UTMB® World Series: understanding the largest global trail circuit

Have you read articles about the UTMB® World Series but found it challenging to grasp the new organization? If so, this article is tailored for you. The UTMB® Mont-Blanc event has been drawing thousands of trail enthusiasts every late summer. With each passing season, the number of registrations has seen a significant increase. In response to this growing popularity, UTMB® has made pivotal changes to its model, introducing a new structure and a global circuit.

The introduction of the UTMB® World Series

Introducing the UTMB® World Series, a global trail circuit uniting premier races and runners worldwide. These events lead to the OCC®, CCC®, and UTMB® finals.

To gain access to these finals and the coveted opportunity to run in the OCC®, CCC®, or UTMB®, you must have previously participated in at least one UTMB® World Series Event or Major race. You can participate in races from previous years; it doesn’t have to be limited to the current or preceding year. We’ll provide you with all the details you need to understand this process thoroughly.

How to qualify for the UTMB® World Series Finals

As mentioned earlier, beginning in 2023, the OCC®, CCC®, and UTMB® races will serve as the culmination of the UTMB® World Series. To gain access to these prestigious events, you must meet specific criteria:

  • Acquire at least 1 Running Stone within the last 2 years, regardless of the category (details below).
  • Hold a valid UTMB Index for your desired race distance:
    • For the OCC®, you must possess a valid UTMB® Index in the 20K, 50K, 100K, or 100M category.
    • To participate in the CCC®, you must hold a valid UTMB® Index in the 50K, 100K, or 100M category.
    • To participate in the UTMB®, ensure you have a valid UTMB® Index in the 100K or 100M category.

Understanding Running Stones: how they operate

A Running Stone provides you with an opportunity to participate in a lottery, increasing your chances of being selected. To put it simply, if you possess 10 Running Stones, you’ll have 10 opportunities to secure a spot. Running Stones have no expiration date and can be accumulated over time. However, you can only use them for one lottery draw, which includes races like OCC®, CCC®, and UTMB®. If you’re not selected, you can reuse them the following year.

To acquire Running Stones, you must complete a race within the UTMB® World Series circuit. The number of Running Stones you earn depends on the distance of the race.

Understanding Running Stones: how they operate

Farewell to the ITRA Performance Index: welcoming the UTMB® Index

Didier Curdy conceived the UTMB® Index, which is poised to replace the previously used ITRA performance index for UTMB® Mont-Blanc. This innovative index will assign a performance level to each participant in UTMB® World Majors, Events, or Qualifiers, presenting it in the form of a numerical score. These races are categorized into four distances: 20K, 50K, 100K, and 100M.

To qualify for participation in one of the finals, you must hold a valid UTMB® Index. You can obtain this index by completing a race within the UTMB® World Series Majors, Events, or Qualifiers, falling into the corresponding category, all within the preceding 24 months.

You have the flexibility to check your UTMB® Index at any time.

Regarding the UTMB®, the previous requirement of accumulating 10 ITRA points from two races to be eligible for participation is now a thing of the past. The new criterion is that you must hold a valid UTMB Index specifically in the 100K or 100M category.

Understanding the UTMB® World Series Circuit

While the OCC®, CCC®, and UTMB® take the spotlight as the finals, to accumulate Running Stones, you must take part in races within the UTMB® World Series circuit. Here’s an overview of the circuit’s structure:

UTMB® World Series Qualifiers

The UTMB® World Series Qualifiers serve as the foundation of the pyramid. This category encompasses thousands of races hosted worldwide. By participating in these races, you can enjoy certain privileges. It includes access to better pricing and an exclusive pre-registration period for UTMB® World Series Events. However, it’s important to note that you won’t earn Running Stones through these races, but you can update your UTMB® Index.

Every race organizer has the opportunity to apply for free to become a part of the circuit as a qualifying race. You can find the list of races already affiliated with the circuit here.

UTMB® World Series Events

UTMB® World Series Events hold the exclusive privilege of issuing Running Stones, crucial for participation in the finals’ lottery. These events are held across the globe, spanning Europe, Asia, Oceania, and America.

In France, there are three UTMB® World Series Events: Trail du Saint-Jacques by UTMB®, Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB®, and Restonica Trail by UTMB®. For these events, the top 3 male and female participants in each category will gain direct access to the finals. All other participants will accumulate Running Stones, which will propel them further on their UTMB® World Series journey.

UTMB® World Series Majors

Each year, among the UTMB® World Series Events, three exceptional races are chosen to elevate to the status of UTMB® World Series Majors. One in Asia/Oceania, one in Europe, and one in America. These Majors serve as continental mini-finals.

Participating in these prestigious races carries significant advantages, as it effectively doubles the number of Running Stones you can accumulate. In these three events, the top 10 male participants in each category will secure direct access to the finals. The same applies to the top 10 female participants, further fueling their UTMB® World Series journey.

UTMB® World Series Finals

The UTMB® Mont Blanc now stands as the ultimate race in this newly forged global circuit, joining the ranks of the OCC®, CCC®, and UTMB® as the coveted finals.

To enter the lottery draw for these prestigious races, you must meet two key requirements: acquiring at least one Running Stone and holding a valid UTMB® Index.

As for the PTL®, TDS®, MCC®, and YCC®, these races will continue to exist, with specific conditions for each set to be unveiled in due course.

2022: a year of transition

In 2022, to participate in the lottery for the UTMB® Mont-Blanc (held from January 6 to January 18, 2022), it was not yet obligatory to possess Running Stones.

However, looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, you will need a minimum of one Running Stone acquired within the last two years and a valid UTMB® Index to be eligible.

For the most current information about events within the circuit, please visit the official website. You may discover races that already spark your interest.

What are your thoughts on this exciting new circuit? Meanwhile, you can prepare for races in the UTMB® World Series circuit and the UTMB® Mont-Blanc finals with the RunMotion Coach app, which offers personalized trail training plans.

Avatar photo
Mailis Durif-VarambonMailis grew up in the mountains, where she went hiking and biking every weekend. She loves outdoor activities where she can relax at the end of the day. At RunMotion Coach, she is responsible for communication management.