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What is Dizzy Horse, A Winter Backyard Ultra

Imagine wandering in circles for hours and hours in the middle of a winter desert, where the only goal is to never stop...

A backyard ultra is a competition where all of the participants run 4.167 miles each hour until they can no longer continue. The competition continues until only one participant is left. 

Date: December 15, 2023

Start: 10:00AM


Cost: $35 until April 1 , $45 after that for basic registration. (Race, basic aid station, and DNF award-you bring your own food and supplies). 

For an additional fee you can purchase Add ons (such as Deluxe Aid Station, Reserved Indoor Transition Space, Hoodies, T-Shirts, Etc.) Purchase the add ons with your registration or just go back to the registration page.  

Don't forget to check out our 2022 PARTICIPANT GUIDE for an idea of what to expect in 2023!  -2023 Updated guide is Coming-

Without Teton Auto Group this race would not be possible! They do such a great job of supporting not just this event, but many wonderful community and non-profit events in the area!!! Also-the Idaho Falls Trail Runners is one of the best running communities to be found anywhere. No doubt if you run this race, you'll meet many great people from "IFTR". 

We are officially a Bronze Qualifying Backyard Ultar. Which means the winner of our event can compete at a Silver Quilifier and the winner of that goes to the Big Backyard Ultra World Championship! Check out this documentary about Big's Backyard Ultra!

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Our 2022 Race was held on December 9-10. 54 runners signed up, 42 runners showed up on the start line and Zachary Van Abbema won with 19 laps completed! Jason Reeder provided the assist. 10 participants completed 50 or more miles. 

The weather was cold and miserable, snowing and windy at the start, with temperatures in the mid-20s. 30+ mile per hour winds during most of the daylight hours made it miserable. Continued winds and dropping temps during the night made it even worse. 

Idaho Falls received a good amount of snow leading up the race, but luckily the City of Idaho Falls plowed the trail for us, so while it was icy and uneven, at least it wasn't in deep snow. 

Much fun was had and no one died!


New start for 2023: Will leave the hall and go to the east side, between the buildings and heading to the north, instead of the west side of the exhibit hall. The Course is a mix of desert, grass, horse-race track, abandoned horse-race track, and graveled road, with a small bit of asphalt, often covered in snow during December. You start off in the start corral right outside the doors of the Bonneville County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall, through a bit of grass, across the edge of a parking lot and then cross a road, that gets you into Sandy Downs Park. We'll cross some dirt, a bit of horse track and then skirt the Grandstands on grass. We'll then get a full 1/2 mile on the race track. We'll then follow dirt road to the half-way point, wander over by the Snake River BMX Track,  and some old horse barns, then a 100 yards of deep sand, followed by a stretch of grass. We'll get another stretch of about 400 yards of sand through some trees and along a canal, before coming to an abandoned horse track that looks old, tired and beaten down (pretty much a mirror of yourself), finally we'll follow an abandoned dirt road to an makeshift exit from the park, then loop around Bonneville County's Fairgrounds and a bunch of corrals to make sure we get the distance exactly right and back to the start. After a few loopy laps of wandering through the desert/horse facilities you'll know why this one is called "Dizzy Horse." You'll get between 40 and 80 feet of elevation gain per lap. Here is a CalTopo of the Route:

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Transition Area

All participants will have access to the general indoor transition area. It is a great place for runners, crew, family and friends to hang out. There is also plenty of outdoor space if you want to bring a grill, set up a tent or whatever, just know that it could be in the snow. You can bring a chair and a bag, but you likely won't have space for much more.  


UPGRADE: Reserved Indoor Transition Area: We give you a dedicated 10'x10' space inside the Exhibition Hall, where you can live like royalty in heated comfort as you await your next round of torture. There are limited numbers of Indoor Spaces. You can bring a cot, tent, tables, etc. whatever you can fit in the space. The reserved spaces can also be shared with others. 

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Aid Stations and Crew

Basic Aid Station: Water 

UPGRADE Deluxe Aid Station: Catered food (like Street Tacos, Sliders, Breakfast Burritos, Chicken Noodle Soup, and more) plus a veritable buffet of standard aid station fare, lots of drinks, you might even say a plethora of drinks, and more. 

Crew: You cannot have pacers or any crew help while on course or offer any aid in any form while on a loop. During the first few hours of the race, racers will be limited to one crew person. Once the field thins you can bring in more. Those with reserved indoor space can have 2 crew from the start. Crew help can be vital in getting you back into the corral on time especially as it gets later and later in the race.  

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4.167 Mile Loop


Will be measured to start entire starting field, will stay the same size throughout the event. Participants must be in the starting corral when the top of the hour bell is rung!


Each loop starts precisely 1 hour after the last. Warning will be given at 3, 2, and 1 minute before the start. All competitors must start at the bell (no late starts or returning to the corral). 


Except for restrooms, competitors may not leave the course until each loop is completed. No non-competitors are allowed on the course (including eliminated runners). No personal aid during a loop is allowed. Water will be available at the 2 mile mark. No artificial aids (including trekking poles) are allowed. Slower runners must allow passes. 


The loops will  not be officially timed. Results will be based solely on finishing loops. 


The Winner is the last person to complete a loop. All others are technically a DNF. Results of each runner in terms of distance travelled will be given. If no runner can complete one more loop than anyone else, there is no winner. 


The race will be open ended and continue until one runner remains. 

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