Dauwalter Outlasts Everyone - Again October 24 2020
Courtney Dauwalter was among the favorites to win Big’s BackYard Ultra 2020. After all, this is the same woman who, in 2017, won the Moab 240 outright (beating all men and women) 10 hours ahead of second place. After that, Dauwalter will always be considered a legitimate contender. Her outstanding victory at this year's BackYard was impressive nonetheless.
Before we tally the miles, let’s remember the format. Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell, famed Barkley Marathon Race Director, put together this slightly over 4 miles loop in Buckle Bell, TN, with simple instructions. Go as fast or slow as you want. Just complete the loop in time to start it again every sixty minutes until the last man (or as it turns out, woman) is standing. The last man (male) was accomplished ultrarunner, Harvey Lewis, who finally tapped out after completing 67 loops (just over 277 miles). At that point, Courtney was tasked with completing one more loop on her own for a grand total of 68 loops (in 68 hours), and 283.33 miles.
We should mention that Belgian runner, Karel Sabbe ran 75 loops/hours for 300 miles winning the international, virtual competition. Nevertheless, aside from being the most successful woman in the event’s history, Dauwalter's accomplishment is especially impressive considering the more-punishing layout of the American course.