Ohio's Backyard Ultra Specs

*updated 9/30/2021

Date:  2023 Date TBA

Time:  7:30AM and every hour thereafter

Location:  McChesney Ridge Athletic Club, Lucasville, Ohio

Ohio's Backyard Ultra Registration

The capacity is 100 runners

The price is $110.00 ($120.00 after Feb. 15 2022)

Registration Open Date:  registration will be announced sometime in the fall of 2022 about the 2023 event.

Registration Close Date:   

*For the 2021 event, Ohio's Backyard Ultra Sold out in 12 hours.  We expect the same quick fill-up for the 2022 event.


  • The emerging 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 100 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 a 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:​

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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: September 23 - October 4th at 11:59PM

  • Early invite will go to:

    • Any runner that made it 100+ miles in 2020 and 2021 OBU.

    • All female runners that participated (regardless of result) in the 2020 and 2021 OBU.

  • These runners have "first dibs" at registering.

  • 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 Entry: October 5 at 12:01AM

  • General entry will last until we reach 85 runners.  This number will be determined by 85 minus the number of early consideration entries we have.  

  • General entry will be first come first first serve starting at 12:01AM on October 5.


  • After we reach 85 runners there will still be 15 spots open.

  • 5 spots will be saved for "Bronze Ticket" winners.

  • 10 spots will be saved for resume based entry for special consideration (email RD).  

Waitlist Process for 2022:

  • Once we reach 85 runners (and subsequently 100 runners) by using the above registration process we will open a waitlist.  

  • Waitlist runners will only move into the OBU field when a runner withdraws from the OBU entrant list.

  • The waitlist will be set to private.  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.


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.

Laz's Affiliation

Ohio's Backyard Ultra is part of the "Road to Big's" series, serving as an "Silver Ticket Race".  The 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.

See all details on Laz's Road to Big's World Individual Championships by clicking the link below.


Ohio's Backyard Ultra Description

The first ever Ohio Backyard Ultra took place in 2019, and will be back for a 4th year in 2022!

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.


This race is hosted by SEOTR, a non-profit organization.
Many people ask where the entry fees go; proceeds are administered through SEOTR and is used to further the mission of the organization. 

Thanks for your support.


Refund Policy

*New Refund Policy*


The "Refund Window" for Ohio's Backyard Ultra is as follows:

  • drop 31+ day prior to the event = 100% refund

  • drop 8-30 days prior to the event = 50% refund

  • drop 0-7 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:​

  1. Log in to Ultrasignup.com

  2. Go into your account info and click "Registration History."

  3. Click "edit" next to the race you wish to withdraw from.

  4. After this scroll to the bottom of the page and click the red "Cancel Registration" button.

  5. Once you select cancel registration a box will appear giving you the option to select the refund.

  6. Click "Process."

**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 for Ohio's Backyard Ultra


McChesney Ridge Athletic Club

2198 Sedan Crabtree Rd.

Lucasville, Ohio 45648

Ohio's Backyard Ultra Course
Day 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.

Night 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.


Photo by Stuart Siegfried