HOW IT ALL WORKS
Welcome to Outback in the Ozarks!
CHANCES ARE…YOU WILL GET HOOKED!
Running a 200-mile team endurance or trail relay is an overnight adventure with your best mates. You will laugh, you will cheer. You’ll feel exhausted and exhilarated. You’ll overcome challenges with the help of your friends and never forget running under the stars!
We put on two of the most challenging, beautiful and exciting races in the country. Conquer our diverse 200-mile course with friends and 2 vans during our Outback Endurance Relay, or camp with 8 friends and vanquish a set of single track trails at Outback Pure Trail Edition.
What is Outback in the Ozarks Team Endurance Relay?
The Outback Team Endurance Relay is held in late October when the Ozarks are covered with the most brilliant autumn colors.
Starting in Historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the Outback Endurance Relay winds through 200-miles of the stunningly scenic “Ozark Outback” finishing up near vibrant Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Think of it as high-speed walkabout through the best that the Natural State has to offer. From panoramic mountain vistas and rolling valleys, to winding rivers, lush National Forests and 5 scenic State Parks, Outback in the Ozarks Team Endurance Relay will take you to another land down under as you push your limits through our extremely tough course with little sleep, your friends and a community of runners to cheer you on. It’s perfect for active families, friends, corporations and anyone wanting to create an
How does a 200-mile relay work?
The relay is on an open course with a total of 36 legs. The course is run primarily on forest service and secondary dirt roads, with some paved roads and close to 20-miles of single track trail.
*Please note: our course has more of a “Trail feel.” It is very hilly and challenging: (10% single track trail, 30% paved roads and %60 dirt/gravel-forest service roads). If you are looking for a flat, paved course, this is NOT the event for you.
*If you want to finish competitively your team must average a 10:50/mile pace. You can race non-competitively and still receive finisher medal and race swag but you may have to skip some legs in order to finish in the 37-hour time frame.
There are 2 vehicles required for a standard 12-member team. Vehicle 1 begins the course with half the team and is considered the “active van”. They will complete all their legs (each leg ranges from 3-8 miles). Once vehicle 1 has completed all their legs, they meet up with vehicle 2 at a major vehicle transfer (usually at a state park) and hand off the “baton” to vehicle 2. Now vehicle 2 is considered the “active van” and are required to complete their 6 legs. This continues until all 36 legs are complete.
Each van usually has a 3-5-hour window to relax and enjoy the beautiful parks, take a hot shower, barbecue or sleep before becoming “active” again. Ultra-teams follow the same rules but run more mileage. On average, an ultra-runner will log between 31-37 miles. They also have the option of using 1 or 2 vehicles.
Our goal is to provide runners with an incredibly scenic and safe course. It is NOT a closed course which means there will be vehicles and possibly wild life on the roads. We have done our best to design a route which utilizes secondary and forest service roads as much as possible which have slower speed limits and less traffic.
In the event that major roads are used, there will be signs, warning drivers about the event and each vehicle will be required to post a large sign in the back window announcing there are runners on the road. In essence, despite this being an open course, we have done everything possible to make it a safe, fin and adventurous experience for all our runners.
Each team is self-supporting. This also means that the vehicle will stay with or near their runner at all times by leap frogging them. For example, vehicle 1 drops off runner 2 and stays near their runner until they reach the next exchange zone. Once runner 2 arrives at the exchange zone, they pass off the baton to runner 3 who then begins their leg. Runner 2 then gets into the vehicle and this is repeated until all 6 runners (standard team) have completed their legs. Every 6th leg is designated a “Major vehicle change”. So again, this is where vehicle 1 becomes an “Inactive” van and vehicle 2 takes over as an “Active” van and begins their 6 legs.
Teams will be out on the course anywhere from 24-36 hours, depending on their pace. The end result is 200-miles covered over two days and one night, ending with an outdoor finish festival and Barbie.
*Please note: due to the difficulty of our course, we strongly recommend 12-person standard teams and 6-person ultra-teams. This also helps reduce the overall team cost!
Night Running Not for You?
Not a fan of running under the stars? We have the Out & Back Challenge. This is the same format as the 205-mile relay but with teams of six. You will start with the 205-milers, run the first 75-miles and get off the course at Withrow Springs State Park at dusk. You will get some rest and drive ahead to Lake Fort Smith State Park where you will resume running early Saturday morning about the time the 205-mile teams are rolling in. Your purpose is to help re-charge the 205-milers with your well-rested, happy faces as you run the last 65-miles of the course. Your team will run close to 140 total miles but with a good night’s rest in between.
How does Outback Pure Trail work?
Outback Pure Trail Edition is held the first weekend in May when the Ozarks are bursting with vibrant spring colors and the Redbuds and Dogwoods are in full bloom. It is also held in Historic Eureka Springs at Lake Leatherwood (National Register of Historic Places).
In the tradition of Outback in the Ozarks 205-mile Endurance relay, our Pure Trail Edition offers a similar challenge with a completely different feel. Teams are a bit different. Standard teams of 8 or Ultra Teams of 4 come together to run a 120-mile(ish) course consisting of three single-track, technical trail loops. That’s right…NO ROADS HERE! This is trail running in its purest form!
Standard teams of 8 or 4-member ultra-teams run relay-style on three different single track loops that start and finish at our Walkabout Village
The three loops will total approximately 15 miles. (Roughly 3 miles, 5 miles, and 7 miles). Each standard team member will run each loop once: (8 runners x 15 miles each = 120 mile). Each member of a 4-person Ultra team will run each Loop twice (4 runners x 30 miles each = 120 miles). Teams run throughout the day and night until each member has completed their designated loops to complete the 120-mile course.
Here’s how it works. Teams will arrive at the OTO “Walkabout Village” on Friday morning, race day. There you will check in, receive your race package and head to your campsite to set up your home for the next two days. Once all teams are checked in and comfy in their camp, the race will begin Mid-day on Friday. Your team will have 30 hours (that’s a 15 minute/mile pace for those of you reaching for your calculator) to complete the course and stake your claim as OTO Trail Conquerors!
Each of the three loops originates from the Walkabout Village. There will be a designated exchange area for each of the three loops. When the starting gun fires, the race will begin and the format will be as follows:
Runner 1 runs the Green “Wombat” Loop (hard), then Runner 2 runs the Blue “Dingo” Loop (harder), Runner 3 runs the Red “Tasmanian Devil” Loop (Devilish hard). Then Runner 4 runs the Green Loop, and so on until every runner has completed the three loops.
Swap vans for tents, pavement for trails and exchange points for an Amazing Outback Village full of Aussie Fun. Add bonfires, a Barbie, S’mores & a festival atmosphere, and Outback Pure Trail edition is a whole new running adventure.
Early registration has begun for both relays and is limited to 80 teams total for the 200-mile Endurance Relay and 50 teams for the Pure Trail Edition!
Gather your mates and make your way to the Natural State where you will connect, conquer and celebrate on these team running adventures “down under” in the spectacular beauty of the Arkansas Ozarks.