Just a couple of weeks after the Quarantine Backyard Ultra (QBU) finished, the Aravaipa Running Lone Mountain Last Person Standing race, another virtual backyard event, began. Unlike the traditional format most backyard races follow, the Lone Mountain saw participants run one mile every 15 minutes until only one runner remained. The race finished on Monday, with American ultrarunner Jacob Jackson taking the win after running 148 miles (238K) in 37 hours.
Congrats to Jacob Jackson for winning the inaugural Lone Mountain last person standing event with 148 miles in 37 hours! Thanks to everyone who took part! Hope to see you next time! @AravaipaRunning pic.twitter.com/i8HRXbuSP4
— Jamil Coury (@JamilCoury) July 27, 2020
Last runner standing
The rules of the Lone Mountain race were easy to follow: the run started on July 25, and from that point forward, runners had 15 minutes to run a mile. After each mile was up, runners could rest, eat, use the washroom or do whatever they needed ahead of the next lap, but they had to be sure to check in on a video call as the next 15-minute window began. Participants could run outside or on a treadmill, just as long as they could prove (by showing race officials on the video call) that they had run a mile each lap.
This might sound easy, but running mile after mile every 15 minutes would certainly become difficult after a while, and going for 37 hours like Jackson did would be extremely tough. In a regular backyard format, runners usually have to cover about 6K in an hour. In the end, the Lone Mountain format adds up to the same mileage every hour, but at least with hourly laps runners have a bit more time to relax before they have to resume their runs. The top finishers were completing their miles in about 10 minutes, so with 15-minute laps, that only gave them five minutes to rest before hitting the course again.
Jackson won after 148 laps, but he had plenty of experience in ultramarathons before the Lone Mountain race. Earlier in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson finished in second place at the USATF 100-mile road championships in Nevada, running the second-fastest time in the course’s history in 13:33:01 (the winner set a new course record). In 2019, he represented the U.S. at the 24-hour world championships in France, where he finished in eighth place. He has raced in many ultramarathons, and more often than not, he finishes in the top-10, and he has a lot of podium results to his name. His virtual Lone Mountain crown is his first win of 2020, but he’s registered for a few more ultras later this year, so he could add more podium performances to his resume before the season’s finished.