Backyard ultra

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The backyard ultra is a form of ultramarathon race where competitors must consecutively run the distance of 6,706 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.[1][2]

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.[3]

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 85 laps or 569.980 km or 354.1695 miles by Harvey Lewis at the Big Dog's Backyard Ultra in Bell Buckle in Tennessee (USA) in October 2021. Chris Roberts completed 84 laps and Terumichi Morishita 80 laps.[4]

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)[5]

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.[6] She beat 5 other women and 40 men to emerge victoriously. Then, Maggie Guterl went on to win the Big's Backyard Ultra covering more than 402 km in 60 loops.



  1. ^ "Sweden Runners - ÄBU 2017". Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  2. ^ "Big Backyard Ultra - October 15, 2016". Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  3. ^ "Ultrafestival - Team Ultrasweden LK - Friidrott - IdrottOnline Klubb". Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  4. ^ "Big's Backyard Ultra, 10/16/2021-10/23/2021 : : my.race|result". Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  5. ^ "BYU Lists". Google Docs. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  6. ^ "Running Doctor Scores World First For Women". Retrieved 2019-08-17.