Big Birdy: An 8’4” Mythical Man once found in the Wilderness of the Great South Western Bushlands of Australia
When Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra was created, little did Lazarus Lake know at how phenomenal the worldwide following would be to witness runners tackle a 6.71klm loop over and over again until the last one standing. There is only 1 winner. Everyone else is guaranteed a dnf. A DID NOT FINISH. If you are not at the starting Corral at the start of each hour, every hour, you dnf. Keep going until you drop. A mentally and physically challenging concept like no other. An ultra format like no other. And yet here we are, our own World Championship affiliated backyard ultra right here in Western Australia. A 6.71klm loop around Lake Towerinning and respectfully titled after the Mythical legend in Big Birdy. Welcome to Birdy’s Backyard Ultra.
Find out more about the race format
So 6.71k isn't really that far hey. And when you have 1hr to complete it, it really is quite the achievable distance. You don't need to be a super fast speedy gazelle to knock off the 6.71k loop so this event style is open so anyone that is capable of a steady pace whether is a fast walk, a jog or a runner. You have you distance, you calculate your speed and suddenly it becomes evident at just how achievable this appears.
1hr. That's all you need to worry about. You have 1hr to complete the 6.71k loop and be in the starting corral for the 10 second countdown for the start of the next loop. Work out your strategies. Run fast, you get more rest time between the laps, but risk the chance of burn out. Take it too slow, and you may not get that rest time you will undoubtedly desire the deeper the field gets. Play your strategies. Play the game.
All you need to worry about is completing that 1 lap within the hour. Such the appealing factor of this format of event is that on the hour, every hour, every single runner that lines up in that starting corral ready to go one more lap, is on the exact same terms as you. Each lap, you are all equal and have all run the exact same distance and within the exact same time. Each hour, on the hour, the clock is reset. One more lap.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW LONG DOES THE RACE GO FOR?
It's up to you! you can do one lap and call it a day or you can stick around and see how many laps you can get done. There is no cut off time so as long as you can finish the 6.7km lap in under one hour you may start the next lap and the next lap and the next lap...
WHATS IN THE AID STATION?
An Aid Station is provided at the start line, and runners will be able to access this every lap. The aid station will provide the following:
Bananas / Fruit
Soups or similar in the evenings
IS THIS A ROAD RACE OR A TRAIL RACE?
The Course is a single loop track on a combination of asphalt, limestone and gravel trails around the Lake. the course is completely flat!
Friday 13th August 2021
Check In Opens
A backyard ultra appeals to runners for different reasons but for me these things stand out. The social aspect of it. Runners completing the same loop every hour and regrouping is great for both runners and spectators. Camping together during the event is a great opportunity to connect. The mental aspect of it. There is no finish! Runners need to decide for themselves when they choose to withdraw so this becomes a mental game. This is also great for spectators. Watching competitors push through fatigue and witnessing their mental stamina is unforgettable
Birdies backyard absolutely blew my mind in all aspects. Location was magic, even the cold nights with the amazing stars and full moon, the atmosphere of all the other runners and crews where friendships grew hour by hour and last but not least the legend Shaun for convincing me to try have a crack at this race format and pushing me to do a personal best distance by a measy 130kms
The Last Man Standing concept is a unique race, I think it's a race that levels the playing field. It's a race format for athletes of all abilities, the winner isn't necessarily determined by speed or fitness, but rather mental strength and the determination to keep going. While strategies might come into play, at the end of the day, you just have to cross that line within 60mins. This is a race that you can really test your limits at and push the boundaries. I think this is a race format that highlights the sportsmanship, I witnessed this first hand at Birdys Backyard, the encouragement and support, not just from crew & volunteers, but also other athletes, to get back up & keep going lap after lap. A race for everyone!
I decided to take on the challenge of Birdy’s Backyard because I had seen bigs backyard and was instantly fascinated by the format. I did a 24 hour obstacle race in 2019 and wasn’t happy with my performance and really wanted to do this event to prove to myself that I could complete a race over 24 hours. To me the biggest challenge was adapting my training from run over short fast trails to training for a run / walk strategy