Lazarus Lake

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Lazarus Lake
Lighting the cigarette to start Barkley.jpg
Laz lights a cigarette to signal the start of the Barkley Marathons in 2009
Gary Cantrell

Gary Cantrell, known as Lazarus "Laz" Lake, is an endurance race designer and director. His races include the Barkley Marathons, Big's Backyard Ultra, Barkley Fall Classic, Vol State 500K,[1] and Strolling Jim 40.[2] In 2018, Lake covered the United States on foot, starting in Rhode Island and ending in Oregon.[3]

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he organized the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (#GVRAT), which started on May 1 and ended four months later. During that period (123 days), the more than 19,000 participants - from all over the world - averaged over 5 miles per day to run (virtually from their hometown/country) a total of 635miles / 1021 km, and so crossing virtually the entire state of Tennessee.

He lives with his wife Sandra in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.[4]


  1. ^ Pearson, Andy (October 25, 2017). "Big's Backyard Ultra: A Race With No End". Trail Runner magazine. Retrieved March 28, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Crockett, Davy. "Strolling Jim 40 Mile Run". Ultrarunning History. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  3. ^ Meschke, Jacob (September 1, 2018). "The Barkley Marathons Creator Is Walking Across the Country - Just Don't Ask Him Why". Runner's World. Retrieved March 28, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Gintzler, Ariella. "Meet Lazarus Lake, the Man Behind the Barkley Marathons".