The Back 40 Trail Run & Ride
40 mile - 20 mile - 13 mile - 5k
Run, ride, or if you dare — do both on back to back days.
The Back 40 Run & Ride is always held on the second weekend in December. Come experience one of the newest trail systems in northwest Arkansas, opened in 2016 and nationally known. The Back 40 Trails in Bella Vista, Arkansas feature nearly 40 miles of pure Arkansas singletrack. Dirt, rocks, roots, ravines, bridges, waterfalls – we have it all. This two-day event, brought to you by the organizers of the award-winning War Eagle Trail Festival and the City of Bella Vista, brings trail runners and mountain bikers together to race through the woods. Push some limits, and have a blast doing it.
Here in Bella Vista, we have deep woods, generous climbs and stunning views. We took advantage of this topography when Mayor Peter Christie said to build some trails! These trails meander through the woods, splash through streams, hug bluff lines and cross specially built breathtaking bridges. You’re going to want to stop for a selfie. And then, when you finish, take one with Mayor Christie, who waits at the finish!
Choose to run and/or ride from three distances – 13, 20 or 40 miles. Trail runners start the weekend on Saturday, then mountain bikers head out Sunday. Mix and match distances or go for glory by competing in the 20/20 or 40/40 option. We’ve also added a friendly 5k distance this year, for those who want a little taste of trail running.
Participants will get a shirt with the phenomenal race logo, designed by local artist and runner Ryan Holler. Finishers medals will be awarded to 13, 20 and 40 mile participants. Those brave enough to double up and tackle the 20/20 or 40/40 mile distances will get a special handcrafted award. Overall top finishers (male and female) in the 13, 20 and 40 mile events will receive podium awards as well.
The event is headquartered at Blowing Springs Park, and both the running and riding events will start at the Blowing Springs Trailhead. The park is located at 948 Blowing Springs Rd. in Bella Vista, AR 72714.
The course is 99% singletrack and well-marked. 13 mile and longer distances will have cutoffs. Fully stocked aid stations will be available throughout the course, staffed with experienced runners and riders who love a party!
Participation is limited to 500 runners and 250 riders. If you want in, sign up early. Registration deferrals or rollovers will not be accepted. Bib transfers will be accepted up to four weeks before race day.
Saturday starts with three distances of trail runs – 13, 20 or 40 miles, plus the 5k. Riders go out on Sunday for 13, 20 or 40 miles on the same courses. You are encouraged to participate on both days, even if you aren’t competing.
Cutoff is 10 hours for the 20- and 40-mile events. Cutoff times will be enforced from the first aid station. 20-milers must remain under a 30 min/mile pace. 40-milers must remain under a 15 min/mile pace. Safety sweepers and emergency personnel will be on the course and will assist in returning anyone that drops or gets pulled out to the finishing area.
RV and primitive camping is available with reservations at Blowing Springs Park. Make reservations by calling the park office at (479) 855-8073 or email email@example.com for info. If you make a reservation for a vacation rental home through Vacation Rentals, Inc. for this event, mention City of Bella Vista Back 40 to get a special rate on a two-bedroom unit. Call them at 479-855-111, or visit http://www.vacationrentalsinc.net/.
The Catfish John's food truck will be on site at the finish serving free fried catfish meals.
1610’ Photography will capture all of the action over the weekend and race photos will be available free of charge to participants.
This event raises funds for a local non-profit. Last year we were happy to donate to NWA Drive With Care to support their mission of making our roads and trails safer for runners, cyclists and drivers. We also donate a portion to the City of Bella Vista that is earmarked for future trail projects.
Aid stations will be available and staffed with experienced trail enthusiasts. The 13 mile course will have two aid stations. The 20 and 40 mile courses will have 3 aid stations for each loop.
The number of participants will be limited. If you want to come out and play with us sign up early. We will not maintain a wait list for any event.
No refunds. Registration deferrals or rollovers will not be accepted. Bib transfers will be accepted up to four weeks before race day. Additionally, there will be no changes in sizes for shirts once the order is submitted to our vendor.
To stay up to date on the latest developments follow us on our Facebook page and bookmark our website. See you in December on the Back 40.
All photos by Megan Sebeck at 1610’ Photography. Megan and her team will capture all the action and race photos will be available to participants at no cost.