Since its inaugural running with less than two-dozen participants seven years ago, the Big Backyard Ultra in Bell Buckle, Tenn. – a quirky last person standing race – has grown into an event that attracts some of the best ultrarunners on the planet.
It has also sparked something of a revolution in the sport as new races adopting the same format have popped up across the country in recent years, attempting to recreate some of the magic of the original event that was the brainchild of the man behind the Barkley Marathons, Gary Cantrell, also known as Lazarus Lake.
Now, one of those races is coming to Massachusetts.
Race Director and accomplished ultrarunner Amy Rusiecki will play host to the inaugural “Race for DFL” from Saturday, Oct. 12, through Monday, Oct. 14, on the trails behind the property of ultrarunner Scott Rhodes in Pelham, Mass. Rhodes’ field, at 312 Amherst Rd., will serve as home base and the campground for the event.
In keeping with the format of the original Big Backyard Ultra, the Race for DFL will use a 4.16666-mile course. Runners have one hour to complete the loop and return to the starting line; a new loop will begin on the hour, every hour, until only one runner remains – the Dead F-ing Last runner, as the event’s name indicates.
Runners who complete at least 12 laps of the course can use the event as a qualifier for the Vermont 100, which Rusiecki also race-directs.
In addition to the ultramarathon, runners also have the option of running a 4.16666-mile race covering one loop of the course. In keeping with the ultra event’s unique format of starting a new race on the hour, every hour, runners in the one-loop race can run their loop at the time of their choosing, starting on the hour between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, rather than having a wave start for one-loop racers.
Registration can be done at this link. Cost of entry into the ultra is $30; entry for the one-loop race is $15.