Simply the Best... An Ode to Laz race (and a Big's Backyard Bronze affiliated qualifier)
IMPROVED for 2023!!! We did so well, the park has granted us access to the beautiful Twin Chimneys area for our 2023 start finish. Expanded bathroom access, close-in parking, and a large roofed structure for relaxation in case you don't like your canopy! Yes, it's even flatter now!
If your lap record PR is your goal, this race is for you. A beautiful closed park course mixes wide, flat trails and multiple surfaces to help you run forever. You will circle beautiful Crooked Lake on an even-footed, roomy cinder path and then turn onto the paved River loop where you will enjoy shaded woods and connect to a 1000+ foot boardwalk through a peaceful waterfowl preserve. Independence Oaks Park in May will provide the cool weather you need to run for days. There is family-friendly camping on-site with modern restroom facilities, hiking, swimming, boat rentals, an interactive nature center and more. This is designed to be the most competitive and enjoyable backyard course in the world. Join the Ode to Laz family and create your Perfect PR!
The course map is here: It is super flat, so don't be fooled by the scale of the elevation profile. Frankly, we can't figure out where the 70-80 feet of elevation gain comes from, but that's what the mapping tools say...
Don't know what a backyard is about? Whether one, three, or dozens of loops is your goal, the vibe at this race is amazing - this video from our Ode to Laz Backyard Ultra does the trick - Just imagine a flatter, wider, friendlier course with no rocks roots or obstacles:
Contestants provide their own aid, pacers are not permitted
Crew is permitted, not required. Crew may leave and come back if needed.
Racers are allotted a chair/cooler space within 40 yards of the start/finish line. Parking for 1 vehicle overnight for all active entrants at the start/finish venue is available, additional parking is less than 500 yards away. Bring a sided canopy up to 10’ x 10’ size, one per contestant. While it is first come first served, there will almost certainly be room for all who want a a spot, and many racers are willing to share with those who can't bring shelter.
Permanent park bathrooms will be available and open during the event at the start/finish.
Alcohol is permitted.
Water is provided.
Coffee is provided.
No hiking poles, no headphones on trails
Here is our race guide:
General park rules for Oakland County parks are here:
Yes, the Perfect PR is THE BEST way to get an at large bid to the 2023 Big's Backyard World Championship. You need the biggest lap count, and this is the place to do it!
AND --- as a Bronze Qualifier, the top 10 finishers in the Perfect PR get reserved spots in the 2023 Ode to Laz.
Race Guide & Info
Learn it all here in the race guide:
Just want the course?
If you do not have an Oakland County Parks vehicle pass, please purchase a race park entry pass during checkout. $5 (the normal rate is $12 non-resident per day)
Camping at Wilderness Campground (tent camping only) is available from Friday afternoon, through Tuesday afternoon. Pay in advance, $6 per person, per day during your race registration. Entered race participants do not need to pay for Saturday or Sunday night if they are actively running, racers pay only Friday and Monday if desired
Camp Wilderness is 100 yards off of the racecourse, but a beautiful .9 mile walk from start finish. It has all the modern amenities to keep you comfortable including a heated shower and bathroom building. There is no electric service to tent sites. A parking area is close for gear dropoff.
One car per active racer will park at the start/finish area. Ample parking for all others is within 500 yards. You are required to have a park entry pass for each car entering the park.
Every racer gets an amazing Ode Logo hat - it's an Ode to Laz series backyard ultra after all. A performance-inspired hat that will make your running friends envious and be your go-to running hat in the cooler weather. (unless you have other Ode to Laz hats - in which case you'll alternate between them depending on your style preference that day)
The top 10 finishers are guaranteed entry into the Ode to Laz Michigan Backyard Ultra in July if they want to register
The winner and assist get 75% off entry, assist ties receive 50% off entry.
Here is a link to our gear store. Excellent prices, and top-quality merchandise.
See our facebook page with the link above or join our group for the latest info and conversation.
Local time: 2:32 PM