Marathon Runners Get Heckled By Banjo And Guitar Players, Which Still Isn't As Bad As, Y'Know, Running A Marathon — VIDEO
If you are running through the country in the South, there is one song you do not want to hear: The opening chords to “Dueling Banjos,” a song made famous—and terrifying—in the 1972 thriller Deliverance . On June 6, during the Franklin Half Marathon in Leiper’s Fork, TN, a crew of hilariously creepy "Bailey Road Pickers" heckled the marathon runners, who, in a video of the incident, seem confused at first about whether they’ve stepped into a joke or a backwoods horror story.
The group, identified by the marathon website (apparently this has been a problem before), can be seen hanging out on the side of the road, yelling at runners, asking “Where y’all running from?” and “What’s your hurry?” and offering free water. (Hint: Never take free water from a stranger playing “Dueling Banjos.”) The screeching sound of a pig squealing can be heard rising above the music.
The clip was filmed by local resident April Cantrell; she told The Tennessean that her husband and his friends decided to liven up the race with a Deliverance-inspired performance. She explained, "You'll see those guys out here doing these silly things all the time. You never know where that batch of boys will show up, dancing and playing music and being themselves." Thankfully, the marathon organizers seemed on board with the performance, even when one of the guys abducted one of the runners:
(The group seems to have a special affinity for blue, calling out repeatedly to people with blue shoes and kidnapping someone in a blue shirt.) The Franklin Half Marathon website features a statement from Race Director Andy Johnson:
Our number one goal is the safety of the runners. We do not intend to cancel or divert this race, however, in 2016 we suggest that you leave bright blue colored clothing at home. We will have local law enforcement sweep the area to try to keep it clean, but we make no guarantees these folks will be deterred.
The website also assures readers that the abducted runner, Ollie, “has reported that he is doing well, but feels he may benefit from ‘a little counseling.’” Cantrell told The Tennessean that, although runners were puzzled at first, in the end, they were into it: "The first runners came through and they were looking at us like, 'We're not sure about you, but the music seems pretty good,' and as the race went on, the runners stopped and took pictures."
Images: YouTube (2)