize.
Slate Magazine | Stefan Fatsis, Greg Howard

Pace the Nation

I went to a road running store in my cycling kit to talk ultras. Maybe we can all get along.

Bad Boy Running Podcast

This one was a bit different, and I wouldn’t have it any other way from our friends in the UK! It’s awesome to see so much support & interest there.

In this BBR Special Jody and David talk to John Kelly, endurance athlete and the only finisher at this year’s Barkley Marathons. John reveals his journey from not running to competing at Barkley three times until he finally achieved his goal of finishing, how he trains for Barkley and the mind games you go through when you’re out on the course. David isn’t subtle in trying to pump him for all the information he can about entering, while Jody sees many parallels with his 4 Laps of Nuts drama (no-one else does, though…) To join in with the fun, join the Facebook group. Just search Bad Boy Running Podcast, request to join, and we’ll add you in! Tweet us on Twitter, Jody is @UltrarunnerJody, David is @DavidHellard and the joint account is @BadBoyRunning1 Also, if you want to message us directly, email us on Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe if you want us to be downloaded automatically every time we come out!  FYB!

Southeastern Trail Runner Podcast

Southeastern podcast, runner from the southeast (me), southeastern race (Barkley)

The Barkley Marathons are infamous in trail running lore and this year's sole (and 15th total) finisher John Kelly joins Clinton and Shannon to recount his grueling weekend.

Babbittville Radio

It was great to chat Barkley and for a bit of a change a little triathlon with Ironman legend Bob Babbitt on Babbittville Radio.

POD Podcast

This podcast was pretty unique amongst the post-Barkley interviews, and definitely the most relaxed one I did. It was a lot of fun to touch on some things that I hadn’t really talked about before.

The Fat Black Podcast

Great conversation with Kristian Manietta on training, setting goals, and overcoming mental challenges in endurance sports. This one really isn’t a Barkley podcast or an audio race report, and dove into things that are much more broadly relatable.

So THIS is Fitness Podcast

I think this may have been my first post-Barkley podcast, and Darrell is a great guy that it was a pleasure to talk to.

Territorio Trail

I spoke with Neisa and Andrew from Territorio Trail on a beautiful day down at the reflecting pool in DC. I’m a little disappointed that my Spanish (my college minor) is too rusty for me to have an actual conversation in it, but probably better for most people here that it’s in English. 😉 They do an intro of me at about 41:30 (in Spanish), and then after a commercial / music break my interview (in English) starts at about 47 minutes.


Ginger Runner Live #185

This was a bit last minute, but the timing worked out perfectly to talk about Kona and my journey there from Barkley. It’s always great to chat with Ethan and Kim!

Tri-Oraklet Podcast

I had the opportunity recently to talk to Lasse Stengård Jensen (all the way from Denmark) about Kona, triathlon training and how it fits into life, and just a bit about Barkley too. I hope to meet Lasse in person next year if I have the chance to represent Team USA at the Long Course World Championship.

Canadian Running Magazine

Nice little write-up from Canadian Running Magazine on my run at the Ironman World Championship.

Triathlete Magazine

To be fair, this year’s Barkley involved a bit of (inadvertent) swimming as well. I enjoyed my chat with Sarah Barker for triathlete magazine, and appreciate the great job she did making sure things were accurate!

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