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The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

I can’t seem to find it, but what I can find is an Instagram post on their European account:

In our new campaign, entitled Trail to Paris, we’re launching a bid to make trail running a future Olympic sport.

We’ve hooked up with five UK run crews to trail run over 455km from London to Paris over the next four days ahead of this summer’s Games.

The press release also mentioned that cross country running used to be an Olympic sport:

“This summer’s Olympics marks one hundred years since running off-road was an official discipline,” said Tom Jenkins, a passionate trail runner from London. “Cross-country running, now commonly known as trail running, was the last of its kind at the Paris 1924 Games.”

Merrell’s an American footwear brand and is the title sponsor of the Skyrunner World Series, but this marketing effort seems to be coming from the UK. Of course, with Paris hosting this summer, all eyes will be on France and with UTMB happening mere days after the Closing Ceremony UTMB will be in the spot light. Exactly 100 years ago the first Winter Olympics were happening in, yes, you guessed it, Chamonix, France.

So, we have an effort promoting trail running for this year’s Olympics in Paris and there’s an effort promoting it for 2032 in Brisbane, Australia. The city hosting the Olympics in between Paris and Brisbane is… Los Angeles, California. There are hills just outside that city. I ran them, this past October. Who’s gonna organize the promotional efforts stateside?

Jonathan Turner for Run247:

There has already been a 10-year-plan initiated by the Trail Running Association of Australia (TRAA) to have trail running included at the 2032 Games in Brisbane.

There are efforts efforts going on around the world to make this happen, the International Skyrunning Federation is also pushing for this, but hadn’t heard about Australia’s effort. Is there anyone/any organization from the USA pushing for this/organizing this?

Here are the results of the first UTMB event of the year in the USA, the Desert RATS by UTMB in Fruita, Colorado on April 12-14, 2024. (For full results visit the UTMB website):

100K (100KM – 3 STONES)

Women:

  1. Elena Ormon – USA – 11:33:02
  2. Carrie Koso – USA – 13:30:02
  3. Oana Mihalcea – Romania – 13:59:52

Men:

  1. Rajpaul Pannu – USA – 09:19:35
  2. Zach Hauer – USA – 09:28:06
  3. Julien Chorier – France – 09:45:10

50K (50KM – 2 STONES)

Women:

  1. Helen Mino Faukner – USA – 04:14:42
  2. Allison Baca – USA – 04:26:07
  3. Karis Scroggs – USA – 04:56:02

Men:

  1. Justin Grunewald – USA – 03:40:55
  2. Matthew Vira – USA – 03:42:11
  3. Jacob Banta – USA – 03:57:59

20K (20KM – 1 STONE)

Women:

  1. Jaycie Thomsen – USA – 01:39:47
  2. Tabor Hemming – USA – 01:40:53
  3. Gabriella Brinkley – USA – 01:42:33

Men:

  1. Eli Hemming – USA – 01:22:44
  2. Brian Whitfield – USA – 01:23:08
  3. Jeshurun Small – USA – 01:23:19

10K (10KM – NO STONES)

Women:

  1. Leah Ibarra – USA – 00:47:54
  2. Aria Paxton – USA – 00:50:49
  3. Gabriella Lawson – USA – 00:53:55

Men:

  1. Watkins Fulk-gray – USA – 00:39:38
  2. Shane Massey – USA – 00:44:25
  3. Joseph Benson – USA – 00:45:51

With the podiums almost swept by US runners Desert RATS doesn’t give odf the vibe of an international race, but rather a regional one. Being so close in location and timing to Canyons it’s a bit puzzling what UTMB’s strategy with this event is. Is it just meant as an overflow event to the sold-out Canyons? Of the 123 finishers of the 100K (the event folks are willing to travel the furthest for) 93 were from the US. Here’s how the numbers of this somewhat small event from a UTMB perspective breaks down by gender:

  • 100K Starters: 153 – DNF 30 – Finishers 123. Women: 25 (20%) – Men: 98 (80%)
  • 50K Starters: 419 – DNF: 36 – Finishers: 36. Women: 122 (32%) – Men: 261 (68%)
  • 20K Starters: 561 – DNF: 2 – Finishers: 559. Women: 294 (53%) – Men: 265 (47%)
  • 10K Starters: 179 – DNF: 2 – Finishers: 177. Women: 129 (73%) – Men: 48 (27%)

In total the event saw 1,312 starters, with 70 DNFs and 1,241 finishers. 570 (46%). women and 656 (53%) men reached the finish line and earned themselves stones and an UTMB index (or directly punched their ticket to the Finals in Chamonix for 2025). 

Next up on the UTMB World Series Calendar, the first event in Asia: The sold out Mount Yun on April 19 – 21, in Xiangning County, China.

