🏃‍♀️ Race Announcement 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️

Join us for the thrilling 3rd Annual MetroWest Backyard Ultra

📍 Location: 1380 Central Ave, Needham, MA

 🗓️ Date: Saturday, September 28, 2024 

💰 Registration Fee: $25 , Click here to sign up. No refunds.

🔄 Race Format: Backyard Ultra - Fun 4.167 mile loop

Get ready for an unforgettable day of running, camaraderie, and challenge as you take on our exciting 4.167-mile loop in the unique Backyard format. The race will test your endurance and determination as you tackle loop after loop until only one runner remains standing!

We are encouraging all runners who have never done a Backyard Ultra to run 1 or 2 or even 3 loops just to dip your toe into this format. As they says...."Just Try it" !

To register, head over to our EventBrite page and secure your spot. 

Don't wait too long, as places are limited and filling up quickly.

Gather your friends, family, and fellow runners for a day of excitement, competition, and community. We can't wait to see you at the 3rd Annual MetroWest Backyard Ultra on Saturday, September 28, 2024! 

Let's make this race one to remember! 🏆🏁

#MetroWestBackyardUltra #RunTheLoop #EnduranceChallenge #RunningCommunity #NeedhamRunningClub

Race info:

Just like last year, we will be starting at 8:00 am and the format is the same.... every top of the hour we line up and run a 4.167-mile loop within the Needham town forest and part of the Needham Rail Trail. There will be one winner and everyone else wonderfully will receive a DNF. The winner - and only true finisher - is the last person running by themself. 

We will NOT be crossing any roads and this is a self-sufficient race. The route and start location are the same as last year. The route map is further down this page and the start/finish location is the Claxton Field Quarry, located across the street from the Needham Recycling Center on Central Ave. The route is 50% fire roads, 30% rail trail, 15% grass, <5% single track and 165 feet of total ascent/descent.

Race route is shown below, keep scrolling down on this page.  GPX file is here.

Parking: Please park at the Horsford Pond parking lot and the Claxton Field lot. 1380 Central Ave, Needham, MA

Logistics: Bring whatever you need to run your loops. We will provide water, race logistics, and good cheer.

Race fee: Only $25. Venmo (William-Gallagher-40) or Eventbrite, receipts available at the race. No refunds. Or use this link  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3nd-annual-metrowest-backyard-ultra-tickets-850240762007?aff=oddtdtcreator

2023 Mass Ultra article  - great article

2022 Mass Ultra article - cool article

Race Start: 8:00 am Sharp

We are expecting around 60 people to attend and try their hand at this incredible race format. All the runners had a great time last year and we would like to replicate it for Sept 28th. Veteran Ultra runners and newbies are all welcomed.

Please reach out to Bill Gallagher if you would like to be a title sponsor or even a regular sponsor for this amazing Ultra.  Bill.Gall3@Gmail.com




Past winner of the 2nd Annual MetroWest Backyard Ultra

Past Backyard Ultra race information. 

Second Annual 2023 MetroWest Backyard Ultra information:

Another great run was had by all 30 runners on Saturday, September 16, 2023

Race Results:  We had one winner and everyone else was a DNF. The winner was Jason Kaplan, bib number 12. 

Race Photos:  

Thank you all for coming to the 2nd running of the MetroWest Backyard Ultra on Saturday, Sept 16 in the Town Forest of Needham, MA.  We had a total of 30 starters – but just one finisher!  Never has the ‘DNF’ result carried so much importance and pride, though.  Bill Gallagher and I had a great time getting to know many of you, and watching you struggle through the hours and miles of this race.  It always proves to be quite a remarkable day of both physical and mental challenges, but mostly it is fun.  Had you not come to run, this last Saturday would have disappeared into your vague memory of other unremarkable Saturdays spent drinking beer, blowing hours on TicTok, and chasing the neighbor dogs off your lawn.  But chances are you will remember this Saturday for years to come, and have some good stories to tell!  I know Bill and I will.

 Our ultimate winner and sole finisher was Jason Kaplan of Newton MA.  On most laps he ran the down hills and briskly walked much of the rest of the course.  Usually but reliably finishing each lap with only a few minutes to spare before the next lap.  He remained bright and seemingly comfortable right until the end.  He was pushed late into the night by our assist (the final DNF) – Mike Martineau, from Sanbornton, NH.  The assist is arguably the most important runner of any Backyard Ultra, since they push the ultimate winner beyond where they would have otherwise chosen to run.  Kudos also to Daniel Leonard – the 2nd to last DNF and last year’s finisher, who ran with Jason and Mike for the last several laps before finally saying ‘uncle’ himself. 

