Sam Harvey holds up the winner’s cheque – donated by organiser Tim Walsh – after completing 69 loops of the Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultra Marathon (Photo: Dead Cow Gully)

May 10, 2024

New Zealand runner Sam Harvey is $10,000 richer after becoming “the last man standing” on night three of the 2024 Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultra Marathon.

Harvey completed 69 laps of the 6.7km course, running through farmland near Nanango.

This is the fourth year that Dead Cow has been held on organiser Tim Walsh’s family property.

This year, competitors had to deal with rain at the start of the race on Saturday morning however the weather cleared as the event continued.

Two runners started Lap 69, Harvey and Gympie runner – and 2023 Dead Cow victor – Ryan Crawford.

However, a disoriented Crawford had to pull out midway through the loop, leaving Harvey to collect the winner’s cheque.

2023 runner-up, Sydney runner James Blunton, pulled out on loop 63.

Jane McAlpine logged the most laps by a female runner, pulling out at the end of lap 39, leaving six men to continue the battle.

Several South Burnett runners took part this year, with two completing 21 laps.

Dead Cow is a gruelling test of endurance.

Each competitor has 60 minutes to complete a loop or be eliminated.

How they chose to complete it – running or a combination of running / walking – is up to them, but the quicker they complete a loop, the more rest time they can enjoy until the cow bell rings at the top of the hour for the start of the next loop.

Some of the runners come well prepared, with stretcher beds as well as a race crew to keep them going hour after hour.


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