Ohio's Backyard Ultra Specs
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024
Time: 7:30AM and every hour thereafter
Ohio's Backyard Ultra Registration
The capacity is 115 runners
The price is $120.00 ($130.00 after Feb. 1 2024)
Registration Open Date: See registration tiers and dates below.
Registration Close Date: Tuesday, March 19 @ 11:59PM
*For the 2023 event, Ohio's Backyard Ultra Sold out in under 20 minutes! We expect the same quick fill-up for the 2024 event.
The continued growth to the Backyard Ultra format and the popularity of Ohio's Backyard Ultra means that many runners who want to run these events will not be able to due to capacity restrictions, and so the registration process gets a bit tricky. OBU is capped at 115 runners. Backyard Ultras need to ride the fine line in allowing competitive runners seeking the highest mileage threshold along with those seeking their own personal records, "rookies", and general runners alike. At OBU, we love the mix of experience and ability levels at the event, as we really feel that is part of what makes our event a great experience. At OBU, we also have the goal of inviting more women into the field, as we feel women often don't have the chances that men do with equal race registration. With that said, we have to design our registration process to give certain preferences for this race. Our aim is to allow the race to thrive in competition and opportunity, and we think that will make for the best event atmosphere for Ohio's Backyard Ultra. We want to be transparent in our registration process for OBU and have set it up to help reach these goals:
Create a competitive field of runners that are aiming to reach the highest numbers possible (hours), and to put out some of the biggest numbers of all Backyard Ultra affiliate events.
Create a great atmosphere with returning runners that have helped shape that atmosphere from past years at OBU, with the ability for new runners to gain entry into OBU.
Provide women with greater opportunity to gain entry into this format, as it's shown there is a large disparity of men to women in the backyard ultra format.
Early-Consideration Entry: November 1, 2023 - November 10, 2023 at 11:59PM (all times EST)
Early invites will go to:
Any runner that made it 100+ miles in the 2022 or 2023 OBU.
All female runners that participated (regardless of result) in the 2022 or 2023 OBU.
These runners have "first dibs" at registering, prior to the "General Registration."
If one of these runners does not take advantage of their early registration, they will then have to get in via the general registration (see below).
General Registration: November, 11 2023 at 7:30 AM EST
General Registration will last until we reach 100 runners. This number will be determined by 100 minus the number of early consideration entries we have.
General Registration will be first come/first serve starting at the above date and time.
Remaining 15 Spots:
After we reach 100 runners there will still be 15 spots remaining to be filled.
6 spots will be saved for "Bronze Ticket" winners.
The remaining spots will be saved for resume based entry for special consideration (email RD).
Special considerations will be selected to enhance competitiveness of the event.
Waitlist Process for 2024:
Once we reach 100 runners (and the subsequent 115 runners) by using the above registration process we will open a waitlist.
A waitlist runner will only move into the OBU field when a runner withdraws from the OBU entrant list.
The waitlist will be set to private. The RD reserves the right to invite waitlisted runners into the OBU field based on meeting the above standard of providing a equal field of: elite competitive runners, women, "rookies", and general runners.
Past OBU Results and Highlights
Course record: 55 yards, 229.16 miles, by Harvey Lewis (2021).
38 runners reached 100 miles in 2021.
29 runners reached 100 miles in 2023.
7 runners from OBU gone on to run Big Dog's Backyard Ultra.
Harvey Lewis, 2021 winner, 55 yards (CR)
Troy Allen, 2019 winner, 31 yards
Dan Yovichin, 2022 winner, 46 yards
Tanner Lee, 2020 winner, 38 yards
Josh Laker, 2023 winner, 53 yards
The Queen Of Ohio's Backyard Ultra - Jennifer Russo
Although she would never make this claim herself, Jennifer Russo is undoubtedly the Queen of OBU. Her indomitable force at this race is legendary; in her four years competing at OBU she's finished 154, 162, 175, and 225 miles (54 hours). Jennifer was the top female in each of those years, top five overall in each of those years, and she placed second ("The Assist") in two of those years. While she hasn't walked away as the Last Person Standing at OBU it's easy to see how she's become a crowd favorite, inspiring many people to go one lap yard further or to simply give this race a try. Her unselfish, quiet, and low-key persona is paired with a gritty and honed-in running style. And Jennifer isn't just the queen of OBU; while she may have got her backyard ultra start at Ohio's Backyard Ultra in 2019, she's gone on to compete in many more, including Big's Backyard Ultra multiple times and the 2023 Capital Backyard Ultra, where she finished with 308 miles (74 hours) - this mark is the world record of all women in the history of the backyard ultra format. If you want an example of how to approach running, life, and backyards, Jennifer is someone to look up too. We are lucky to have had her at OBU over the years.
The Last Person Standing will receive $500.
All other runners are considered a "Did Not Finish" Each person will receive a "DNF Coin" once they drop.
Each runner that registers will receive a t-shirt.
Ohio's Backyard Ultra is part of the "Road to Big's" series, serving as a "Silver Ticket Race". In the "USA Backyard Ultra Bracket" there are 6 Bronze Ticket Races; the winner of each Bronze Ticket race will be invited to run at Ohio's Backyard Ultra for a chance to earn a slot into Big's Backyard Ultra.
If a runner qualifies from our Ohio's Backyard Ultra, SEOTR will pay for your race entry into Laz's Big Dog's Backyard Ultra, in addition to the $500 prize award that will help with travel to Big's
See all details on Laz's Road to Big's World Individual Championships by clicking the link below:
The 2023 "World Individual Championship" Affiliation: In 2023 Big's serves as the "World Individual Championship." From Laz, this is how runners make it to the field of 75 at the "World Individual Championship":
The top 50 winners of the national championships (in 2022) will secure berths at the World Individual Championships to be held at Big Dog’s Backyard starting October 15, 2023. In addition to those champions, there will be an additional 25 runners selected from the At-Large list… the top performances of the previous 2 year qualifying period (August 16, 2021 to August 15, 2023).
