March 3, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

The third edition of the Jingle Balls Backyard Ultra (JBBU) Philippines is back on Dec. 9 and 10 at Camp John Hay.

The JBBU, a backyard ultra race in a loop, will be conducted with some changes from last year’s event according to race organizer, Intrepid Spirit.

Changes include a daytime route, which is entirely off-road, where the route will be cleared of vegetation and overgrowth to allow easier and safer running conditions and better visibility of the trail terrain.

Also, a new night-time loop will be introduced to assist runners in the darkness, and electronic timing will be implemented for accurate capture of loop or lap times.

“Our goal at Intrepid Spirit is to provide a safe, friendly, encouraging opportunity for people to connect with trail running and enjoy the outdoors and our trails and mountains and take on a challenge that otherwise might have seemed unreachable,” the organizers stated.

Registration is ongoing with the no frills promo or without inclusions at P795 until Dec. 8; early bird promo at P1,390 which includes shirt, head buff, and did not finish (DNF) keychain until Nov. 24; and regular at P1,590 with shirt, head buff and DNF keychain until Dec. 8.

For more information and registration, visit the “JBBU by KOTM 2023” event’s account on Facebook.  

In 2022, the event’s sole survivor was Rhys Yvan Dane Pawid who made it to 22 loops followed by Ronie Nullar at 21 loops.

In the backyard ultra race format, racers run a 6.7-kilometer loop or lap within the hour and every hour that follows until only one competitor is left.

Competitors drop out of the race for three main reasons: failing to complete the loop/lap within the hour, failing to make the starting corral before the next loop begins, or accepting defeat. 

The Philippine edition of the backyard ultra started in December 2019 with the second edition on December 2022, still at Camp John Hay.