Tailwind Athlete Courtney Dauwalter Wins U.S. Big’s Backyard Ultra, Running 283+ Miles Over 3 Days
October 21, 2020
Durango, CO (October 21, 2020) – Tailwind athlete Courtney Dauwalter wins the 2020 U.S. Big’s Backyard Ultra, two years after a second place finish in 2018. This year, the ultrarunner also tied the record for most loops on the official Bell Buckle, Tennessee course. She completed 68 loops (283.33 miles), which was first set by Johan Steene of Sweden in 2018.
Team USA had three Tailwind athletes participate: Maggie Guterl, Harvey Lewis and Courtney Dauwalter. Each Tailwind athlete was able to complete 39 hours of the race, however, Guterl missed the cutoff on her 40th loop, resulting in the end of her race. Guterl was last year’s winner and the first woman to have ever won the race.
The annual race, one of the only ultra events to happen this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic event cancelations, requires runners to consecutively run a distance of 6706 meters (4.16667 miles) in less than one hour. Runners are disqualified if they fail to complete the distance in under the allotted time. Competitors continue this every hour until there is only one runner left standing.
Because of COVID-19, Big’s had to change its format to ensure competitor’s health and safety. This year, the race was partially virtual and able to be entirely live-streamed. Over 20 countries with 15+ athletes each participated, resulting in competitors running simultaneously across the globe. However, each location was considered a separate event, meaning that each satellite race would have its own winner.
On the third day of the race in Tennessee, Dauwalter, Lewis and Jacob Conrad remained. Conrad’s race ultimately ended after he failed to complete the 50th loop, leaving only Tailwind athletes Dauwalter and Lewis remaining.
At the end of day three, Dauwalter and Lewis both entered into their 68th loop, however, Lewis ended his race shortly after starting. Dauwalter completed her final loop just before 4 a.m., winning the 2020 race and tying the record for number of laps completed – 68 laps (283.33 miles). The Belgian team was the last international team standing, with Karel Sabbe winning the overall race in 75 hours (over 300 miles).
After having to cut her Colorado Trail FKT (Fastest Known Time) attempt short back in August due to acute bronchitis, the Tailwind athlete proved she is still a powerhouse in the ultra running community and shows no signs of slowing down.
To learn more about Courtney check out our recent Q&A with Courtney Dauwalter on the Tailwind blog: https://tailwindnutrition.blog/2020/05/20/qa-with-courtney-dauwalter/ or follow her running journey on Instagram at @courtneydauwalter.
About Tailwind Nutrition
Since 2012, Tailwind Nutrition has been manufacturing all-natural endurance nutrition products that are free of GMOs, dairy, soy, and gluten, are easy to digest, and support an athlete’s fueling and recovery needs during exercise. Owned, operated and manufactured in Durango, CO, Tailwind Nutrition’s specially formulated drink mixes help athletes perform and compete at their highest level without the worry of food allergies or sensitivities. Tailwind is all you need, all day. Really. For more information visit tailwindnutrition.com