This means that there is no "Silver Ticket" race (like OBU) that will have an automatic entry into the World Individual Championship at Big's in 2023. To make this field, runners must be high up on the At-Large list from all the backyard affiliated races. With OBU being a Silver Ticket race, we believe it provides a highly competitive field for the best opportunity to be high on the at-large list of backyard results.
The 2024 "World Team Competition" Affiliation: The winner from the 2024 Ohio's Backyard Ultra will win a Silver Ticket and make it to "World Team Competition" at Big's.
Ohio's Backyard Ultra Description
Date: Saturday, March 23 2024
Time: 7:30AM and every hour thereafter
The first Ohio Backyard Ultra took place in 2019, and will be back for a 6th year in 2024!
With the urging of Gary Cantrell, aka Lazarus Lake, aka Laz, who started the original Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra and the Barkley Marathons, the Backyard Ultra popularity has grown, with races all over the world. This is one of them.
So in likewise fashion, the Ohio Backyard Ultra will follow as closely to Laz’s original format as possible.
The concept is simple. It’s a “Last Person Standing Race” and in the end, just one runner will finish the race.
At 0730 hours on Saturday, we will start a race at McChesney Ridge on a course measured at 4.1667 miles. The time limit for this race is one hour.
Again at 0830 hours, we will begin another race around the same 4.1667 mile trail.
The same will be done at 0930, 1030, 1130, and so on, every hour.
Runners must be standing in the starting corral when the next race starts or else they may not continue.
Runners will also not continue if they choose not to themselves.
No late starts once the bell is rung.
Races will continue until only one runner remains, and at that point, once that person completes a loop on their own, that runner is the winner.
All other runners are a DNF.
At 1930 hours, the races will be moved to a road out and back course and continue in likewise fashion every hour thereafter.
At 0730 hours the next morning, races will continue on the trail loop.
At 3 minutes till each race 3 whistles will be blown.
At 2 minutes till each race 2 whistles will be blown.
At 1 minute till each race 1 whistle will be blown.
At 30 seconds till each race an announcement is made.
At 10 seconds till each race a countdown will begin.
A bell is rung once the race starts.
Once the bell is rung, runners may not visit their crew, their tent, their vehicle or receive aid from anyone.
Runners must stay on the course once the bell is rung.
The only reason for leaving the course once the bell is rung is to use the porta-potty, or to relieve yourself in the forest.
Once you finish your loop you may choose to do what you want, but must be back in the starting corral before the bell rings.
Runners will need to provide their own aid.
Crews are permitted, but limited to just 1 crew member per runner at all times, and crews are not needed. Crews may leave and come back if needed.
There will be a space next to the start and finish line to set up a chair, cooler, and other small personal items.
A campground area will be close by where you may set up a tent.
Any runner that DNF’s must immediately vacate their spot close to the finish line to allow surviving runners to move closer. DNF runners are welcome to continue spectating the Ohio Backyard Ultra.
Porta-potties will be located just after the start line.
A t-shirt will be provided to all entrants.
There will be some hot foods throughout the night, for meat and vegetarian lovers alike.
A fire ring to will continue to burn a fire. This is your trap.
Alcohol is permitted.
Water is provided.
Coffee is provided.
McChesney Ridge Athletic Club
2198 Sedan Crabtree Rd.
Lucasville, Ohio 45648
Any spectator, volunteer, crew, or DNF'ed runner is available to camp on the McChesney Ridge property throughout the event, starting on Friday night.
People are also free to "car camp" during the event.
While competing, most runners and their crew end up staying in their tent within the "Runner Space".
If you are seeking hotel or AirBnb lodging, you can do a search in the area, Lucasville or Portsmouth Ohio.
Ohio's Backyard Ultra Course
Each 4.1667 "yard" will be two (2) loops of 2.08 miles.
Between 450-475 feet of elevation gain.
The day course is a mixture of double-track trail, gravel, grass, and dirt. There is no pavement during the day course.
Likewise, it is measured to be 4.1667 miles.
The night course is out and back.
The night course has a gradual 150 feet of elevation gain.
The night course opens with a stint of dirt and gravel, before entering pavement.
Respect all the homes that you pass by on the road section. There are probably a dozen driveways that you pass on the night section. Dogs will be barking.
There will be no "Rollovers" or "Deferments" into next year's Ohio's Backyard Ultra. However, we give entrants the ability to be refunded in full or partial amounts based on the proximity to the event day. The "Refund Window" for Ohio's Backyard Ultra is as follows:
drop 45+ day prior to the event = 100% refund
drop 20-44 days prior to the event = 50% refund
drop 0-19 days prior to the event = 0% refund
To request a refund: You must have an UltraSignup account to request your refund. If you registered as a "guest" please email the race director and we will complete the process. Follow these steps:
Log in to Ultrasignup.com
Go into your account info and click "Registration History."
Click "edit" next to the race you wish to withdraw from.
After this scroll to the bottom of the page and click the red "Cancel Registration" button.
Once you select cancel registration a box will appear giving you the option to select the refund.
**Please note that in some cases a bank will not accept a refund back onto a credit card if the original purchase was made over 90 days ago; in that case the race director will be notified and will send your refund via a check through the mail.
See more information on SEOTR's rules and policies on our Race Policies Page.
***There will be no Rollovers or Deferments or Transfers for Ohio's Backyard Ultra.