UTMB: NEW REGISTRATION SYSTEM FOR 2020 AND 2021

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UTMB is changing its registration process beyond 2020. After more than 15 years and 26,000 applications for only 10,000 spots available in the last year the organization has realized that the current system is hard to achieve for some runners due the number of applications received. Thinking on the runner (as many runners just got applications approved after three years and having to get 15 points just for the 100 miles, the UTMB organization had to innovate and develop a new entry process in order for all runners to be able to participate one day in the race of their dreams, the organization  to the UTMB® Mont-Blanc

Let’s have a look at the video taken at the start of the UTMB 2018

 

 

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UTMB: CURRENT SYSTEM IN 2019

Access to the UTMB® Mont-Blanc races is divided in two stages:

1. Runners must complete a certain number of qualifying races in the allotted time during the qualifying period. Qualifying points were first introduced in 2009 and have evolved over time. Here is the 2019 scale:

  • UTMB: 15 points acquired in 2 years (in 3 races maximum)
  • CCC: 8 points acquired in 2 years (in 2 races maximum)
  • TDS: 8 points acquired in 2 years (in 2 races maximum)
  • OCC: 6 points acquired in 2 years (in 2 races maximum)
  • MCC: no qualifying points requested, the race is reserved for volunteers, local runners and partners
  • YCC: for younger athletes
  • PTL: selection upon presentation of a file, no qualifying points requested

 

 

2. Once they have gained their qualifying points, runners can pre-register for the UTMB® Mont-Blanc’s race of their choice. If they are not lucky, runners gain an advantage for the following year’s lottery for the same race (a coefficient which doubles the odds in the following year’s lottery, then a direct entry if the runner fails to gain entry in the lottery for the same race for 2 years in a row.

 

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UTMB: 2020, A YEAR OF TRANSITION

 

The new entry process will be implemented gradually so that the organization can honor its commitments towards runners already benefiting from an advantage in the lottery (coefficient 2, direct entry). The novelty lies in the implementation of a new scale of qualification points and the implementation of a more flexible lottery:

 

2020 qualifying points scale

  • UTMB : 10 points acquired in 2 years (in races 2 maximum). That is, 5 points less compared to the current scale.
  • TDS: 8 points acquired in 2 years (in races 2 maximum). That is, no change
  • CCC: 6 points acquired in
  • OCC: 6 points acquired in 2 years (in 2 races maximum)
  • MCC: no qualifying points requested, the race is reserved for volunteers, local runners and partners
  • YCC: for younger athletes
  • PTL: selection upon presentation of a file, no qualifying points requested

 

 

This will allow the runners to be more flexible with the races they have to run and organization thinks it will be healthier for the ultra runners as they won’t be so stressed to be able to run in Chamonix.

Implementation of a lottery with tickets for first-time applicants

From 2020, the lottery will become more flexible using a ticket model. Runners who are not lucky on their first attempt through the lottery will have better chances of being selected in following years. The probability of being selected is therefore proportional to the number of times a runner has failed to gain entry in the previous years. Runners can also decide to apply for a different race each year (ex: apply for the UTMB the first year, then for the TDS the following year) or to take a/or more than one, year break from their running.

Two exceptions:

  • 2019 applicants will keep their advantanges
    • Coefficient 2 in 2020 lotery
    • Direct access in 2021
  • Finishers of Ushuaia 130km and Oman 130-160km will get direct access in 2020

 

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UTMB: 2021, AN EVOLUTION, OPEN AND MORE FLEXIBLE

 

In addition to the lottery, which will continue to exist and the ticketing system, and in order to allow for as many runners as possible to one day be eligible to enter the UTMB® Mont-Blanc, the organization will introduce a parallel system offering faster access to its races, starting from January 2020.
The system will be based on the concept of the “Running Stones”, which will only be awarded to the Finishers of a limited number of races, carefully selected by the UTMB. Running Stones will be recorded on a database, which runners can refer to check their up to date stock. Once they have gained the requested number of running stones, runners will get a direct entry for the UTMB Mont-Blanc race of their choice without having to go through the lottery.

If the runner doesn’t have enough Running Stones, he/she will be able to trade them for additional tickets in the lottery thus improving the probability of being selected.

From January 2020 and not before, it will be possible to collect Running Stones by participating in some of the most incredible races around the world: the existing “by UTMB” events (Gaoligong, Ushuaia, Oman, etc.) as well as, and this is a first – the 2020 Ultra-Trail World Tour events. UTMB and Ultra-Trai® World Tour formalize therefore a major strategic partnership, recently signed, whose objectives are to better define ultra-trail running in the trail running world and to develop new sporting and marketing synergies. The 2020 international circuit resulting from the partnership between the UTMB and the Ultra-Trail World Tour will be presented to the press at the 2019 UTMB® Mont-Blanc event.

 

 

How to gain the Running Stones and how are they awarded?

Finishers of the ByUTMB races:

1 ITRA point = 3 Running Stones

Finishers of the UTWT races:

1 ITRA point = 1 Running Stone

(The number of running stones is likely to change from year to year depending on the number of applications)

For instance, finishing 160km (MGU) Gaoligong byUTMB = 18 Running Stones, that is 6 ITRA points. If runners have their qualifying points, they will be able to enter the UTMB Mont-Blanc races without having to go through the lottery. Running Stones expire after 4 years. Running Stones gained in 2020 can be traded for entry to a 2012, 2022, 2023, 2024 UTMB Mont-Blanc race of their choice. If they are not used during those 4 years, they will expire unless they are exchanged for additional tickets. The Running Stones can be used to enter the UTMB, the TDS, the CCC and the OCC. Special registration conditions apply for the MCC, the PTL and the YCC.

 

 

 

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MORE ON SKIMO, TRAIL RUNNING AND MOUNTAIN GEAR

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Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain