2022 results, write-up
9am Saturday May 20, 2023, 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.
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!
See the course map, , and Photo Tour
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. This spot can either be under our 20 x 40 ft "big top" (limited space available) or else somewhere outside of it. A group of runners can mutually request to be adjacent to each other or to share space (a shared space will be enlarged to at least 50 sq ft per person). Requests to set up a personal canopy larger than 8 x 8 ft will only be entertained for groups of 2 or more runners, or if you are willing to set it up in the gravel section of the picnic area.
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.