The Eastnor Backyard is held in the beautiful private grounds of the Eastnor Castle Deer Park set within the wider Malvern Hills National Landscape, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nestled in green hills and tree filled parkland, the private estate road takes runners on a figure of 8 route with stunning views of Eastnor Castle and of British Camp, a distinctive Iron Age Hill fort standing tall on the horizon.
Race against the clock from 10am through until 10pm, either as a solo runner or part of a large team, to achieve landmark distances of a 33.3mile ultra or a 50mile ultra on the 8hr and 12hr formats. Headtorches or chest torches, supplied by the runner, will be required for the final few hours. The route is marked with reflective signs.
The Eastnor Backyard and Relay Races, held on Saturday, are held on tarmac roads and solid farm tracks. These routes are mud free!
The Eastnor Castle Mud Bath is a Mud Run, held on Sunday, seeking out the muddiest trails and water filled troughs, covered in mud.
Solo Runners - We have two races; 8hr Backyard (33.3 mile) and 12hr Backyard (50 mile) options. These events are held on the 4.167 mile Backyard course and they are held in the Backyard format with laps new laps only starting on the hour.
Relay Runners - There is a 12hr Relay option for Pairs, Small Teams (3-4 runners), Medium Team (5-6 runners) Large Teams (5-8 runners). These events are held on the Backyard course but they are in a continuous format. You have the option to run your laps in sync with the Solo Backyard runners (starting every hour)if you would like to or you can start a new lap whenever you are ready
All Backyard Solo Races are held on a 4.167mile course and are fun and inclusive way to complete your first Ultra Marathon. If you run the 8hr Backyard then you will run a 33.3 mile Ultra. If you run the 12hr Backyard then you will run a 50 mile Ultra. Every hour, all runners start a new loop. Pacing is key as runners can not start the next loop early to bank time, runners can only start a loop every hour. If you don't complete your lap in an hour then you withdraw from the race.
The Eastnor Castle Relay option is a great way to soak up the event atmosphere and enjoy longer rests between your laps. The event Relay event is held on the 4.167 mile loop, but runners are not held to the starting a new lap every hour rule. Relay runners can run continuously, or take longer breaks between laps, it is entirely at the discretion of the team. Relay runners can sync in with the hourly start times and act as pacers for the Solo runners, but you will not be out of the race should you not complete your lap in an hour. The final lap must be completed within the 12hour time limit for it to count to the team's total distance.
In summary, both races run on the same 4.167 mile loop. Solo Backyard runners must start on the hour and be completed in an hour in order to start the next lap. Relay runners have total discretion on the timing of their laps.
The original Backyard Ultra concept of this event was created by Lazarus Lake, the man behind the Barkley Marathons, and takes the form of an open ended Ultra - the race continues until only 1 person is left and completes 1 more loop than any other runner. The World Record currently stands at 108 laps with the race lasting 4.5 days!
Whilst the Eastnor Backyard events are faithful to the core features of the Ultra event in terms of distance,format and timing, only races that taken the open ended form may use the name 'Backyard Ultra' which is why our time limited events are named Eastnor Castle Backyard 8, Eastnor Castle Backyard 12 and Eastnor Castle 12hr Relay. You can find out more about Backyard Ultra events here, well worth a read!
We have on site camping at £10 per person, per night, available on Friday and Saturday nights. On the Sunday our Eastnor Castle Mud Bath takes place and by signing up for the Eastnor Backyard races you are eligible for a 20% discount off your Mud Bath ticket! The Backyard ticket must be booked first and you will be emailed a 20% discount code for the Mud Bath to use afterwards.
The Eastnor Mud Bath is a super fun route on the Land Rover experience day tracks, on a completely different route to the Backyard race! The race is an incredibly muddy event where the emphasis is on having fun and splashing around, rather than chasing a fast time. Take a look here for more info.
When: Sunday 27th April 2024. Start Times are from 10:00, please see the Provisional Schedule for details.
