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The adventure podcast about trail running and mountain culture. Published weekly.

Stories about trail running and mountain culture. The adventure podcast by Mathias Eichler, published weekly.

Jared Beasley dives into the allure of the Backyard Ultra for UltraSignup News:

Temptation is the beauty and the beast of the backyard phenomenon. They are sneaky attractive, like the High Striker at a carnival (The Hammer Game). The bell is in no danger, but we’re curious just how high we can make the puck soar. “Just one more loop,” taunts the backyard website, and these quirky last-man-standing races have cut a swath across the planet.

In many ways what makes the Backyard Ultra style of race attractive is that they promise to be a deceptively simple race format with a very low entry fee. In most cases you could run a 100 miles for less than $100. So, even if you don’t reach your milage goal you’re not out a lot of dough, and with race entry fees rising this is understandably appealing to many.

What makes Backyard Ultra races challenging for race directors is that most permits are time based. It’s hard to get a route approved for a race when you don’t know if runners are going to be out there for 2 or 3 or 4 days. And with entry fees generally low, this becomes a challenging financial proposition. Not trying to sound like a whiney a race director but this is probably why most backyard ultras are hosted on private land. Getting a 4.1… mile course on trails isn’t that hard to come by if you got a few acres behind your house.

I love looped courses and would try myself on one of these races, once. I just need to find the right trail for it.

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