They’re still going in Tennessee and elsewhere for the World Backyard Team Championships. But things have wrapped up at places like the Elk-Kings 50k in Oregon, the Wild Duluth 100k in Minnesota, and Colorado’s Blue Sky Marathon, and we’ve got the highlights from all of it.
Big’s Backyard Ultra – Bell Buckle, Tennessee
The race format’s quite well known now, but let’s run through it real quick. The event is named for famed race director Gary Cantrell‘s dog, and is on a 4.167-mile loop. That distance conveniently multiplied by 24 (hours) totals 100 miles, so 100 miles per day. At Big’s, runners are on trail during the day and road at night, and at all Backyard-official races, runners finish a lap each hour and then pause for whatever time’s left before starting the next lap at the hour’s end. And then of course runners have to finish their lap and start the next one on time, or else they’re eliminated.
Harvey Lewis won the 2021 race with a then world record of 354.167 miles over 85 hours. In May 2022, Merijn Geerts (Belgium) broke that world record with 375 miles over 90 hours in Germany.
The race was also the World Backyard Team Championships with simultaneous races happening all over the world. Some 555 runners spread across 37 countries were part of the championship and teams could total 15 runners.
The best coverage was again coming from Cantrell ally Keith Dunn on Twitter.
Twenty-eight hours into the world contest, Hungary and Belgium were the last countries with all 15 runners still alive. 272 runners — half of the initial field — were still running then too.
By the time the clock hit 37 hours, the U.S. was still going with 14 runners, more than any other country, and starting to climb back up the world ranks.
At hour 47, team USA was leading with 12 runners still standing, including the team’s only woman, Jennifer Russo.
In the end, team USA came out on top, running a total of 860 yards between the team’s 15 runners. But the big story was that Belgians Merijin Geerts and Ivo Steyaert each ran 101 yards to break the world record, and then both decided to stop. More on that in our news piece here.
Additional Races and Runs
Seoul 100k – Seoul, South Korea
Women’s winner Jung Soon Park (South Korea) finished in 18:15 and Gediminas Grinius (Lithuania) turned back time on the past year’s injuries and won in 12:53. Full results.
Cappadocia Ultra Trail – Cappadocia, Turkey
Aysel Yalaç (Turkey) and Owen Davies (U.K.) won the 63k around the area’s unique rock formations in 6:02 and 5:21 respectively. Full results.
Defiance 50k – Tacoma, Washington
Brittany Kealy and Jeffrey Barrington were the race’s fastest in 4:51 and 4:02, respectively. Full results.
Rogue Gorge 50k – Union Creek, Oregon
The race ran entirely along the Rogue River and winners Sophie Stiles and Jason Smith came through in 4:46 and 4:07. Full results.
Elk-Kings Trail Races – Tillamook, Oregon
Elsewhere in Oregon, this one ran through the Tillamook State Forest and summited both Elk and Kings Mountains for 5,800 feet of gain. Leah Brown and Tyler Green won the 50k in 6:39 and 4:56. Full results.
Old Cascadia 50 Mile – Blue River, Oregon
Fifty-mile runners touched the top of Crescent Mountain twice. Laura Westmeyer and Jace Ives did it the quickest with 9:48 and 8:54 winning times. Westmeyer’s finish was a new course record. Full results.
Pony Express Trail Run 100 Mile – Faust, Utah
A small field raced on the Pony Express Trail in rural western Utah. Laura Felix and Steve Vrska won in 28:41 and 21:00. Full results.
Blue Sky Marathon – Fort Collins, Colorado
The Blue Sky Marathon is named for the Blue Sky Trail, connecting Horsetooth Mountain Park to the Devil’s Backbone Open Space, and it was the race’s 15th year. Hannah Allgood was women’s winner in 3:33, and David Roche was 19 minutes in front of everyone in 3:11. Allgood’s time was a new course record. Full results.
Mines of Spain 100 Mile – Dubuque, Iowa
Bluffs, prairies, and forests, the race looks to have excellent nature that I personally wouldn’t have associated with Iowa. Running on a 20-mile loop, Tiffany Gunhus won in 24:21, and men’s leader Bren Raschke finished in 19:53. Full results.
Wild Duluth Races – Duluth, Minnesota
In far northern Minnesota, Autum Shurbert-Herzel and Spencer Castillo conquered the 100k in 13:45 and 11:12. Zoe Reker and Daniel Pederson mastered the 50k in 5:39 and 4:14. Almost all of the courses were on the Superior Hiking Trail. Full results.
Sage Burner 50k – Gunnison, Colorado
Mad Moose’s Sage Burner 50k took on the Hartman Rocks trails just west of Gunnison. Tracy Kovaleski and James Williamson sped to 5:22 and 4:35 first-place marks. Full results.
Des Plaines River Trail Races – Vernon Hills, Illinois
Hoa Schober and Mark Williamson won the 12th year 50-mile race in 8:13 and 6:34, and Julianna Buck and Kevin Rook took the first-year 50k in 4:43 and 3:44. Full results.
No Business 100 Mile – Jamestown, Tennessee
The single-loop course gained 14,500 feet of elevation and runs in both Tennessee and Kentucky. It was the race’s sixth year. Jacklyn Noshay won in 23:29, and Justin Weinmeister was the men’s winner in 19:36. Full results.
Oil Creek 100 Mile – Titusville, Pennsylvania
Rebecca Kosek was first woman in 22:19, and Clinton Hepler won the men’s race in 21:54. Full results.
Tussey Mountainback 50 Miler – Boalsburg, Pennsylvania
Molly Ritter and Vincent Raes were 50-mile champs in 7:33 and 7:07, and Nora O’Connor and Will Loevner won the 50k in 4:35 and 3:27. Full results.
Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race – Queens, New York
The scorecard’s up to 43 days. The race started on September 4 and competitors have 52 days to complete the 3,100-mile race. At the time of writing, Susan Marshall (New Zealand) is up to 2,603 miles and women’s leader. 2021 winner Andrea Marcato (Italy) is closing in on a repeat win with 3,086 miles done. Scorecard.
Clawhammer Mountain 50k – Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
The first-year race totaled 6,250 feet of climbing on a single loop in the Pisgah National Forest. Hailey Moore and Anton Krupicka won in 5:25 and 4:35. Full results.
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