Last Man Standing

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Last Man Standing (LMS) is a type of race popularised by Gary Cantrell which was first held as Big's Backyard Ultra in October 2011 in Wartrace, TN in the USA. Named after Gary's dog, Big (the other is called Little), the event takes place on his property where he fashioned the 4.2 mile loop. Because of the gnarliness of the trail, the course switches to a road loop when it gets dark and reverts back to the trail loop at light.


The standard course must be 4 miles 880 feet in length, 6.7056 km. The start line has a corral which contains all the runners who must be in the corral at the bell which rings precisely on the hour. Everyone has an hour to run the loop and be back ready to start the next loop. The winner is the last runner to complete a loop.


In the 2018 event it came down to two strong ultrarunners, Courtney Dauwalter and Johan Steene, with Steene being the Last Man Standing after 68 hours and 283.335 miles.


British born Katie Wright, living in New Zealand was the first woman to win a LMS by outlasting the competion at the Riverhead Backyard Ultra with 30 hours. In 2019 Maggie Guterl prevailed over Will Hayward finishing 250 miles in 60 hours to become the first woman finisher at BBU.

Golden Tickets

The popularity of the format exploded in 2019 and to further encourage runners and to increase the standard of Bigs Backyard Ultra, a Golden Ticket had been awarded to some events that give the winners automatic acceptance into the October event, billed by some as the Backyard Ultra World Championships, in Tennessee. On December 13th 2019 Laz (Gary) posted on the Fb group page: "We now have a list of 89 Backyard Ultras where you can qualify for a spot in Big's. This is probably the most accessible World Championship in sports, as anyone can earn a spot. For those who do not know already; There are 38 slots reserved for the winners of Golden Ticket Events. Another dozen or so will go to the winners of Affiliate events with the best results. The remainder of the field will be selected based on credentials. Top assist runners and other outstanding Backyard performances will get top priority".

Race Reports

External links