2017 Ultra-Trail World Tour Schedule Announced

Ultra-Trail World TourThe Ultra-Trail World Tour will announce its 2017 schedule tomorrow, but here’s the schedule a bit early! You can also learn about some significant changes to the structure of the tour going forward. For 2017, there are significant changes to both UTWT’s schedule and structure.

2017 Ultra-Trail World Tour Schedule

For 2017,  the UTWT will consist of 23 races spread among four status levels (more on that in a minute):

To start, there’ll be six new races in the tour, including three “sister” races to events already on the UTWT calendar. The three completely new races to the tour are the Patagonia Run in Argentina in April, Penyagolosa in Spain also in April, and Ultra-Trail Cape Town in South Africa in December. The UTMB sister races TDS and CCC are now part of the tour as is the Trail de Bourbon, which is held in connection with La Diagonale des Fous on Réunion. The only race to leave the tour in 2017 is the Grand to Grand Ultra in the U.S.

UTWT Scoring

As noted above, on the scoring side there’ll now be four levels of races in the UTWT for 2017. The following are the points awarded to the winner of a race at each level.

  • Series with Bonus: 1,300
  • Series: 1,000
  • Pro: 700
  • Challenge: 400

Below are the point allocations for the first 19 competitors in each level of race. A full points table is also available.

UTWT 2017 points- 1-19

Annual and World Rankings

Going forward, there will be two UTWT rankings, an Annual Ranking and a World Ranking.

Scoring in the Annual Ranking will be based on a runner’s two highest scoring UTWT races in a calendar year. A runner must complete two UTWT races in a year to be eligible for the ranking. The top three women and top three men will receive awards annually.

The World Ranking will include a runner’s five highest scored races within a three-year period. The top female and top male runner in the World Ranking will receive an award at the end of each calendar year.

Call for Comments

  • Did you participate in the Ultra-Trail World Tour in 2016? If so, what did you think?
  • What are your thoughts on the 2017 UTWT schedule and scoring changes?
  • Are you tempted to try one of these races?

There are 28 comments

  1. Tim Tollefson

    Any idea what the point break down is for positions other than 1st? Depending on that, trying to place high in overall rankings may make participating in Pro races less enticing.

        1. Bryon Powell

          Well, the full points table is now available. After a brief look at them, I’d say best route to trying to win the tour outright would be to go all in for UTMB and go for /either/ a 4th-6th place finish at Marathon des Sables or something very close to a win at “Series” race with Lavaredo and possibly Transgrancanaria based on historical competitiveness.

          I could see someone getting onto the UTWT annual podium with a back half at the top ten at UTMB or MdS and a podium at even a “Pro” race. I’ve not fully tabulated hypothetical results from 2016, but I think Gediminas would be highly ranked with his second at UTMB (1124 points) and second at Transgrancanaria (865 pts) for 1989 total points.

          Even though you were third at UTMB this year (1021 points), your options of beating Gediminas for the year could not come from aChallenger, Pro, or even a standard Series race. You’d needed to have been top three at Marathon des Sables… and good luck beating the Moroccans and Jordanians in the desert!

          Even if Gediminas had been second at UTMB and a Pro race, you’d have needed to place third or higher at a Series race or top ten at the Marathon des Sables.

          1. Tim Tollefson

            Thanks for saving me the time on an initial analysis :)

            Not gonna lie, this change is definitely an unfortunate development in my plan to attack the overall series standing. Guess I’ll go back to just picking races that sound cool and give me an excuse to explore!

    1. Teun

      That’s what I was thinking too. Winning UTMB would almost automatically make you 1st in the annual ranking. There’a probably more to it.

      1. Bryon Powell

        Don’t forget that the Marathon des Sable is scored equally to UTMB. That said, there’s not another Series or Series with Bonus race that pairs extremely well with a likely MdS winner. Perhaps, MdS and Western States would be the best such combo. Alternately, I /could/ see someone winning Tarawera and MdS, but Tarawera is only a Pro race. That might still be enough to get someone on the UTWT podium or, potentially, the series win.

        1. Sondre Amdahl

          If you win the MDS, you don’t have to win UTMB to place 1st overall. For 2017, it will be very cool to see if Rachid Elmorabity will be the first non-european to win the UTWT general ranking. He will probably win the MDS, that’s the easy part (for him). I think Rachid has the potential to place top 5 at UTMB. He was 2nd at OCC this year and he’s used to altitude (and has a string of strong ultra results).

          1. Bryon Powell

            It’s certainly /possible/ an MdS winner could win the tour, but the vast majority of the UTWT events are long and mountain-based. I guess I’ve watch Mohamad Ahansal for many years and his UTWT-type mountain race results have never been on par with his MdS results. (Similarly, the top long mountain ultra men haven’t bested the combinations of Moroccans and Jordanians in a while.) Perhaps, El Morabity has a different skill set and can find such as both! Let’s hope El Morabity gets enough funding that he can race two major UTWT events other than MdS in 2017.

  2. Sondre Amdahl

    This is interesting. I hope the UTWT organisation will provide some insight into the reasoning of making MDS a “Series with Bonus” race. It is a great race for sure, but limited to just a few elite runners. Will there be more stage races in the UTWT in the future?

  3. Jean-Pierre

    Hi Byron/Meghan, purely out of interest, do you know what criteria the UTWT uses to categorise each of the events? For example, how do they distinguish between a pro and series event? Is it x amount of mileage with x amount of elevation gain, or are there other factors like history, popularity, budget, etc?

    1. Bryon Powell

      Here’s the UTWT’s response to me forwarding your question:

      “The categories of the races have been decided in collaboration with the organizers. The process is based on a number of tangible and less so criteria, shared within the Ultra-Trail World Tour family of races.”

    1. Bryon Powell

      The scoring system is for ranking the runners. That’s it as far as I know. While it’s not been announced for next year (that I know of), in the past the ranking has been associated with cash prizes.

        1. Bryon Powell

          This ranking has nothing to do with an ITRA’s ranking, which includes a very large number of possible races. This ranking only deals with a runner’s rankings in the specific UTWT events and is used to crown the annual and, now, multi-year world ranking.

          While the exact scoring system was different this year, this is the same sort of ranking the scoring creates: http://www.ultratrail-worldtour.com/runners/rankings/annual-ranking-ultra-trail-world-tour-2016/

  4. Ken


    Question about UTMF@Japan.

    When will UTMF be held ?

    I am worry about holding UTMF.

    Because,UTMF is not listed “Competition tour map 2017”.

    1. Bryon Powell

      The UTMF date is not finalized, which is why it’s not on the UTWT’s map. We decided to include it, noting that the dates are subject to change. There’s every indication that UTMF will be run next year… we just don’t know when.

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