Backyard World Team Championships
In 2024, around 50 countries worldwide will be taking part in the third official Backyard World Team Championships.
Each nation will simultaneously host a Backyard Ultra on home soil for 15 of their strongest local runners. Traditional rules apply: 6.7km loops (AKA a 'yard') on the hour, every hour, until one person is left standing.
The 15 athletes will have dual motivation for running; both to score points for their country and naturally, to win the local race themselves.
For each yard an individual completes, 1 point is awarded to their country's score. The total sum of all yards run by all 15 athletes by the end of their event, equals the country's overall score. The country with the highest number of yards wins the Championships.
The athlete who wins their local Backyard will be crowned National Champion.
How can I qualify for the 2024 squad?
The beauty of the Backyard is that anyone can get onto their National Team. Here's how:
- Run an official Backyard Ultra within the two year qualifying period: 16th Aug 2022 - 15th Aug 2024
- If you hold one of the top 15 results (Ie. the most yards/loops) by 15th Aug 2024, you've made the team!
Any Maltese National or Permanent Resident in Malta can get in, and you can run your qualifying Backyards anywhere in the world. It is not limited to our own events (Endure 2022 & 2023). Just make sure that you enlist as 'Maltese' during the registration process of your chosen race.
2024 Malta National Team Leaderboard
Current Top 15 performances
- Niki Micallef | 27 yards
- Stephen S. Nurminen | 26 yards
- Stephanie Smith | 25 yards
- Robert Formosa | 22 yards
- Claudio Camilleri | 21 yards
- Frank Fenech | 20 yards
- Nadia Portelli | 20 yards
- Patrice Peyre | 20 yards
- Mark Sciberras | 19 yards
- Drew Lang | 18 yards
- Mario Agius | 18 yards
- Jason Greenaway | 16 yards
- Adrian Camilleri | 15 yards
- Anthony Fenech | 13 yards
- Patrick Tabone | 13 yards
2022 Malta National Team
- Claudio Camilleri
- Niki Micallef
- Anthony Fenech
- Patrick Tabone
- Mario Agius
- Stephanie Smith
- Frank Fenech
- Robert Formosa
- Mark Sciberras
- Jason Greenaway
- Stephen Sammut Nurminen
- Nadia Portelli
- Patrice Peyre
- Adrian Camilleri
- Drew Lang
A race with no official end, a Backyard Ultra is a last person standing challenge. A 6.7km run (known as a yard) begins on the hour, every hour. Finish a yard within the 60 minutes and you get to run again. Fail to return within the cut off time or choose not to go out again, and you are eliminated. The race continues until only one person completes a full yard.
To win a Backyard, you must be the only athlete to complete a full yard within the 60 minute cut off. If no one finishes the 'final' lap within the hour, the race has no winner.
The distance was selected with the aim of having athletes cover 100 miles (161km) every 24 hours.
161 / 24 = 6.7km per hour.
Every two years, dozens of countries from all around the world band together to simultaneously host a Backyard event on home soil. Each nation selects 15 of their best long-distance runners to form their National Teams.
The next World Team Championships kick off in October 2024.
For each yard (one 6.7km loop) an individual completes, 1 point is awarded to their country's score. The total sum of all yards run by all 15 athletes by the end of their event, equals the country's overall score. The country with the highest number of yards wins the Championships.
Each athlete has dual motivation to run - both to score points for their country, and to win their race for title of National Champion.
In the 2022 edition, USA took Gold, Belgium bagged Silver and Australia snatched up the Bronze.
The current World Record is a tied 101 yards (101 hours) by Belgian ultra runners Merijn Geerts and Ivo Steyaert in October 2022. They covered a staggering 677km/421 miles in just over 4 days of non stop running.
The current Maltese record stands at 27 yards (27 hours) and is held by Niki Micallef. The 181km performance took place at the World Team Championships event in October 2022.
Meet the Maltese Squad:
 Claudio Camilleri
 Niki Micallef
 Anthony Fenech
[4} Patrick Tabone
 Mario Agius
 Stephanie Smith
 Frank Fenech
 Robert Formosa
 Mark Sciberras
 Jason Greenaway
 Stephen Sammut Nurminen
 Nadia Portelli
 Patrice Peyre
 Adrian Camilleri
 Drew Lang
Yes, you can! The beauty of the Backyard Championship format is that anyone can earn their way into their National Squad.
The top 15 performances (ie, most yards in one event) by any Maltese Citizen or Permanent Resident within the two year qualifying period (Aug 16th, 2022 to Aug 15th, 2024) will earn their way onto the National Team in 2024. The performance can take place in both a local or foreign race, as long as you officially declare you are running for Malta prior to the race, during registration.
Go to www.backyardultra.com for all things Backyard, including current World Rankings and events happening worldwide.