Live results for 2022 will be updated here.
9am Saturday May 14, 2022, starting in Fellin Park in Ouray, Colorado. Register here.
A Backyard Ultra. Complete an easy 4.167 mile course. If you finish in less than an hour—just a 14:24 pace per mile—you get to do it again. The race continues hour after hour until there is only one person left. To secure the win, that person must successfully complete one more hour than anyone else. The race then ends.
For many runners, a backyard race is a good opportunity for setting a distance PR!
Here are some important Rules that further define a Backyard Ultra.
The winner of this race (if there is one!) earns a Bronze ticket in the 2022 Backyard system under the US bracket. This means a guaranteed entry (and we’ll pay your entry fee) to the Ode to Laz Michigan Backyard Ultra on July 23, 2022, which is a Silver ticket event. Winning that race puts you on the US Team for the Satellite Championships at Big’s Backyard in Bell Buckle, Tennessee on October 25, 2022.
You can also make your way to Tennessee if your performance is strong enough to get in (and stay in) the top portion of the “at large” list. Our race falls in two different qualifying periods, so you can actually qualify for two different races at Big’s Backyard with a single performance: the Satellite championships in 2022 as well as the 2023 World Individual championships.
To get into the Satellite race from the at large list, you must be in the top nine on the US list. To get into the World race from the at large list, you must be in the top 25 of the list as a whole. At the moment, the needed marks are 50 and 54 yards respectively (but these marks are likely to get even higher).
An easy out-and-back with only 140 feet of vert (1.3% average grade). The course includes about 0.50 mile on asphalt running track, 0.75 mile on smooth dirt roads, and about 2.9 miles on the Uncompahgre River Walk (a gravel footpath broad enough for easy passing). Although the course itself is easy, the altitude here is about 7700 feet above sea level. This may become a factor, especially when runners start getting tired!
To be eligible to start any given hour, you must be inside the starting corral when the hour officially begins. No late starts! Once the hour starts, you must immediately embark on the course and remain on it, other than for restroom breaks as described below, until you finish the circuit.
The shared aid station will serve snacks, hot and cold drinks, and hot meals at certain scheduled times. You'll also be assigned an 8 ft by 8 ft area to set up your personal station. No tents are allowed, but in certain spaces, you can set up an open-sided canopy as long as it fits in the alloted space and as long as you don't put any stakes into the ground (we recommend weighting down the corners instead).
Overnight parking is permitted in the parking lot south of the Start (accessible from 9th Avenue). You may use the Hot Springs parking lot before the race to unload stuff, but please don't leave a vehicle there during the race.
The South Restroom is near the Start/Finish. A runner may visit this restroom either between laps (i.e., after finishing one circuit and before starting the next), or while on course from the dirt path on the west side of the building (i.e., not while you are on the asphalt loop). The North Restroom is on the River Walk and can be visited at about the 1.5 and 2.7 mile marks.
Jeerleading is encouraged!
The hot springs pool is right next to the Start/Finish.
Many shops, restaurants, a grocery store, four breweries, and a distillery are within a few blocks.
There are many, many nearby trails to explore.
A few miles from town, there is quite a bit of free, dispersed camping.
The starting line is about half way between the gazebo and the gravel picnic area. From there, runners run on the asphalt path towards the camera, make a clockwise loop around the ballfield, then pass behind the gazebo.
View from the gazebo, facing northeast. From this vantage, a spectator can see runners for the first and last quarter mile of the course.
After passing the gazebo, runners make a 90 degree right on a dirt access road towards the south restroom. You may pass to either side of the restroom building (the restroom entrance is on the east side). Continue another 30 yards on dirt road to the South Bridge. Left across the Bridge, about 80 yards to Oak Street. Right on Oak Street.
Head downstream on Oak Street for 0.30 miles. Then turn right onto a narrow footpath for 30 yards, dropping towards the Middle Bridge (the bridge is just visible in this photo). Do NOT cross the bridge. Instead, turn left on the Uncompahgre River Walk, keeping the river to your right.
Follow the River Walk about a mile downstream, passing the North Restroom and reaching the North Bridge.
Depending on the season, Bridalveil Falls is visible from here.
A few feet off the path.
Cross the bridge and head upstream on the opposite side of the river.
Heading for the turnaround.
Almost there. Spring conditions shown.
The turnaround will be exactly at the falls.
From here, retrace your path back to where you started (including a reversed version of the quarter mile asphalt loop in Fellin park).
Heading downstream, back towards the North Bridge again.
Two left turns to cross and head upstream on the other side. This is the lowest point on the course, about 100 vertical feet below the finish line.
The door on this side of the building is no good! Use the door on the south side.
Headed upstream towards the Middle Bridge. From here, just keep retracing your path to the start/finish.