UTMB points - how important are they?

As the race director for a small-scale ultra marathon (the SVP100), I just received an email from the ITRA regarding how to get your race evaluated in the future for UTMB points. On their website, it appears that they are charging €100 for this service. This service used to be provided by TNF for free.

As such, I'm interested to know how important UTMB points are to ultra runners out there? Do most of you have an ambition to run TNF UTMB races, or are the UTMB points a 'nice to have'? Any thoughts on the subject would be great, as this service is clearly going to have an impact on the cost of organising ultra marathons in the future. 


  • GeeeMGeeeM ✭✭✭

    As I currently have no ambition or desire to do UTMB or any of the associated races the points aren't of any relevance to me - however...

    Where I have done races that have UTMB points, the number of points seems to reflect the difficulty of the course quite nicely, e.g. Fellsman = 3, Country to Capital = 1, NDW100 = 4 and the MCN One Day series are generally 2 each.

    Having UTMB points also, (for me - rightly or wrongly) gives me the perception of a established and well organised race! I can't think of any that I've done where I've come away thinking "that was a shambles" - so, from an organisers perspective, the kudos of the UTMB logo may be worth it?

    Just my thoughts image


  • I would guess that they are more important for a potential four point race, than a potential two point race. A serious UTMB aspirant, is unlikely to rely on a two point race to make up the numbers. Even so, you do sometimes hear people who have just ran their first ultra, proudly proclaim that they have two UTMB points.

  • Although I am doing UTMB this year, I have never run a race for the points. It just happens that if you run hundreds you get them so I thought why not use them.

    As Ben said, runners won't chase 2 point races to make their numbers up and  I would be surprised if anyone enters just for bragging rights.

    So no, if you had points available or not it would have  no bearing on me entering.

  • I echo Geeem's comments.  I entered a Beyond Marathon event a few months ago.  At the time, I hadn't heard of the company, and the presence of UTMB points reassured me they were legitimate.  For that reason, it is one of the things I look for - along with past race reviews and feedback here - before deciding what to enter, particularly after the Saxon Shores business.  

    Would I enter races without?  Yes, and have.  A far bigger clue for me is how well races respond to email queries (Longman series - two ignored emails, didn't enter; Peak Sky Race - two ignored emails, not entering; SVP100, LDWA - helpful and prompt email responses, entered.)   But that that little bit of reassurance of legitimacy is nice. 

    Beyond that, no, don't give a monkeys, as there's no way I'll ever be fit enough for the UTMB series of races.  

  • GeeeMGeeeM ✭✭✭

    Have just had a look at the Centurion Events - TP100 is 2 points, NDW100 is 4 points . As 4 is the maximum you'll never get more than that - no matter what the race, though I think something like The Spine / Dragon's Back should automatically qualify you image

    UTMB is 7 over 3 events I think, which means you HAVE to do at least a 3 or 4 pointer to qualify. From the various races I've done, 3 and 4 pointers are more than a "day out in the hills" and are definitely a step-up from the 40-50 milers that you can jog around in 7-8 hours!

    A little off-topic - but Western States is tightening-up it's entry criteria from next year to 100k under 16 hours or a 100m finish in qualifying races only - it's nice to see LL100, WHW, TP100, NDW100 and SDW100 included in the list though...

  • For me they were very important as I wanted to do the CCC with the UTMB as my 'end goal'. I ran the SVP100 *entirely* due to the UTMB points, if you didn't have them I would've tried an event elsewhere. Each to their own I suppose - how many of your entrants have run or are likely to run the UTMB and rely on those points?

    I'm sure I read that in 2016 TNF were ditching points altogether and entry would rely on mountain experience rather than points, is it feasible that from 2015 on the SVP100 wouldn't actually contribute anyway?

  • For me the four pointers are important. As others have pointed out the two point races don't really mean too much to me. As someone else mentioned having the points available does increase the legitimacy of the race somewhat, making it feel more credible/professional. 

    If cost is a factor then I probably wouldn't go for it just yet. UTMB is mostly mainland euro entries with Brits making up a smaller proportion, as such I'm not sure how many people in Britain would be 'sold' by it.

  • Hi everyone - sorry for re-hashing an old post. Any idea what are the remaining UK races that can achieve 3 points for the UTMB before 31/12/2015? I have 6 and am hoping to qualify for the race in 2016. Much appreciated.
  • Dan ADan A ✭✭✭

    The CTS ultra/marathon series in Dorset in early December have a 1 pointer (ultra) and 2 pointer (ultra plus). No idea if they are full. Or where you can get 3 pts in a single race. There's a list on the UTMB website. 

  • Deleted... Ignore I didn't realise the age of the original post.

  • http://www.ultratrailmb.com/en/page/87/List%20of%20qualifying%20races.html 

    follow link above to list of qualifying races although it doesnt look like any in UK- if you are really set on getting points then search for races in Europe- found one in Spain at end of November but depends how desperate you are- good luck! 

  • WiBWiB ✭✭✭

    There are loads in the UK. Set the filter to United Kingdom and there is a very long list.

  • My understanding is that Dan A needs to accrue the points before end of 2015 in which case I can't see any UK races that would provide this by end of year. Although I've got enough points, I have decided that expense counts me out for 2016 but 2017 could be affordable- just got to work out the new points system! 

  • WiBWiB ✭✭✭

    Ah yes. In which case CTS Gower and CTS Dorset. 3 points there.

  • 3 points are needed from one race so can't be split between those two- if I it was me & I was desperate for those 3 points from one race, I'd def be looking abroad. 

  • WiBWiB ✭✭✭

    Bit of a stinker. Guess it's abroad as you say.

  • I thought they were changing the criteria again....

  • Yes! I'm just trying to get my head around the new points system- from what I can gather, greater total number of ppints are required however races seem to have increased the number of points available for 2017 races but requires further study! 

  • To add to the challenge  there are  key British events no longer listed and the pool is now small compared to the numer of British ultras  eg no Lakes 100, no MCN events, no RunWalkCrawl events image

  • Gosh yes! Just checked the list & it's all round a far more restricted field of events. I have done a few events in Spain this year & they were really tough, to my mind/ body worth more UTMB points than they were awarded but they don't even figure on the list now. On that, I can highly recommend Spanish ultras- really well organised, brilliant goody bag, very well marked courses, incredible support (aid station food is best ever!) & they are really passionate about their trail/ ultra running, thanks in no small part to Kilian Jornet & other world class homegrown runners. nice weather too....

  • The ROF is still 4 Points

  • the impression I got got was the UTMB has tried tyo set itself up as the best race and all other race organisers should pay to be associated with them....

    not surprisingly more and more are thinking....we are successful enough on our own and our races are amazing.we dont need to pay anyone .....


     as I see it......the ones who will still pay will probably be the smaller ones that have trouble actually filling up on their own merit.. 

  • Dan ADan A ✭✭✭

    Me & the missus both entered the CTS race next month because of the UTMB point they offer. I do loads of ultras and have plenty of said points, but she wants to apply for the OCC race which requires a qualifying point. As such, she entered and I figured I would enter it too and make a weekend of it. 

    No UTMB point would have meant neither of us would have signed up. Therefore our entries would more than cover the cost of the UTMB fee. Whether they would have sold our places anyway to someone else is a different matter. 

  • So for all ROs reading this - how about a race entry levy for those who are after utmb points ? This would cover the utmb fee and doesn't hit those who arent chasing points ????
  • i dont think its the cost of joining...I think for many its the principle that one race has set it up as a  elite race and think that all others should subscribe to it....

  • Before they started charging, an active ultra-runner walked the street with UTMB qualification! 

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