UTMB WORLD SERIES: UTMB AND IRONMAN LAUNCH NEW ULTRA TRAIL WORLD CIRCUIT.
UTMB WORLD SERIES: UTMB and IRONMAN launch new ultra trail world circuit. Our TRAIL RUNNING CALENDAR brings us today the new joint launch of the two big companies that lead our sport today. A new joint circuit was born by UTMB and Ironman.
An enterprise agreement that, for the time being, belongs to the UTMB Group but where Ironman is now a preferred guest. There will still be the Ultra Trail World Tour that will become a kind of “Second Division” compared to the “Champions” that we present today. Make it for everyone’s sake. Let’s go with the details.
UTMB WORLD SERIES UTMB AND IRONMAN LAUNCH NEW ULTRA TRAIL WORLD CIRCUIT
In convulsive moments for the sport of the Ultra Trail, at which point races are still being cancelled and competing in others. UTMB re-breaking the deck with a new racing circuit. And it does, supported by the strongest sporting partner, perhaps in the world: Ironman.
Starting in 2022, the UTMB World Series will bring together several dozen of the best international events on the planet that will provide exclusive access to the UTMB Mont-Blanc. In this way, to be able to run in the famous Mont Blanc race, you will have to run some of the races of this new circuit. Let’s go now with the details.
IRONMAN: A WORLD PARTNER WITH GREAT STRENGTH.
The Ironman group arrives in 2021 with renewed strength, after moving from Chinese group Wanda to media group Condenast in exchange for $730 million, now a year ago. In addition, its commitment to the ultra trail has proven to be solid and growing. From the first purchases in Ultra Trail Australia and Tarawera to the most recent Mozart 100 or its landing in Andorra with the Trail 100.
A logical strategy, given that in recent years the world of triathlon seems to have hit the ceiling in its popular growth, as mountain racing continues to grow at a high rate across the globe. Starting in 2021, after joining forces with UTMB Group, both companies will try to boost the international development of the sport and together present this new trail running circuit, which we now detail.
UTMB WORLD SERIES: UTMB’S SPIRIT IN TOP-LEVEL INTERNATIONAL TRIALS.
Already in recent years we saw UTMB modify the entry method for UTMB races held in August in Chamonix that favored the finalists of the BY UTMB and UTWT races through the Running Stones and shortcuts, UTMB takes a twist and launches “UTMB WORLD SERIES”.
How does the new UTMB WORLD SERIES circuit work? The new circuit is self-represented in a big way, without complexes: “A revolution for sport that will unite the trail running community through a new integrated sports system open to all. Inspired by UTMB’s high standards, runners will be able to participate in the most beautiful events on the planet.”
This circuit will be the only way for runners to start their journey to Mont-Blanc, France, where the prestigious finals will take place. Without a doubt, a model that ironman has applied for years with its mythical finale at KONA. And that logically, it seeks to replicate now with CHamonix as a mecca of the world ultra trail. In line with the trajectory of the rapid growth of the sport, events will be held on six continents. So they will give all runners more opportunities to live the UTMB experience on a global scale.
UTMB WORLD SERIES: CALENDAR EIGHT MOUNTAIN RACES.
While the full schedule of events will be announced in the third quarter of the year, eight world-class international events have already been confirmed in Europe, Asia and Oceania, including:
- UTMB Mont-Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland)
- Val d’Aran by UTMB (Spain)
- Thailand by UTMB (Thailand)
- Panda Trail by UTMB (China)
- Gaoligong by UTMB (China)
- Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB (New Zealand)
- Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB (Australia)
- Mozart 100 by UTMB (Austria)
UTMB WORLD SERIES: ULTRA TRAIL CIRCUIT WITH FOUR LEVELS.
Starting in 2022, the series will integrate four levels of event:
UTMB WORLD SERIES FINALS
UTMB Mont-Blanc is where the legends of sport are forged. This iconic event will now also mean the official coronation of the men’s and women’s champions of the UTMB World Series. UTMB World Series titles will be awarded at each of the three key distances of the UTMB Mont-Blanc. Such as OCC(50K), CCC(100K) and UTMB(100M). Qualification can only be achieved by participating in one of the UTMB World Series or UTMB World Series Majors events.
UTMB WORLD SERIES MAJORS
Three Majors will be held each year. There athletes will be able to compete face-to-face in the continental Series finals in America, Europe and Asia/Oceania. Each Major will include at least one race in each category (50K, 100K and 100M) and elite finishers and fans will have at least twice the chance of entering the finals.
UTMB WORLD SERIES EVENTS
From Europe, to Asia, Oceania, America and Africa. The Events will be the best events on the planet and will be held in exceptional places in the heart of unspoiled nature. Organized to the highest quality standards to bring the UTMB adventure closer to runners around the world. Each event will include at least one qualifying race in the 50K, 100K or 100M categories. These races will award Running Stones; 1 Running Stone will equal 1 entry into the Finals registration lottery, which will give runners the opportunity to be on the start line at Mont-Blanc. Sports stars will also be able to enter the Finals based on their outcome at Events events.
