Lazarus Lake provides an epic update on this fall's Big Dog Backyard Ultra and it's very exciting
Legendary ultra-event organizer and self-proclaimed hillbilly Lazarus Lake, a.k.a. Gary Cantrell of The Barkley Marathons fame has just posted an update on the 2020 edition of the Big Dog Backyard Ultra, slated to be run on Oct. 17.
According to a post on Facebook, the plan for the Big's Backyard World Championship includes the running of 15-person satellite races in numerous countries including Canada around the world in conjunction with the main event in Tennessee still to be held on the 17th of October.
Whether or not the races will actually happen in each country is still to be determined, given the global pandemic that cancelled most every event. Lake sums it up nicely:
"What is the certainty of all these events happening? Did I mention the bug that has been going around? Nothing is certain these days, but we are planning for these to happen as long as they are allowed," he wrote, in part. "We are going to link the races by the magic of the internet, and the whole thing will be broadcast by some techie street gang from Alberta Canadia [sic LOL]."
The techie street gang in question is indeed the team behind the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, which is now Gather Virtual. A group that includes ultra runner Dave Proctor, who will captain Team Canada, as well as Ryan Kershaw, Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard and Daniel Bowie.
Last year, ultramarathoner Maggie Guterl won the race, which takes place on Lake’s property in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, after running 250 miles.
According to Lake, the race will continue to follow the traditional backyard ultra format where a runner must complete the set 4.16667-mile loop every hour on the hour until everyone else drops.
"Each race will end when only one man (be it male or female) can complete a loop. So each race will end when it ends. The winner of the last race running within the limitations of this year will be the 2020 world champion."
But, of course, that's not all.
"The 12 runners that claim the largest totals will comprise the all-world team," Lake explains. "The runners will not be competing virtually, but the races will. The nations will. This should present some interesting dynamics. In the end, success will come down to having two that will not yield."
Given Lake has been involved in the two largest virtual events since the pandemic, in the Quarantine Backyard Ultra and the Great Race Across Tennessee, there is little doubt Big's world championship will be very popular.
Let the games begin.