/ ITRA (UTMB) points
Inspired by this years racers I decided I’d quite like a crack at the CCC at some point.
Have taken note of points before but never really bothered entering races just to collect them. Not sure I agree with the whole pay to get points thing and in addition want to race for fun not points. But if you want to do the big races there is no real choice so...
Looking through races trying to get two four pointers in next year so I can enter next Sept. I see they have downgraded a load of 4 pointers to 3! (Eg pilgrims challenge- probably quite rightly!). Makes getting the 8 much harder as you’re going to have to do some tough races to get 4 (50miles with significant vert seems to be the cut).
Bit of a pain as with LL50 in July which doesn’t have any (and doesn’t need any, sold out in record time again this year) makes fitting in two more hardish races quite a challenge.
UTMB list not fully updated for 2019 yet but if anyone knows any good 4 pointers let me know. Already looking at Hardmoors 50....
Think west highland way race is a 5 pointer.
There's a lot of negativity towards the UTMB/ITRA points thing but one thing you can honestly say is that everyone on the start line has at least proven they're in a good state to finish, rather than just rocking up on the day.
I did the CCC last year and despite bad weather I loved it - https://mountaintrailrunning.com/race-reports/race-report-utmb-ccc-2017/
It's worth noting that the climbs are like nothing you usually get in UK (stating the obvious) ultras so it might be worth looking for a shortish Alpine race if time/money allows to get some experience in. I live here so am lucky, but a couple of 80ish KM races I've done that are fairly low key and worth four points each are Ultra Trail Motte-Chalencon (Provencal Alps) and Ultra Trail Vercors (near Grenoble). Both races are blogged on the same site as above if you want to see an account but obviously there are lots of others to choose from.
Bear in mind that the lottery opens in December so you'll likely be looking at doing your qualifying races next year then entering the 2020 event but maybe that works out well.
Also bear in mind that the CCC is usually heavily oversubscribed. The TDS is easier to get into (but its harder to run).
Whatever you do, best of luck and enjoy!
Thanks that’s really helpful!
That looks amazing, would love to do it, might be limited to UK unfortunately but I will be putting this on my list for some time in the future. Having skied in Verbier would be ace to do some running there in the summer.
The Roseland RAT Plague is 100k/3100 m ascent and gets you 4 points. It runs every August, back and forth along 50k of the Cornish coast path. I've only done it one way. It's not got the big continuous ascents and drops of an Alpine route, but very nice all the same
I should've mentioned the Jurassic Coast - I did the hundred miler which was worth 6 points this year.
However they do a 100 and 50km and the 100km is worth 4 points. It's a little bit belt and braces but covers some stunning scenery.
It is, the last climb is brutal though, you have been warned !
A lot of the UK races have ditched the points thing as i believe they have to pay to be a qualifying race, the BGR used to give you points and also the Fellsman, both ditched it now as i understand it. I seem to recall that the ITRA was founded by or influenced by the UTMB organisers ?
I haven't done the CCC but have crewed my Mrs one year when it got stopped due to weather, i think there is better and more relaxed ones out there with arguably tougher courses but I can understand the attraction of the UTMB etc.
You can search the qualifying races here, but i suppose you know that:
Interestingly i don't see the Montane LL50 on there, unless i am missing it, did the 50 this year, great event.
Race to the Stones is a flatish one in the UK that will give you 4 points:
Yeah the 50 doesn’t do points, but it’s such a good race I will do it anyway regardless. Makes fitting in enough races to get some points harder but the atmosphere, course, support, aid stations are all so good I can’t resist, done it the past two years and despite the repetitiveness of doing a race for a 3rd time already excited to be in again. Was tempted by the 100 but more sensible heads prevailed- maybe next yr!
My understanding from an RD friend is that a race only has to pay 100 euroto have their race registered for ITRA points. Not a huge amount in the scheme of things and a cost that runners like like yourself would happily take a share of that cost on their race entry fee if it meant they could collect their points. Imagine something like LL it would be pence extra per person.
I haven't paid to points for years and enter courses because I want to run them. That being said I always have more than enough points to enter UTMB each year (ok I'm a race junkie!)
I would recommend TDS over CCC anyway. It's a far better course, requires fewer points (I believe?) to enter and is a real gem of a race in my opinion.
Hardmoors events are excellent, I've done the 110 and you wouldn't be disappointed running that!
I think it was principal thing for many of them and how the ITRA came into being and what it stands for, i'm pretty sure that's what the BGR stance was anyway
In fact here you go:
My mate did the Transvulcania on las Palmas and reckons it is an awesome qualifying event. Pretty cheap to enter too although you do have a couple of flights to get there! It has amazing dark skies so the night sections are pretty magical. p.s. he just completed the UTMB in 44 hours.
Ha, I am planning to run my first Ultra next year, Lysefjorden Inn. It is listed, but has a grand total of 0 points ;-) I wonder why it's listed then?
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