Home > Runs & Races

Hamilton’s most exclusive and difficult track race

The backwards bear crawl is an unconventional yet exclusive and shockingly difficult track race that's going down this Thursday in Hamilton

The BBC (backward bear crawl), which is taking place at the McMaster track in Hamilton this Thursday, is in its fourth year of running. Founded by Evan Ubene (fourth year McMaster runner), the event is simple: 200m as fast as you can go while backwards bear crawling.

Andrew Davies won the U20 Athletics Canada Cross-Country title on Saturday. The Sarnia, Ont. native is in his second year at McMaster University and he’s had a great 2019 XC season.

RELATED: Booms and busts of U Sports Cross-Country 2019

Davies’ accomplishments (top ten at U Sports and a national title) are very impressive, but following his race on the weekend he told running fans about the next big event that he’s competing in: The Hamilton BBC. This race, for Davies, where the real glory lies.


Video for reference

The rules

Ubene says the race started off as 400m crawl, but the length proved to be too far and too difficult. “Due to the toll it takes on your muscles, we had to shorten it to 200m.”

The only hard rules are that the participants must crawl with their opposite arm and leg moving at the same time and keep their bums level with their backs. Ubene will be the only judge this year to ensure equity across the officiating. Each runner gets their own lane and heats will be selected randomly.

What to do if you don’t live in Hamilton

If this race appeals to you but you’re not a resident of Hamilton (or can’t make the 1 p.m. start time), Ubene says that runners can send in a video of their BBC attempt, with a time, for remote judging. If their form is deemed acceptable, runners will be retroactively added to the results.

What’s at stake

The prize (for now) is just bragging rights. Ubene is working on securing a prize purse for future competitions. Last year’s winning time was 5:28.