UTMB WORLD SERIES QUALIFIERS
Qualifiers will be the gateway to the Series with thousands of races around the world open to everyone. It will not be mandatory to participate in a Series qualifying race to start the adventure. However, participating runners will benefit from privileged access to Series events.
UTMB WORLD SERIES: NEW SERVICES FOR RUNNERS AND ORGANIZERS.
The UTMB World Series will provide new services for runners such as privileged access. In addition to new and more precise sports criteria that take into account the specificities of trail running. This includes developing the Performance Index as a unique UTMB Group asset. And creating new categories to classify events.
- Performance index. Runners familiar with the sport’s first rating system will still be able to use it on the new platform to evaluate and compare their performance level. Runners with a given performance index will have privileged access to UTMB World Series event races. All this regardless of your level.
- Four new categories based on km-effort. There will be four categories in the UTMB World Series: 20K, 50K, 100K and 100M. They will be based on km-effort, a globally recognized formula for measuring trail running distance. Considering both the distance and the cumulative positive slope for calculating the perceived distance. For example, 100M means 100 miles and represents 170 kilometer-effort.
- Consultation of elite athletes In the process of defining the sports structure of the UTMB World Series, a significant group of elite international athletes was consulted. In this way understand your comments and opinions. Under the new sports system, to gain access to the UTMB World Series Finals, the best trail running runners on the planet must qualify by participating in the UTMB World Series Majors or UTMB World Series Events for a period of 15 months.
- The top 10 men’s runners and 10 best female runners in each of the 50K, 100K and 100M categories in the UTMB World Series Majors will achieve a place for the next edition of the UTMB World Series Finals race of the same category.
- The 3 best men’s runners and the 3 best female runners in each of the 50K, 100K and 100M categories at UTMB World Series Events will achieve a place for the next edition of the UTMB World Series Finals race in the same category.
UTMB WORLD SERIES: RACE DIRECTORS
SAM ELLIS, RACE DIRECTOR, TARAWERA ULTRAMARATHON BY UTMB: “We are delighted to be part of the new UTMB World Series, as it provides a great opportunity to bring together the world’s leading trail running events and provides a clear path for athletes who intend to reach the top of the sport. At Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB we were able to hold a successful event in February for our New Zealand-based runners and look forward to welcoming international athletes in the coming years.”
NICK CHRISTOPHER, RACE DIRECTOR, ULTRA-TRAIL AUSTRALIA BY UTMB: “As trail running continues to grow around the world, this partnership will bring together the world’s major events in a top-notch series that will attract runners from around the world. In the coming weeks, we will celebrate the 13th Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB and look forward to welcoming nearly 7,000 runners to the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB has grown to become one of the largest trail running events in the world and we look forward to working closely with other event organizers in the coming years.”
JOSEF MAYERHOFER, GENERAL MANAGER OF MOZART 100 BY UTMB: “Two leading brands in endurance sports that join forces to form a new global series will certainly benefit trail running sport in many ways. Salzburg, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an excellent and unique place for a career in this exceptional trail running series.”
XAVIER POCINO, GENERAL MANAGER VAL D’ARAN BY UTMB: “We are very happy to be part of the UTMB World Series. This is great news for all trail running runners. We fully understand the high level of demand in terms of organizational skills of all events that are part of the UTMB family, and this will be extrapolated to all races on the circuit. It means taking another step towards improving the quality of trail running tests, and to ensure the satisfaction of runners.”
Mr. LIU YANG, PRESIDENT OF CHENGDU XINGZHI BRANCH, ORGANIZERS OF PANDA TRAIL BY UTMB: “As the world’s most influential trail running event, UTMB’s professionalism and success inspire other racing organizers. We successfully carried out the Panda Trail by UTMB in 2020, which has achieved its internationalization, brand partnership and high quality and created a positive response in the trail running community in China. It gave national runners the opportunity to experience the highest quality race in the world near home. As the UTMB® World Series develops around the world, Panda Trail by UTMB will attract more people both inside and outside China, which will help us become one of the most important events in the world.”
BUNJARAT SUHARITDAMRONG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF RUNNING CONNECT, ORGANIZERS OF THAILAND BY UTMB: “The Thailand by UTMB team is delighted to be one of the first confirmed events for the new UTMB World Series. The idea of bringing together major races around the globe to create a structure will certainly attract all athletes, providing the best competition for elites and a world-class experience for all runners. We look forward to seeing the positive impacts on our career and growing along with this new circuit.”
Mr. MALIN, CEO OF GAOLIGONG BY UTMB: “The environment and the mountain are at the heart of trail running, a place where new possibilities of dialogue with nature, history and oneself are discovered. As part of the UTMB family, we are delighted with this flexible and inclusive innovation, which will allow runners around the world to join the UTMB World Series. The Series is a great way to unite runners and attract like-minded people to come together to discover and challenge themselves.“
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