Harvey Lewis secured victory in the Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra in Tennessee on Tuesday, lasting a record 85 hours and covering 569 kilometres at the “race that never ends”. In Backyard Ultra races, runners have one hour to complete a 6.7km loop, but they must start their next loop exactly on the next hour, and the competition keeps going until just one runner is left. Once the second-last runner drops out, the winner has to complete one final loop to claim victory, but is not allowed to do any more after that. The event has proliferated, and now there are backyard races around the world, with competitors in Tennessee having to be invited or qualify via a local event. There were 35 runners on the first loop at Big Dog’s, and just two made it past 80 hours – Americans Lewis, 45, and Chris Roberts, 35. Terumichi Morishita, 41, from Japan, ran 80 hours, while the next best effort this year was 62 hours. View this post on Instagram A post shared by HarveyLewisUltrarunner (@harveylewisultrarunner) The previous record was 81 hours, set by John Stocker at the Suffolk Backyard Ultra in June 2021. Last year, Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra was held as simultaneous local events worldwide, as runners across the globe competed via a live stream because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Backyard Ultra was designed by Gary Cantrell, known as “Lazarus ‘Laz’ Lake”. He is also known for the gruelling Barkley Marathon, the 160km race which often goes years without a single finisher. Hong Kong runner swaps ‘race with no end’ for ‘fun’ 298km Big Dog’s is designed to be a mental battle, rather than a physical one. Most runners are able to finish the 6.7km loop in an hour with ease, so physically it is a level playing field. During the night, the course changes from trail to road to ensure the ultra goes on as long as possible. In 2020, Lewis ran 67 hours and was second last year to Courtney Dauwalter in the US, and fourth worldwide, during the online pandemic version. Before Big Dog’s 2021, Lewis ran a 55-hour backyard ultra in Ohio in March. He also finished second at the Long Haul 100 Mile Ultra-Marathons (USA) and third at the Strolling Jim 40 Mile (USA) in 2021. View this post on Instagram A post shared by big dog backyard ultra (@bigdogbackyardultra) Roberts ran a 57-hour backyard ultra in the Capital Backyard Ultra (USA), Missouri, in May, which put him in second place at that event. Morishita had a year of backyard ultras in 2020. He ran 42 hours at the Last Samurai Standing Backyard Ultra in Japan, in February 2020. At Big Dog‘s Backyard World Championship online, Morishita ran 43 hours. Then just one month later, he ran 54 hours at another Last Samurai Standing Backyard Ultra. In 2021, Morishita ran a 200km race where he finished 15th, a 500km race which he won and a 24-hour race, where he finished third by running 221km in 24 hours.