 Below is a picture of the Lap Boards where you can see your result.  Each lap was 4.17 miles, or so.  Red means ‘unofficial lap’ since it probably was completed, but not within the required one hour time limit.  You will also see a link to some great pictures taken by Adam Hoffman, and a picture of Jason Kaplan.

 We are already making loose plans for the next edition of this race in 2024.  It will likely again be in September.  We do really value the 1-5 lap runners who are just looking to try out this format who may sign-up the night before on a whim.  So we will make all attempts to keep the race comfortable for those runners as well as those who are setting up tents and bringing nutrition for 24 hours of running.  Hopefully we will see many of you again next year. 



2023 Mass Ultra article  - great article

2022 Mass Ultra article - cool article


First Annual MetroWest Backyard Ultra information (May 7, 2022):

The First Annual MetroWest Backyard Ultra was a huge success. This ultra took place on May 7th, 2022. We had 26 runners who showed up at 8 am. Many new faces and a few old faces, meaning that we have seen them before at other races we have put on or were members of the Needham Running Club

We had a couple of people from out of state.  Many people did 3 loops, four completed 9 loops of the 4.17 miles in each loop. And two people did 11 loops, Molly Karp and Daniel Leonard.  It was an exciting 12th loop as Molly approached the start line in her green sleeping bag and Daniel was ready to go. As the start gun went off Molly announced that she will not be taking the 12th loop. Daniel started, looked back, and asked if she was running this loop and she said no. He then walked back, shook her hand, and said thank you very much for running and then continue on his 12th and final loop. He mentioned that he was ready to run until the next morning. Daniel (bib 156) was the winner and everyone else was DNF.

The weather was perfect for running; overcast, no rain, dry trails, and a perfect 54 degrees.

It seems like everyone had a nice time and talked about their previous and future races.

Every runner had a story and an impressive background. Here were a couple of the many stories:

We heard feedback that this was a great introduction to the Backyard Ultra format and seeing that it was casual and also free it gave many runners a feel for the race.

The Race Directors, Bill Gallagher and Kiko Bracker, chalked up the day as a complete success and are looking forward to next year’s race.


Please check out the pictures from the day from the First Annual Needham Backyard Ultra.

2023  Pictures


2022  Pictures


John Pizzuto (Needham Running Club president) presented a check to Page van Amson (Director of Development and Public Relations) of the Needham Community Council. 

Pictures can be found HERE.

Results can be found HERE



Scholarship Winners

The annual NRC Scholarship was awarded to:

The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to any Needham High School senior* whose essay was selected by the NRC scholarship committee. Applicants were asked to write an essay about why they run.

Natalie Lubie - 2023

Kyler McNatt - 2022

Michelle Mittaz - 2021

Lauren Konieczynski - 2020

Abby Healy - 2019

Alison Partridge. - 2018

* students included any NHS student (whether they live in Needham or not) and any Needham resident who is a high school senior.


Couch to 5K Program

 We have an online Couch to 5K Program which you can use to jump start yourself, your company, school, friends or relatives in running a 5K road race.  Anyone can use this free program and follow the suggested training plan. If you have any questions, please me Bill Gallagher (bill.gall3@gmail.com).

Training program

Needham also has a great adult ultimate frisbee summer league. More information click here.


John Terry and Russ Tedrake at 2014 Halloween 5K. John was second overall.

Rich, Rick, Kelley and Tamara who all finished the Lake Placid Ironman Race. 

First Ironman for all except Rich, which was his second.

Some of the 21 Club members who completed the 2012 BAA Half.

      Some of our club members at the BAA 5K in April, 2014.

Mr. Kogo, who was the second place winner (2:10:27) at the Boston Marathon 2013 and the children of a NRC member- Vid Desibhatla


Running Routes around Needham:

Our Wellesley College Route   http://www.logyourrun.com/index.php?option=com_routes&task=loadroute&Itemid=46&code=EBobl5cIFcT2ba  


This is our regular 4 mile loop around Needham. 3.90 miles. www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=429396  

This is the famous Strawberry Hill route 8.24 miles.  www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=429399  

This is around Needham with some good hill work. 9.16 miles http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=343010  

The Needham Ramble, flat loop 8.76 miles, main roads so the snow will be off. http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=88295  

Wellesley College/Grove St route. http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=451942  

Johnnie Kelley Statue run 5.23 from start to statue. www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=482996 

This is the route to the Brookline Route 9 reservoir    http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=68512


 If you want info on the Needham Kids Track Club - click here


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