Come Play in my Backyard!

Come Play in my Backyard!

Come Play in my Backyard!Come Play in my Backyard!Come Play in my Backyard!

May 23, 2020

the Capital backyard ultra- a golden ticket event!


Backyard Background

The Capital Backyard Ultra will take place at Robert C. McDonell Campground in Potomac, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC. From 5am to 9pm there will be a daytime loop comprised of approximately 16% gravel road, 4% road, and 80% single track trail. From 9pm to 5am there will be a nighttime loop comprised of 32% gravel road, 8% double track trail, and 60% paved path. Each loop will be 4.167 miles, allowing runners to achieve one hundred miles in a 24 hour period. Timing and results will be provided by Mike Melton of MCMTiming. The race is for you, the runner, to push your limits and see what you can truly achieve.


The Daytime Course

The “day loop” consists of a 0.67mi stretch of gravel road from the start, followed by 0.16mi on road to the Cabin John trail. Runners will run along the Cabin John Trail, cross the Cabin John Creek, and use portions of the Kidney Bean, Highway, and Campground loops to complete the course to the finish.


The Nighttime Course

The nighttime course follows the same outbound gravel road as the day loop. Runners will then cross Tuckerman Lane, and run a short section of trail to a series of pathways through the park. This course will be an out and back, with a timing mat at the endpoint.



A Big's Backyard Ultra Golden Ticket Event

The Capital Backyard Ultra is pleased to announce that we are a Golden Ticket Event for the World Championship Backyard Ultra, Big's, in Bell Buckle TN! The winner of the Capital Backyard Ultra will receive paid entry to Big's, plus a $200 travel stipend.

Event Details

The Capital Backyard Ultra will begin at 8am on Saturday, May 23, 2020, and proceed until only one runner is remaining. 

The format is a 4.167 mile loop that will begin on the hour, every hour. Three minutes before the start of each loop (three minutes before the top of the hour) three whistles will be blown. Two minutes before the top of the hour, two whistles will be blown. One minute before the top of the hour, one whistle will be blown. A bell will ring signifying the start of each round. All runners continuing must be present when the final bell rings.

Race rules

As stated above, all runners must be in the race corral at the start of the hour, or they will not be allowed to continue. They are not allowed to exit the course except to use the porta potty, until they complete the loop. It’s very simple. However ”Simple” does not equate to “Easy.”

The last runner must complete one additional loop to be named the winner. All other runners are DNFs, but they will know that they have truly reached the limit of their endurance. The “winner” will not have this satisfaction but will have another opportunity to find their limit at Big’s in October.

Aid Station

There will be one common aid station supplied by the runner’s chosen aid contribution. Water, sports drink, and ice  will be provided. Starting at 3pm on day one there will be some hot food available- chili, soup, and a surprise or three. Runners will otherwise be responsible for their own aid.

Staging Area

Runners will share a 1000+ square foot covered pavilion adjacent to the starting corral. Each runner will receive a 4x5 space within the pavilion. Spaces will not be assigned but are first come, first served. The Pavilion will be divided into 4x5 sections and runners will be able to claim their site at packet pickup Friday.

Crew Access

Crews will have an area within the backyard but not directly adjacent to the starting corral while the race is in progress. We kindly ask that crews keep all extra belongings in this area. We also ask that crews refrain from using porta potties for the last 15 minutes of the hour to respect the needs of the runners. 

How do I enter?

Entry is limited to  45 runners, and a wait list is being maintained. To apply, please email Please include any unique qualities that would predispose you to the race that may not be evident through your ultrsignup profile. Except under rare circumstances, a 100 mile race must have been completed within two years of the application period. Entrants will be notified via an ultra signup invitation, and waitlist will be maintained. 

The entry fee will be a moderate $50, plus a contribution to the general aid station. Bring something you would like to share with your fellow runners! 

Contact Me

Send Message

More information, including aid station info, where to stay, maps, and elevation profiles will be posted on this site soon! in the meantime, if you have any questions, please send me a message, and I will get back to you! 

Capital Backyard Ultra

7701 Tuckerman Lane, Potomac, Maryland 20854, United States