Come Play in my Backyard!

May 23, 2020

the Capital backyard ultra- a golden ticket event!

Backyard Background


In the true spirit of Big’s, the Capital Backyard Ultra will take place in my backyard in Potomac, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC. There will be a daytime loop on single track and a nighttime loop on the road. 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 short out and back on my cul de sac, followed by a single track route from my backyard to the Cabin John trail. From there, runners will run to the right (south) to a timing mat, then north to another timing mat before returning to the backyard trail back “home.” Elevation gain and loss for this loop is 382 feet and there is one stream crossing.

The Nighttime Course


The night course follows a loop of roads through picturesque Potomac, Maryland. There will be one stream crossing (pictured above) but you’ll be on a road above the stream! You might see deer, fox, and even a barred owl as you run the night section of the race. Elevation gain and loss for the nighttime loop is 235 feet.



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

In an effort to ensure that every runner has close-in access to their belongings, there will be space for one chair and a small cooler adjacent to the starting corral. This runner staging area will be covered by pop-up tents in case of inclement weather.

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  will be  limited to  35 runners, and entry will open August 1, 2019. Due to the high level of interest, entry will be by application.* The initial period of entry is from August 1 to August 15, 2019. 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 beginning August 16 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! 

*Note: There is a group of runners whose interest was conveyed to Laz during the application process. Without them, this might not be a golden ticket race. Those runners will receive their invitation Sunday, August 4, and they will have until August 14 to respond to the invitation. 

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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

Potomac, Maryland, United States