The race with NO finishing line

"There is no finish"

Mexican Team at Big Dog's @coppercanyons IG

There’s a competition with no finishing line, the longest and more peculiar worldwide

The race with NO finishing line

# No stops allowed


There’s just one rule, and one only, when every year this traditional race takes place in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.
There is no finishing line given, and the winner is the last man standing. The word “Ultra” points out the very essence of the race, making aware all challengers of the extreme physical and mental effort they would go through.

As a matter of fact, the competition does not stop – not even at night – until all runners surrender. The goal is just to keep running, also if this often causes health issues. Yet, people take this challenge as a mystical experience to push further their own limits.

# Records and fun facts


The name of the competition, “Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra”, has an odd origin. “Big Dog” is how Gary Cantrell, the organizer, used to call his domestic bulldog. “Backyard” is the location the race takes place in, a large area close to Gary’s farm. “Ultra”, as already suggested, is a little hint to discourage beginners from attempting the exceptional challenge.

The “backyard” complete track – 4,166 miles – is to be completed in one hour: early finishers can then use the remaining time to eat or drink something, before an other hour, and lap, starts. To slower challengers is not allowed to take a rest, just drink on the fly, and this often causes their withdrawal.

The record is today held by Karel Sabbe, a Belgian dentist who ran no-stop for the outrageous time of 75 hours and the unbelievable distance of 502 kilometers.

The organizer himself, Cantrell, stated that the race is a “war between mind and body. To be the last man standing, he argues, the key is a perfect balance of the two.