Rasselbock Backyard Ultra 2024 report by Matt Gibson

Race date: 1–2 March 2024

Race “distance”: 50 miles (for Matt)

Race report by Matt Gibson

So I thought I’d give a backyard ultra a try. The premise is simple: the event has no fixed length in time or distance, you just have to run the same 4.167 mile loop every hour and you run until you can’t run any more. The winner is found when they are the last runner standing. The event may last 10 hours or it may last 80 hours, you just never know what will happen in a backyard ultra.

What are the specific rules regarding the Back Yard Ultra?

  • The course will be at least 4.16 miles long.
  • The starting corral will stay the same size throughout the event. When the bell rings at the start of the lap on the hour then you must be inside the starting corral. If you are not then you’ll receive a DNF and not be allowed to continue.
  • Each loop starts precisely 1 hour after the last, and warnings will be given at 3, 2, and 1 minute prior to the start of the lap. All competitors must start at the bell (no late starts). Each loop must be completed within an hour to be counted… including the final lap.
  • Except for restrooms, competitors may not leave the course until each loop is completed.
  • No non-competitors on the course (including eliminated runners) and no personal aid is allowed during the loop. This includes being passed items or handing a jacket back to your support team, once inside the corral or the next lap has begun. You can only have assistance between finishing one lap and entering the starting corral for the next lap. Once the runner starts the lap they must be fully by themselves. Cheering and support from team members are allowed from the race HQ and corral only.
  • No artificial aids (including trekking poles).
  • Slower runners must allow faster ones to pass.
  • If no runner can start one more loop than anyone else, there is no winner.

My ambitious target was 24 yards (laps) prior to starting which would have been 100 miles, I unfortunately only managed half of that. I did start yard 13 and had run the first mile or so and my legs would have carried me further but my stomach had other ideas and I did not complete this yard, so a DNF for me.

Outstanding performances from many in the field. I’d driven home, had breakfast, lunch, tea and was having breakfast again by the time I watched the winner, Mike Raffan complete his 42nd and final yard (one more than second-placed Sarah Perry) on the live feed. Phenomenal.

Striders result

P Name Cat Yards completed Time
P Matt Gibson M 12 9:59:09

Full results: https://www.timingmonkey.co.uk/results/RasselbockBackyard24/#0_67057A

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