Qurantine Backyard Ultra – July 2020

You are here for a long time, not a good time!

Quarantine Backyard Ultra, July 2020

Link to 5 days to go…

Link to 4 days to go…

Link to 2 days to go…

To follow the race live follow this Facebook group and watch the live stream from 2pm British Summer Time on 11 th July


The Quarantine Backyard Ultra is being run from 2pm BST 11th July 2020. This is my first event anything like this. It’s my. first event that might involve running through the night. It’s the only run so far that I don’t know what the distance of the event actually is! I have no idea what to expect, I have no idea if I will last very long, but I am incredibly interested to see how I manage, how my body reacts and responds, and also how my. brain and body handle minimal sleep and rest.

I’m going to put a few things on this page as the week progresses and will write up after.

This will be a bit of a journey – hopefully a long one!

How it works

Listen for the bell

Quarantine Backyard Ultra, July 2020




Not sure how to eat, what to eat and what to drink. I will keep to what I know, but the one new thing is I haven’t really undertaken an event that requires me to eat a decent amount of food during the event. In RTTS 2019 I ate a small lunchbox sized malt loaf at about 90Km. Thats about it. Probably not the. best, but I managed comfortably. This will be different – I’m going to need to eat real food!


Well I can comfortably do 4 miles in under 30 minutes, but there are no prizes for being first over the line each loop. I’m thinking of aiming for 10 minute miles on average and will probably have a walking section in each loop from the start. I need to keep fresh for as long as possible. I want to last for as long as possible, not try and break speed records.


I’m assuming I’ll need to have a few changes prepared and might need a switch in shoes of things get wet/uncomfortable.

Connection and Streaming

I need to connect to Zoom to stream the race. I need to have a play with my setup later in the week to see how that works. I’ve got a webcam and a laptop. Can’t be too hard 🤷‍♂️

5 days to go – Nervousness and Trepidation

Erm eek oh heck.

Rubbish nights sleep last night – the idea of banking sleep failing terribly. Just some short runs planned to keep me from going mad more than anything – it’s too late to train, just avoid doing too much.

And a whole load of food needs to be thought out. 400 Kcal a loop is my energy burn expectation. Thinking of best ways to consume the right amount of Kcal to off set this, whilst not straying from the foods I know work for me. That’s harder than i thought – maybe a bit more planning might have been a wise idea.

This will do as a starter

Tonight was the first of the weeks try-outs on my route. Time to embed the route in memory. Make it auto-pilot. When things get late and everything is tired the last thing I want to need to do is think hard about the route.

Today was an easy evening. I felt really comfortable and on days like this you think you could run forever. Feeling very positive.

We go again tomorrow.

Time for hopefully a good nights sleep and another day tomorrow. Bring on day -4.

4 days to go – Gear, Gadgets, Goals and Grub

As the clock ticks closer the need to be more prepared is filling me with just a little nervousness. I want to do well, but the outwardly optimistic voice of ‘yeah, 100 miles, I can do that’ is starting to be drowned out by the pessimistic voices of ‘maybe I’ll only manage 4 loops’. Arrgghh shut up!

Im trying to think of what i need. I have a box of grub and some savouries lined up in freezers and fridges. I need to tidy my aid station area – currently the garage worktop! and i need to define my goals.

Somebody on my facebook page suggested a Bronze, Silver and Gold target.

I think this is what I’m targetting:

Bronze – 8 Loops

Silver – 15 Loops

Gold – 20 Loops

Dreamland – 25 Loops

There, I’ve said it.

The other big thing to finalise is my gear and my video setup. Got to try that out over the next couple of days to make sure it all works.

Also got this (below) yesterday as i thought my gadgets list was woeful. Hmmmm it feels lovely😊.

Anyone for a rolling???
Need to remember this…

Todays warmup run: I think I know this route by heart now!

I guess now I just have to wait and see what happens. I am always worried about failing, and I’m always my harshest critic. In reality I have nothing to lose. More prep, more sleep and a little more self belief and we will be there. 3 more days to go after today!

2 days to go – Rain, Running and Readiness

Ahem, 2 days time and all will be going off. I’ve one my final prep runs. A total of 4 reps of my ultra loop. Today has been miserable, raining all day. But final training run is a final training run and rain won’t stop that.

that was wet

I now have my aid station to prep, some Zoom testing to do, a chart to prep to motivate me as the race goes on and also some instructions to my far more sensible other half for a few bits of help I’ll need during the event – if I last long enough!!

It’s a funny thing deciding to put yourself through a process that can only be described as something likely to hurt. Something that, out of choice, you will get no sleep, inconsistent food, barely time to rest between 4+ mile loops, you will have to cope with whatever the weather wants to throw at you, plus god knows what else. So why? Sometimes it’s all too easy to take the comfortable path. A path well trodden, one you know the start, middle and end to. But maybe, just maybe, there could be more to learn, more to gain by ignoring that path and taking a path of uncertainty. What is true, is you never know what your limits are until you search for them. If you don’t try to achieve something that could be outside of your reach then you never know what you can achieve. I think I have found running has taught me to challenge the concept of what I see my limits as. To rewrite the idea of what I cannot do. Because sometimes, if you try, you might just surprise yourself with what you really can achieve.

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

Dean Karnazes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: