Who's done a Backyard Ultra?

I will be doing one at the end of April. Not sure what I’ve gotten myself into. I’ve done a lot of stuff, 100 miler, R2R2R, IM Kona, but this one blows my mind. I’ve watched a lot of UTube videos on the them but this will be a whole new experience. Anything anyone may have to share would be great. Thanks.

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Which one are you doing?

These style races are taking off.

I will be doing the Wausaultra Backyard in Wausau, Wisconsin on April 30.

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These look really interesting

The best advice for these is always to take it eeeeaaaassssyyyy! I think a lot of people make the mistake when they try to build a pace that will allow them an “aid station” stop on every loop. But As I understand it, the trick is to just move at a very comfortable pace for a few loops so you have enough energy to run a “fast” loop and take 15ish min to refuel etc.

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I crewed one and also have a friend who won the Bigs Backyard.
Good advice from the other people that posted but I would add get there early and set your area up as close to the start corral as possible to limit your commute distance and time. It adds up over time and will make a difference physically and mentally.


Interesting and great advice on the location of your corral…are you able to share who the BBY winner was?? Steene…Guterl…Dauwalter…??

Guillaume Calmettes- 2017

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I will be running this race with another athlete. The 2 of us will be sharing a 3 person crew and both of us intend to go many, many miles. The logistics of this event feel like they are becoming quite heavy. Its not the money/costs, it’s the realization that we may need to somehow provide food/drink for 3 people for the duration, which hopefully will go into the 3rd day. Is it customary in the ultra running community for the athlete to provide 100% for their crew? That is what I did for my Ultraman race and it seemed like the right thing to do.

Congratulations on Ultraman. I hope to give one of those a try some day.
I agree that is a burden to provide for your crew when you are trying to focus on your own preparations. On the other hand you are asking people to volunteer multiple days of their lives to support your goal. Crewing is fun but it is hard work even in a race that is stationary and if they are not well taken care of it might impact their ability to provide for you. Since you will have 3 people crewing 2 runners you have the luxury of sending someone out for more provisions assuming that there is a store within reasonable distance.

Typically we ask in advance to determine what the crew will want and then give them cash to cover anything that might be needed while you are racing. Our running group goes overboard and buys gifts, one runner even split her prize money among her crew and pacers. Obviously that is excessive but the better you treat your crew the better they will be able to support you, the more fun they will have and the higher the probability you will have of getting people to crew for you in future races.

And now that they have crewed for you, you have the responsibility to crew for them in their races.

Good luck and please provide a link to your race so that we can follow along and root for you.

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So I was able to get in 28 loops for 116 miles before ringing the bell. That got me a 3rd place finish, or Loser #2 :wink: The #2 finisher didn’t make it back in time to start loop # 39. He and the woman who won are both animals!
My take-aways:
550’ gain per loop on trails is no joke
what goes up also goes down and the downs are killers
camp placement near start corral is important
have a long game mindset
should have never run loop faster than 55-57 minutes=walk it when you can
take water with you as 50 minutes is too long to be without
take food with you as 50 minutes is too long to be without
the rest gained from a sub 50’ lap is not worth it=too many matches burned
you can use the toilet during your loop

I think looking back, I should have not run as fast as I did. My quads were trashed. I was actually wanting to continue to climb hills just so I didn’t have to run anymore. The loop we were on could not be walked in 60’. My head lamp was subpar for technical rocky and rooted trails at night so I used a flashlight as well. That left me leaving my hand bottle behind during the dark. Looking back, that got me behind on fluids. I should have used a vest. The unraveling came not that long after that once the sun came out and the temp went to 80*F.

I will say, I have done a lot of races, the crew of Race Directors that are WausaUltra are top notch! I would recommend anyone to join them in the future for any type of event they might put on.
That’s my Backyard Ultra experience


That’s awesome, good for you no matter what!

I have raced and won one and have coached a couple other people for races in this format. I did a writeup about a friend that had asked questions about Big’s Backyard as he qualified for that race coming this fall. My post addresses some questions people might have about the format that is increasing in popularity.

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I just completed one. I think it’s fun and unique experience.
And then, there is the reward at the end. A beer. And a second one, :slight_smile:


I’ve run three backyard ultras and have done pretty well at this race format. The longest I’ve gone is through the 31st hour. I would second all of the advice that has already been mentioned, especially maintaining a slow steady pace and claiming an aid area near the starting corral.

If you want more details on how my two best performances went, I’ve linked to my race reports below.

Run Ragged - Beast Coast Trail Running by Scott Snell: 2019 Run Ragged Last Person Standing

Keystone Backyard Ultra - Beast Coast Trail Running by Scott Snell: 2021 Keystone Backyard Ultra - Hope and Faith against a DNF


I just completed silver moon race it was a two mile loop around a vineyard. I signed up for 6 hrs my husband signed up for 100 miles. It started at 6 pm and I totally underestimated how wonky you get at night and how COLD it gets at night! It was 85 in day and dropped to 40 at night.
Going to sign up next year but do it with a relay team it will be more fun!

Depending on how long our latest lockdown goes on, I might be tempted to do my own Back yard ultra solo form home. Im guessing it would be significantly harder actually going home after each leg - has anyone tried it that was rather than at an organised event?

Lol, the one I had earlier started at 87 and cooled down to 78 at night:) I think I was lucky.

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New Jersey just had their first backyard style race last weekend. I ran it and finished with 36 laps - 150 miles there.


You are a Backyard stud…congratulations.

Do you enjoy Backyards more than traditional races?