The backyard ultra is a form of ultramarathon race where competitors must consecutively run the distance of 6706 meters (4.167 miles) in less than one hour. When each lap is completed, the remaining time within the hour is typically used to recover for the next hour's race.
Exactly one hour after a backyard ultra's first starting time, the competitors run an additional 6706 meters with a one-hour window for completion. These distance loops are repeated hourly. The race ends when the last runner or runners either concede or fail to finish the distance within the allotted time frame.
The distance the runners race each hour is set at miles or 6705.6 meters, which is then rounded up to 6706 meters. The total distance run by a competitor who completes 24 laps is exactly 100 miles. Backyard ultra races are usually held on a loop measuring 6706 meters, though in Sweden some have been held on a 400-meter track.
If no competitor manages one more lap than the others, then all athletes receive a DNF ('Did Not Finish') and there is no winner. In Sweden, the fastest to complete the previous lap is deemed the winner.
The longest distance recorded by a competitor in a backyard ultra event is 75 laps or 502.95 km or 312.525 miles by Karel Sabbe at the international part of Big's Backyard Ultra in October 2020. The longest distance recorded by a female competitor in a backyard ultra event is 68 laps by Courtney Dauwalter at Big's Backyard Ultra in October 2020.
Guillaume Calmettes has completed the most 200+ mile finishes at 3, while Peter Cromie holds the record for most 100+ mile finishes at 7 (4 at 100, 2 at 150 and 1 at 200)
In May 2019, Katie Wright became the first woman to win a backyard ultra event running 201 km in 30 hours during an event in New Zealand. She beat 5 other women and 40 men to emerge victoriously.
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