The Strolling Jim 40, held in Wartrace, Tennessee, is one of the top five oldest ultras in America that is still being held to the present-day (2021). It is a road race that runs on hilly paved and dirt roads, a brain-child of Gary Cantrell (Lazarus Lake). Because its distance is a non-standard ultra-distance of 41.2 miles, the race perhaps has not received as much publicity as it deserves among the current mainstream ultrarunning sport. But buried within, is a storied history along with a seemly unbreakable course record set in 1991 by Canadian, Andy Jones, one of the greatest North American ultrarunners who most of the current generation of ultrarunners have never heard of before.
The classic Strolling Jim 40 came back into ultrarunning focus during early May 2021, when Andy Jones’ remarkable record was finally broken by Zack Beavin, of Lexington, Kentucky. The story of Strolling Jim must be told along with the progression of its famed course record.
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