Ultramarathons are pretty crazy. Technically speaking, an ultramarathon is defined as any footrace longer than the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Some stick to 50 miles, some hit that 100 mile mark, and the most absurd reach well above that (the longest footrace ever is the Self-Transcendence, which requires competitors to run 3100 miles over 50 days).

Then there are the undefined distance races. In this case, we’re talking about the Backyard Ultra Marathon. Founded by Gary ‘Lazarus Lake’ Cantrell, the Backyard Marathon asks competitors to run a 4.1667 mile loop once an hour starting on the hour (exactly 100 miles a day). The winner is whoever completes the most laps. Failing to finish the loop in an hour means you’re out, failing to be in the starting corral at the start of each hour means you’re out, and receiving any sort of assistance while on the course means you’re our.

Some of these events last 12-24 hours, but the most competitive, as you may have already guessed, last days on end. The current record is 101 laps over 101 hours. That’s 4.2 days straight of running, with the only breaks being the time they have left after completing a loop before the next hour, for a total of ~420.84 miles. The best part? Because the two Belgium athletes with the record, Merijn Geerts and Ivo Steyaert, completed the 101 laps in the same race with neither able to complete another, there was technically no winner.

“Backyard Ultra Marathon Founder, Lazarus Lake, recently visited Riverhead in Auckland, New Zealand. Lazarus shares his thoughts on what it takes to compete and succeed in the Backyard.”

Image Credit: Find Your Feet Films via YouTube

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