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Empower Backyard Ultra

November 2

CAPACITY: 120 runners
PRICE: $105 ($115 after 6/30/2023)

This race is part of the Road to Big’s. It is a BRONZE TICKET RACE! There are two ways to secure a spot at BIG’S BACKYARD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP:
1. The winner of this race will get an AUTOMATIC ENTRY into BOB’S BIG TIMBER Backyard Ultra. The winner of BIG’S BACKYARD ULTRA gains automatic entry into Big’s Backyard Ultra World Championship.
2. The second way to get into Big’s is by completing enough yards to earn one of the “At Large” spots. These spots are awarded to the top 25 runners from around the world for the World Individual Championship (odd years), and the top 9 USA runners for the World Team Championship (even years).


DAY: The race takes place on beautiful and very runnable trails on Countryside YMCA property. Fairly smooth, wooded trails, with small elevation changes. There are some roots and rocks on the trails, and the weather can play a role in trail conditions (mud). The course will be 4.1667 miles, wheeled and measured with GPS watches. The trails are accessible to YMCA members and the community. Detailed course map and Strava data coming soon!

NIGHT: The course is an out-and-back (2.08 out and 2.08 back) run on the Lebanon bike path. There are no road crossings and no car traffic on the bike path, making it an ideal, safe place for night running. The night course passes through residential areas (some properties back up to the Lebanon Bikepath). Please be respectful of private properties and keep your voices down passing through the area at night. No loud music etc to be played on the bike path. There is a gradual downhill and uphill on the bike path but no steep hills.

DAY COURSE: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (10 yards)
NIGHT COURSE 6:00 PM – 8:00 AM (14 yards)

Shirt deadline

Please register by 9/27 to guarantee your shirt


Empower Backyard Ultra is a Lazarus Lake-sanctioned event. Every hour runners will line up to run the 4.1667 mile course (“yard”) until there is only one runner standing. The race will start at 8:00 am on October 22. Every hour runners will run the trails of Countryside YMCA, starting their loops at 8:00 am, 9:00 am, etc. until 5:00 pm when the last day loop will start. After 6:00 pm runners will run the night course (Lebanon Bikepath) every hour starting at 6:00 pm, then 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, all the way until 7:00 am (last night loop) or until no runners are remaining.
Runners must be standing in the starting corral when the bell rings and the next race starts, or they may not continue.
Runners will also not continue if they choose to stop (drop from the race).
No late starts once the bell is rung.
Races will continue until only one runner remains, and at that point, once that person completes a loop on their own, that runner is the winner.
All other runners are considered DNF.

At 3 minutes till each race, 3 whistles will be blown.
At 2 minutes till each race, 2 whistles will be blown.
At 1 minute till each race, 1 whistle will be blown.
At 30 seconds till each race, an announcement is made.
At 10 seconds till each race, a countdown will begin.

Once the bell is rung, runners may not visit their crew, their tent, their vehicle or receive aid from anyone.
Runners must stay on the course once the bell is rung.
The only reason for leaving the course once the bell is rung is to use the bathroom.
Once you finish your loop you may choose to do what you want, but must be back in the starting corral before the bell rings.

Runners will need to provide their own aid.
Crews are permitted but limited to just three crew members per runner at a time. Crews may leave and come back if needed.
There will be a space next to the start and finish line to set up a chair, cooler, and other small personal items.
A staging area will be close by where you may set up a tent.
Any runner that DNF’s must immediately vacate their spot close to the finish line to allow surviving runners to move closer. DNF runners are welcome to continue spectating. Porta-potties will be located near the start line.
A T-shirt will be provided to all entrants.
Alcohol is NOT permitted.
Water, coffee, and (non-caffeinated) Tailwind will be provided.

The winner of Empower Ultras Backyard Ultra will get automatic entry to BOB’S BIG TIMBER Backyard Ultra and be eligible to compete in Big’s Backyard Ultra if enough “yards” are achieved.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $3 per “yard” up to $300.
Thank you to Countryside YMCA and the City of Lebanon for allowing us to use their beautiful property and incredible bike path for our event.

About Our Hosts

The second largest YMCA in the world is located in beautiful Lebanon, Ohio, only 30 minutes from Cincinnati and Dayton. Countryside YMCA programs are part of their mission to create a strong, vital, and caring community. When you think of the Y, you might first think of exercising or swimming. But the Y offers so much more. As a non-profit organization, our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that help build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. The money given to our Annual Campaign through individual donations and corporate partnerships is used to provide outreach programs for our community.

CITY OF LEBANON / LEBANON BIKE PATH: the bike path is adjacent to the YMCA grounds and offers a beautiful, wide paved path that passes through residential areas.
The City of Lebanon offers many amenities: there are several restaurants near the course, a beautiful old town area, several grocery stores, hotels, and medical services (Bethesda North and Kettering Hospital emergency branches). https://www.lebanonohio.gov/visitors/lebanon_charm/index.php

About Empower Ultras

Empower Ultras was founded by Aneta (Nettie) Zeppettella and Jennifer Russo, who met through ultrarunning and over the years gained a ton of experience finishing some of the hardest ultras on the East Coast and beyond. Additionally, Jennifer competed in Ohio Backyard, Capitol Backyard, and Big’s Backyard. She ran 250 mi at Capitol, 225 mi at Ohio, and 200 mi at Big's. We both want to empower you to try to push your limits and create your new adventures. Please join us. We will cheer for you with our whole hearts!


Countryside YMCA
1699 Deerfield Rd
Lebanon, OH 45036
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