Ohio Backyard Ultra race this weekend


LUCASVILLE-The Ohio’s Backyard Ultra will be challenging 110 runners from all over this March 18 at the McChesney Ridge Athletic Club in Lucasville.

The event is heralded as one of the best in its category and is geared towards runners of all types, while also bringing people together as a family, according to organizers.

“Backyard Ultras need to ride the fine line in allowing competitive runners seeking the highest mileage threshold along with those seeking their own personal records, ‘rookies,’ and general runners alike. At OBU (Ohio Backyard Ultra), we love the mix of experience and ability levels at the event, as we really feel that is part of what makes our event a great experience,” OBU stated on its event page “At OBU, we also have the goal of inviting more women into the field, as we feel women often don’t have the chances that men do with equal race registration. With that said, we have to design our registration process to give certain preferences for this race. Our aim is to allow the race to thrive in competition and opportunity, and we think that will make for the best event atmosphere for Ohio’s Backyard Ultra.”

The group strives to reach three goals.

They aim to create a competitive field of runners that are aiming to reach the highest number of possible hours, and to put out some of the biggest numbers of all Backyard Ultra affiliate events; create a great atmosphere with returning runners that have helped shape that atmosphere from past years at OBU, with the ability for new runners to gain entry into OBU; and provide women with greater opportunity to gain entry into this format, as it’s shown there is a large disparity of men to women in the backyard ultra format.

The website highlights previous OBU numbers, stating that the course record of 55 yards, 229.16 miles is held by Harvey Lewis from 2021; 38 runners reached 100 miles in 2021; 27 runners reached 100 miles in 2022; and six runners from OBU have gone on to run Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra.

Last person standing will receive $500. All other runners who are considered a “did not finish” will receive a “DNF coin” once they drop. All registered runners will receive a shirt.

Ohio’s Backyard Ultra is part of the Road to Big’s series, serving as a silver ticket race.

In the USA Backyard Ultra Bracket, there are six bronze ticket races and the winner of each bronze ticket race will be invited to run at Ohio’s Backyard Ultra for a chance to earn a slot into Big’s Backyard Ultra. If a runner qualifies from the Ohio’s Backyard Ultra, SEOTR will pay for your race entry into Laz’s Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra.

Briana Tudor-Brown and Reece Brown, owners of McChesney Ridge, are excited to be showcasing their property for the race and even more excited to be bringing people to the community.

“The race brings 300 to 400 people to the Lucasville area, and showcases the beautiful woodlands of the area,” Briana said. “These people all stop at local convenient stores, restaurants, and gas stations.”

McChesney was actually outfitted specifically for the run, according to Briana.

“The trails at McChesney Ridge were designed to offer many types of outdoor fitness events. Reece contacted Michael Owen to design a race for the property. Michael proposed the idea of the ‘Backyard Format’ in 2018, and we just went with it,” Briana explained. “Michael planned the first race for March 2019, and opened registration for that race in December 2018. It filled up within a week, and it was evident that the ultra running community was excited.”

Reece claimed that the event has always been fun and that it is a great time for any skillset runner.

“Runners of all ability levels really embrace the event. Although it’s a really long-distance race if you want to win it, it also provides a sense of being within an arena packed full of people cheering on every lap,” Reece said. “It has a community all of its own, and everyone seems to enjoy themselves as if it were one big vacation.”

Michael Owen is the event organizer and has been running it since 2019, with a history of organizing runs since 2014. This is one of many races he organizes, with it also being the most popular.

“When this format of race got thrown out there, I was one of the first organizers to get ahold of it. Once we put on the first year, people saw the atmosphere and event logistics and have gravitated against I,” Owen said. “This past year, the event sold out in about 25 minutes. I think that says the people want to return and experience that same family, close-knit kind of feeling. People who are first timers hear about it and want in. I think it is some of the toughest competition of this kind of event, but also has people doing it for their own personal goals and feel like this is a good venue to accomplish that.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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