holding steady at 60 runners with now only two hours to reach the road.

you can smell the anticipation.

the field contains some committed trail runners,

but at some point this week becomes about saving your body…


there is also a little bit of the craving to switch to a different torture.

by morning the athletes will be longing for the trail,

just to get off the road!


another lynchpin of a successful (as in over 3 days) elite backyard is sleep management.

with a couple of 30 minute naps in a day and a half i feel actually pretty good.

alas, the runners cannot free up 30 minutes at one time for sleep.

they have to make it work with seldom over 10 minutes

and more often 5.

food and drink are another issue.

we have lost several who were stricken by nausea,

probably their error was small,

and could have been overcome by just taking a little extended rest break.

but this is the backyard

and the clock moves on without mercy.

the runner can never stop for long.


small problems can mushroom

and the runner is eliminated.

most of the 15 eliminated runners began their downfall with a small mistake

or a minor issue.

but, the relentless clock never allowed them to adequately deal with it.

and anything you cannot deal with

will become fatal.


this is the backyard at the elite level

no room for error

and no time to rest.