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mad trapper

The Mad Trapper Backyard Trail Ultra

June 22, 2024 - 8am start

For those unfamiliar with the Backyard Ultra format, racers are encouraged to run as many loops as physically and mentally possible. Each hour, on the hour, racers racers will take to the starting line. If they complete the loop in under an hour and can be at the start line at the top of the hour, they are welcome to challenge another loop of the course.

The race will continue until only 1 man/woman arrives at the start line. If he/she can complete the loop solo in under an hour, he/she will be crowned the ultimate winner, the "only one".

The "formal" distance for a race of this nature is 6.7km, but those events take place on courses with less elevation and less technical difficulty than found here at The Ark. The full course here at The Ark is a little over 5.7km. But it also comes with 184m of elevation gain and too many twists and turns to count.

Harold and I ran it on the weekend. We walked the steeper uphills and were slowed down by some recently fallen trees and the torrential rain. We were hardly racing, but we weren't totally slacking either, and the loop took us 55 minutes. In better conditions, we could have finished in 50 minutes fairly easily. And it's that pace, I want to see our racers maintain for as many yards as possible.

Trails at The Ark are known for being relentless. They twist and turn. They go up, they go down. There are generally few spots where runners can switch to autopilot and cruise.

This is why I've decided to offer 2 different loop options: 1) the "Full" Loop of 5.75 km and 2) the "Kristi Loop" of ~5.2km.

Racers can choose which loop they prefer and are welcome to switch at any time.

Racers who start running the Full loop will be in contention for the Full "Ultimate Winner" Award.

Racers who start running the Kristi loop will be in contention for the Kristi "Ultimate Winer" Award.

Historically, all other racers who don't win are assigned a DNF. But I'll be honest, that doesn't sit right with me after watching 5 Backyard Ultras here at The Ark.

The level of heart, grit and determination I've witnessed from some of the mid-pack finishers at past races has been truly inspirational. Those folks have all dug down deeper and accomplished so much more than they ever dreamed possible.

Those folks deserve to be recognized and applauded. They don't deserve a DNF. Each racer will receive a super cool, wooden engraved plaque that displays the number of yards they completed.

Regardless of the distance, runners will run the loops clockwise on "even" hours and counter-clockwise on "odd" hours.

This will help with some mental diversity and will change things up for you on the body punishment as well.

This will be a 100% trail run event. There will be no road running if runners continue to run after darkness falls.

If you have any questions, go ahead and ask in the Contact Form. That link is in the menu at the top of the page.

Entry Fees:

Early Bird: $100 CAD

Regular : $125 CAD