Courtney Dauwalter Takes On Big’s Backyard Ultra

“By hand-selecting a field of ‘warriors,’ and dropping them into a last-man-standing arena, he’s managed to create an endurance event with the coup de gras thrust of bloodsport. ‘It’s an incredible spectacle to watch. It lends itself to drama,’ Backyard’s emperor told me two days prior to the opening bell. ‘I provide a venue where people can find greatness in themselves. They’ve got a lot of time to let these thoughts coalesce.’…

…’My eyes were droopy and I was seeing a lot of weird things—a giant 12-foot tall cowboy with a yellow bucket hat twirling a rope, an ice castle, people lining up along the road. That was during the daytime,’ she said. ‘At night, out on the road I tried to let my eyes close. Sometimes I started thinking about how much further we might go but I consciously brought myself back to stay in the loop. I tried to keep any doubts or breaking on the inside, even from my crew. Vocalizing didn’t help anything. Somewhere in the early 200-mile range, I may have told my crew that my legs were really tired.'”

—Sarah Barker. “Courtney Dauwalter Takes On Big’s Backyard Ultra.” Deadspin. November 9, 2018.

An account of Big’s Backyard ultramarathon, a race of a 4.1667 mile loop run every hour until only one runner remains. This year, it went for 283 miles over almost three days. It is put on by Gary Cantrell, who also organizes the Barkley Marathons.