The Capital Backyard Ultra will take place at Robert C. McDonell Campground in Potomac, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC. From 6am-8pm there will be a daytime loop comprised of approximately 20% gravel road and 80% single track trail. From 8pm-6am there will be a nighttime loop that will be the same as the day loop, for 2020. 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 “day loop” consists of a 0.58mi stretch of gravel road from the start, followed by a trail route incorporating the trails north of Tuckerman Lane. Total distance is 4.17mi, and there are two places to access porta-johns on the course.
Unfortunately in order to hold the race we had to give up the Night course for 2020, as the Department of Transportation has suspended all event permits. The night course will be the same as the day route for 2020, but a road course will be back in 2021!
In order to ensure the safety of our runners and volunteers, we will be implementing additional safety measures at our event August 1. For the purpose of this document, “Runner Area” refers to the area under the Pavilion, “Race Corral” refers to the starting area, and “Race Area” refers to the area encompassing the Aid Tent, Runner Area, Timing Tent, and Race Corral as well as a ten foot perimeter around the above mentioned areas. This space will be marked by pin flags.
Total number of runners will be limited to 30, with a maximum of 10 volunteers/staff.
A temporal thermometer will be used to check the temperature of the runner at packet pickup on Friday and prior to the start Saturday morning. During the temperature check the runner will be required to wear a mask, and the individual taking the temperature will also wear a mask. If a runner has a temperature over 100°F they will not be allowed to run.
The runners will each have a marked 6x6 space within the pavilion or adjacent pop-up, indicated with duct tape. Runners on the outside of the pavilion may have a slightly smaller undercover space but a larger overall space. In the middle of the 6x6 space they will have an “x” for their chair, and in the right-hand corner they will have a designated spot for their provided one gallon water bottle, a bowl for ice, and aid. Each runner will receive the water bottle, ice bowl, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a coaster (more on that later) for their personal use. Runners will be supplying almost all of their aid outside of water and ice and minimal aid. This is in keeping with Big’s Backyard Ultra, where runners supply all of their own aid.
There will be a total of no more than ten volunteers/staff, and they will not be allowed in the runners’ area while runners are present. Volunteers will be required to wear masks and gloves when supplying aid to the runners. Disposable masks and gloves, as well as hand sanitizer, will be provided for all volunteers and staff.
For the first 24 hours, no crew will be allowed, and the runners will need to be self-sufficient. When runners are on-course, volunteers will replenish water and ice as needed. In addition, the runners will have the option of “real food” aid at 5pm Saturday (pizza,) midnight (miso or chicken soup with rice,) and 7am (donuts and bagels, coffee.) Real food will be provided in the water/ice area assigned to each runner. If a runner wants a refill on water, needs ice, or would like real food when offered, they will place the water jug, ice bowl, or provided coaster to indicate water, ice and food. Runners will be reminded of food service .
Support crew wishing to volunteer during the first 24 hours of the event will be allowed to sign up for four-hour volunteer shifts. Volunteers are to work on behalf of all runners, and cannot assist any runners inside the designated runner area during the interloopal period. However if a runner wishes to leave the race area during this time they may receive aid. After the first 24 hours, support crew will be allowed. Runners who have finished at this point will need to have their gear cleared from their designated section so that runners can be spaced to allow for sufficient social distancing. Crew must wear masks at all times in the race area, and will be limited to one crew person at a time in the runner area with the runner.
Runners will be spaced at the start with runner positions indicated by chalk marks. Starting positions are on a first come basis for each loop. Do you want to be in front at the start of the loop or do you want to wait as long as possible to start? Your choice!
The first 0.67mi is on gravel road and the following 0.2 mile on a wide shoulder of Tuckerman Lane. This should give runners almost 1 mile to spread out and distance from one another.
Runners will be provided with a bandanna which can be worn during the race. This bandanna can be used for cooling (filled with provided ice) and we hope that runners passing on singletrack will pull up the bandanna to pass.
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.
The Capital Backyard Ultra will begin at 8am on Saturday, August 1, 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.
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 for this event is mostly self-sufficient. Volunteers will be providing ice and water to runners as needed while the runners are on course. Real food will be provided three times daily.
Runners will share a 1000+ square foot covered pavilion adjacent to the starting corral. Each runner will receive a 6x6 space within the pavilion. Spaces will not be assigned but are first come, first served. The Pavilion will be divided into 6x6 sections to maintain social distancing and runners will be able to claim their site at packet pickup Friday.
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.
Entry is limited to 45 runners, and a wait list is being maintained. To apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Due to the pandemic, we will no longer have the shared aid that was originally part of the race.
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!
7701 Tuckerman Lane, Potomac, Maryland 20854, United States