Qualifying for UTMB: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Race Series and Running Stones System

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Introduction: The UTMB – A Dream Race for Trail Runners

The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) is an iconic and highly regarded race that captures the hearts of trail runners around the world. With its stunning alpine scenery and challenging terrain, the UTMB has become a dream race for many athletes seeking the ultimate trail running experience. In this article, we will explore the new race series and the Running Stones system, which offer a pathway to qualify for the UTMB.

The New Race Series: A Pathway to UTMB Qualification

In order to make the UTMB more accessible to a wider range of trail runners, the race organizers have introduced a new race series that serves as a pathway to UTMB qualification. This series consists of a variety of races held in different parts of the world, allowing runners to accumulate Running Stones that can be used towards their UTMB entry.

The race series includes several prestigious events, such as the Ultra-Trail Australia, the Lavaredo Ultra Trail in Italy, and the Western States Endurance Run in the United States. By participating in these qualifying races, runners can earn Running Stones based on their performance, which will contribute to their eligibility for the UTMB.

Understanding the Running Stones System

The Running Stones system is a unique and innovative approach introduced by the UTMB organizers to determine eligibility for the race. Running Stones are earned by participants in the qualifying races based on their performance and the difficulty of the race. The number of Running Stones earned can range from 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest.

To give you a better understanding, let’s take a look at a table that showcases the Running Stones system:

Race Difficulty LevelRunning Stones Earned
Very Hard4

The difficulty level of the race is determined by various factors, including the distance, elevation gain, and overall toughness of the course. The more challenging the race, the higher the number of Running Stones that can be earned.

Step 1: Participate in UTMB Qualifying Races

To qualify for the UTMB, the first step is to participate in one or more of the qualifying races in the series. These races are spread across different continents, allowing trail runners from all over the world to take part in the UTMB qualification process.

Each race in the series has its own set of rules and regulations, so it is important to thoroughly research and understand the requirements before registering. It is also essential to meet any specific criteria set by the UTMB organizers, such as completing a certain number of qualifying races within a specified time frame.

Step 2: Accumulate Running Stones

Once you have participated in qualifying races, it’s time to accumulate Running Stones. As mentioned earlier, the number of Running Stones earned depends on the difficulty of the race and your performance. For example, if you complete a very hard race, you will earn 4 Running Stones.

To qualify for the UTMB, you need to accumulate a certain number of Running Stones within a given period. The exact number of Running Stones required may vary from year to year, so it is important to stay updated with the latest information provided by the UTMB organizers.

Step 3: Eligibility Criteria for UTMB Entry

In addition to accumulating Running Stones, there are certain eligibility criteria that must be met to secure entry into the UTMB. These criteria include:

  1. Age Requirement: Participants must be at least 18 years old on the day of the race.
  2. Experience Requirement: Runners must have completed a certain number of trail races and accumulated a specific number of points in the UTMB qualifying races.
  3. Health and Fitness: Participants must provide a medical certificate proving their ability to take part in an ultra-trail race.
  4. Registration: Eligible runners must register within the specified registration period and pay the entry fee.

It is important to carefully review the eligibility criteria set by the UTMB organizers to ensure you meet all the requirements before applying for entry.

Conclusion: Achieve Your UTMB Dream with the Running Stones System

The UTMB is a dream race for many trail runners, and the introduction of the new race series and the Running Stones system has made it more accessible to athletes worldwide. By participating in qualifying races and accumulating Running Stones, you can increase your chances of securing entry into this prestigious event.

Remember, the journey to UTMB qualification requires dedication, training, and perseverance. Stay updated with the latest information from the UTMB organizers, choose your qualifying races wisely, and train hard to achieve your UTMB dream. With the Running Stones system, the path to the UTMB awaits you. Good luck, and happy trail running!

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