In a sport where every week end we think it is a “World Championship” and the misunderstanding of the sport comes from the multiple races at same time we will try to make a map of the different formats and circuits.
We can’t say it is unique Trailrunning world champion or best athlete, same as in cycling where it is a difference between time-trial, one-day “classic” races, Grand Tours… or in athletics it is 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles…marathon… in Trail running they’re different disciplines. So as we can’t put in the same jar Usain Bolt and eliud Kipchoge we can’t do the same for trailrunning athletes and races.
If some years ago it was many circuits who were overcoming each other, today the picture it is a bit more clear, with not many races of same discipline in different circuits / federations.
Few concepts: Short distance: under 20km- middle distance: 20-50km – long distance: 50-100km – Ultra: over 100km / Non technical: not speed decrease by terrain – Technical: speed decrease by terrain
List of Federations (3)
- WMRA ( World Mountain Running Association): From 1984, non technical – short distance. Organizes World Cup and World Championships (Short and Long distance wityh IAAF)
- Skyrunning (International Skyrunning Federation): From 1993, technical short distance, long distance, VK. Organizes Skyrunning World Series, Skyrunning World Championships (Skyrace, Ultra and VK) and Vertical Kilometer World Circuit.
- ITRA (International Trail Running Association): From 2012, long distance. Organizes Trail World Championships (with IAAF) and Ultra Trail World Tour.
List of International Circuits (5)
- WMRA World Cup (short distance non technical races)
- Golden Trail Series (middle distance – from non technical to technical races)
- Vertical Kilometer World Circuit ( VK )
- Skyrunning World Series (middle-long distance – technical races)
- UTWT (Ultra Trail World Tour – long -ultra Distance) by ITRA
List of Championships (6)
- Short distance World Mountain Running Championships: by WMRA – IAAF non technical race from 5 to 10km one year only uphill the next one uphill and downhill
- Long distance World Mountain Running Championships: by WMRA non technical race from 20 to 40 km.
- Vertical Kilometer World Championships: by Skyrunning VK race
- SkyRace World Championships: by Skyrunning short technical race from 20 to 50 km
- Ultra Skyrace World Championships: by Skyrunning long technical race from 50 to 100km.
- Trail World Championships: by ITRA-IAAF long race from 50 to 100km can be technical or not.
If we take endurance individual sports we can see that around 5% of the time of the 1st (World Best) it is the top elite (the ones who can fight for podium) and arround 10% we can consider elite runners. Here a work table about those in Trail running major races:
ITRA has an algorithm to calculate the best performances: ITRA POINTS