Queenstown ultrarunner Adam Keen doesn’t yet know his limits.

But the 40-year-old’s hoping to find them — and then some — at a gruelling event in Australia this weekend.

Keen’s one of seven Kiwis lining up for Queensland’s Australian Backyard Masters, an invite-only Aussie edition of American Lazarus Lake’s Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra.

The event is a Hunger Games-style affair where runners must complete 6.7km laps every hour until there’s only one left standing.

Keen’s previous best was a 35-hour, 234.5km behemoth he ran to win the New Zealand version of the event in Auckland in 2020.

Astonishingly, this weekend he hopes to double that effort and grind out 70 hours for 469km.

“When I won the NZ event there was no one else left in the race so you have to stop,” Keen says.

“You never know how many more laps you would have had, I definitely had a few more in me.”

He reckons he’ll need to kick on for 70 hours straight to have any chance of qualifying for the big daddy origin event in Tennesee this October — basically the world champs of ultra loop running.

That event will include the two holders of the world record that have each run 676.7km non-stop over 101 hours.

“There are around 40 or 50 spots available for people that have run a big number around the world and over the last couple of months people have been running 70 hours, so it’s pushed the number up of how far you’ve got to run to get in.’’

The field at this weekend’s event, at the Dead Cow Gully cattle station, two hours northwest of Brisbane, includes an American who has run 85 hours and a bunch of Aussies who have clocked up 70 hours.

“It’s quite a strong field, likely to go for a long time.

‘‘I’ll aim for a big number and hope that’s going to be enough to qualify.’’

Runners aren’t allowed any support, food or drink when running the loop, cramming in what they need in between laps.

‘‘I like to finish laps in the early 50s [minutes] to have time to sit down for a few minutes and have something to eat and drink, change shoes and do whatever else I will need to do, including grabbing a quick sleep.”

The event’s set up so runners hit an even 100 miles (160.9km) every 24 hours.

‘‘People hear 6.7km an hour and go ‘OK, I could run forever at that pace’, but once you’ve got 100 miles in the bank then life starts to change a little bit,’’ he says with the hint of a maniacal chuckle.

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