The Quarantine Backyard Ultra race will see runners from all over the world compete for the coveted Golden Toilet Roll. (Instagram)

Abbotsford runners competing in Quarantine Backyard Ultra race

Over 1,500 racers from 40 countries participating in unique long distance running event

The COVID-19 pandemic won’t stop ultra runners from all over the globe continue to compete.

The Quarantine Backyard Ultra kicks off on Saturday morning, with over 1,500 runners from 40 countries accepting the challenge and trying to win the coveted Golden Toilet Paper Roll as champion.

Abbotsford is represented by four local runners – Kevin Barata, Ryan Shepard, Jamie Cross and Jason Brown.

The free event sees runners individually map out a 6.7 kilometre route or run that distance on their treadmill every hour on the hour. Users must set up a smartphone or webcam connected with the Zoom app to create a live feed during the event and to document and track progress.

Once that distance is finished, runners can rest until the start of the next hour. If they do not complete the distance in one hour they are eliminated.

The event continues with all runners having to finish the distance until the last runner is left standing.

Barata told The News that he thinks the Abbotsford runners participating have the potential to do well.

“A few of the Abbotsford Runners will no doubt surpass the 24 hour mark which will total 100 miles at that point,” he said. “With several elite runners competing around the world, the race is expected to last 70 to 80 hours – potentially into the 500 km marker.”

Barata added that Saturday could see some impressive distances set in Abbotsford.

“Ryan [Shepard] just recently (on March 14) ran for 24 hours straight on the Abby Grind accumulating more than 10,000 meters of vertical gain,” he said. “Others on this list have other impressive running feats right here on Abbotsford trails and roads. I believe this weekend we’ll see some new personal bests for distances and dare I say records for most miles run in a period of time on Abbotsford streets.”

The first bell begins at 6 a.m. PST on Saturday, with a pre-race meeting on Zoom set for 5:45 a.m. Racers can login to the event starting at 5 a.m.

For more on the event, visit personalpeak.ca/quarantinebackyard.

RELATED: Abbotsford Triathlon Club staying fit in COVID-19 era

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