Location: Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Eastnor, Ledbury, HR8 1EN. What3Words /// indulgent.octopus.crunching
Distances: We have the 8hr Backyard (33.3mile ultra) and the 12hr Backyard (50mile ultra) for solo runners. We have the 12hr continuous relay format for pairs, small teams (3-4 runner), medium teams (5-6 runners) and large teams (7-8 runners)
Register: Register here for the 8hr Backyard (£60), for the 12hr Backyard (£75), for Relay Pairs (£45/person), for Small Teams (£40/person) for Medium Teams (£35/person) and for Large Teams (£30/person). The minimum age for the Backyard 8 and Backyard 12 is 20. The minimum age for the other Relay is determined by the number of laps each runner intends to complete; Min age 18 for 6 or more laps. Min age 15 for 4-5 laps. Min age 11 for 2-3 laps. Places on the day are subject to availability and prices are £5 extra on the day per person.
Camping: Camping is available as an optional extra and includes access to hot showers, portaloos and drinking water. There are no electricity hook up points. Camping is £10/person per night. Access to the camp site opens from 16:00 on Friday and is for Friday and Saturday nights only, the camp site closes at 16:00 on Sunday afternoon. Camping can be purchased alongside your race booking or as an add on here.
Drinks Stations: There is no on course drinks station. There is 1 drinks station at the lap point where you can grab some snacks and refreshments once you have concluded each lap. Snacks will include haribo, tribe bars (GF, vegan) and other tasty treats. Caterers will be available to keep you going with more substantial food across Saturday and Sunday.
Catering: The event does not formally open until 08:00 on Saturday. At the edge of the deer park is the Woodshed which a range of snacks, pizza or similar, foods and drinks and will be able to cater to your needs on Friday night. During the event hours, Saturday and Sunday, there will be on site caterers in the event area.
Medals: All runners will take home a large 10cm x 10cm, 2 sided medal specific to this event. There will be different ribbons to denote the 12hr Backyard, 8hr Backyard and Relay Runners.
Terrain: The route is 80% tarmac, 18% on stone track and just a couple of percenton grass.
Transport & Parking: Eastnor is 30mins from Birmingham, 60mins from Bristol, 90mins from Bath, 90mins from Cardiff. Parking is £2/car for day parking (those not camping). The nearest train station is Ledbury, which is 4 miles from Eastnor.
We take pride in providing very well marked routes complete with distance markers so you can relax and enjoy your run, we also publish route maps and make GPX files available so you know what to expect when you are out on the route. Our wonderful marshal team will be out on the course to cheer you on at regular intervals, provide a presence at key points and serve you drinks and food at our amazing feast stations. There is water on the course at all of our races, electrolyte at our warmer and longer races and coke in the later stages of our marathon and ultra events.
At our frequent 5km feed stations on our half marathon or longer events, and at all our finish lines you will find chocolate, sweets, fresh fruits, crisps, haribo, as well as GF and vegan snacks. Our medical team and supporting partners will look after you and bring you you home if you are injured. At the finish line you will be awarded one of our super colourful interlocking medals, along with a feast of treats including a can of energy drink from our official energy drink partner, Acti+, as well as tribe bars and an amazing buffet of other snacks. The race results are posted the evening of the event with race photos available to purchase on the same day as the race with Blowfish Photography.
Facilities: There are on site toilets, coffee vans and caterers. There is a bag drop and there is a changing tent.
Photos: Professional photos will be available to purchase within 48hrs of the event from our photographer's website here.
Buggy or Canicross runners: The routes are not suitable for buggy runners or canicross runners.
Spectators: Spectators, including dogs, are very welcome. The best place to spectate is near the finish area or you are welcome to be out on the course. If you are on the course please make sure you don't block the view of the lap split boards by Golden Gate Lodge.
FAQs: Please see our FAQ Page if you have any more questions and you can contact us from there is you would still like assistance.
All our finishers receive a top of the range custom medal as well as a buffet of fresh fruit and other tasty treats.
Backyard Solo Awards
In keeping with the Backyard Ultra way of doing things, there are no overall winners for the Solo races - you either achieved the distance or.....you did not. Runners who achieve the 12hr (50 mile) Backyard will be awarded a medal with a Silver ribbon, those who achieve the 8hr (33.3 mile) Backyard will be awarded a medal with a Bronze ribbon. Those who fall short this year and do not achieve the distance of the event they registered for will be awarded a medal with a white #UnfinishedBusiness ribbon
Relay Race Awards
All relay races will collect a medal with a red ribbon. There will be a prize for the pair, small team, medium team and large team that achieve the furthest distance. Note only complete laps finished in the 12hrs count towards your total.