When the Golden Trail Series World Series was announced earlier in the year Salomon held back announcing the location for the Finals. This past week the announced the Finals on social media:

The Swiss region, Ascona-Locarno will be hosting the 2024 Golden Trail Series Grand Final. Nestled at the heart of an Alpine setting, between Lake Maggiore and the foot of the Basodino mountain, the finest trail runners on the planet will meet from 17th to 20th October to determine who will be champion at the GTWS 2024.

Here’s the link to the race website for the event. The Finals seems are put on by Scenic Trails, a local race organization with its own event.

I updated the Electric Cable Car Global Race Series Calendar.

The International Trail Running Association (ITRA) launched a podcast awhile back in 2022. It’s quite a challenge to find a mention of their show on their website but one fun thing ITRA does with ‘ITRA Trail Talks‘ is that they select different hosts, not just different guests, to host the show. I previously mentioned the podcast when it was initially launched but it’s not been on a super frequent schedule with new episodes coming out about every six weeks. Will be fun to follow Stephanie Case who has a great voice and isn’t shy to address important issues in our sport and culture.

€1,200 gets you a lot… and I’m trying to collect it all:

The TORX® Academy is a fully customized educational program, developed in collaboration with Franco Collé (4-time winner of TOR330 – Tor des Géants®) and a team of professionals and experts, aimed at providing high-level theoretical and practical training to all participating trail runners.

The program includes aptitude tests, individual coaching sessions, the development of personalized training schedules for each participant, a collective training day, 12 theoretical sessions (covering topics such as training, nutrition, mental preparation, GPS device usage, injury prevention, race regulations), and a two-day excursion on the TOR330 route.

First of all, you get Kailas (TORX sponsor) gear. And then you get a training plan and weekly meeting in Italy, or on demand, remote, to get you ready for a weekend on the TORX course in August.

Your journey concludes with a two-day training on the Donnas – Gressoney stage of the TOR330 – Tor des Géants on August 10-11, 2024. Meals and overnight stay at Rifugio Coda are included in the registration.

Somewhat convoluted, but still an interesting concept.

From the official UTMB press email:

Shokz and UTMB World Series collaborate to allow runners to connect to the outdoors and enjoy an open-ear listening experience when exploring the trails.

The pioneers in open-ear headphones have recently made headlines by signing a whole slew of top ultra runners including Marianne Hogan, Adam Peterman, Tom Evans, Mathieu Blanchard and others.

I’ve been using a pair over the last six months and like them quite a bit. If there’s lots of outside noise, like when running along a freeway, they are useless and you can’t hear anything, but they fit and work well and aren’t in my ear, which is nice when it’s really hot outside.

Interesting side note: Just last year GPS watchmaker Suunto, another recent UTMB sponsor released headphones strikingly similar to the Shokz design and technology.

LIVE: This weekend (Apr 12-14, 2024) on our Global Race Series Calendar:

Desert RATS‘ is UTMB’ is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is the fourth race on the 2024 calendars, and the first for the year in the US. With less than two weeks before Canyons the event feels like it’s hiding a bit in the shadow of the American Major.

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, an unforgettable weekend awaits at Deserts RATS (Running Across the Sand) Trail Running Festival by UTMB. With 5 unique distances on offer from 100km to 10km, runners will find themselves traversing the famous Kokopelli Trail, climbing up ridgelines with endless views and running along the Colorado river or through the Western Rim via flowly singletrack at this famous celebration of trail running.

Desert RATS offers a 100K (3Stones), 50K (2 Stones), 20K (1 Stone) and 10K.

The event has an interesting acquisition story with Electric Cable Car breaking the news back in November of ’22 that UTMB had acquired the races in Colorado.

As of today there’s no start list I can find but I’ll be posting results after the weekend.

Live tracking for the races can be found here.

Find more trail races on ECC’s Global Race Series Calendar

It’s Daybreak & Freetrail’s big Gorge Waterfalls weekend here in the PNW. The weather looks amazing – and the numbers look even greater.

  • For the 100K 411 are signed up to race.
  • For the 50K 400 are signed up to race.
  • For the 30K 440 are signed up to race.

With 1,251 total racers, does that make it the largest event in the PNW? I think so.

Here’s the gender breakdown:

  • 100K: Total racers: 411, Men: 301 (73%), Women: 106 (26%), Nonbinary: 4 (~1%)
  • 50K: Total racers: 400, Men: 231 (58%), Women: 168 (42%), Nonbinary: 1 (~0%)
  • 30K: Total racers: 440, Men: 193 (44%), Women: 244 (55%), Nonbinary: 3 (~1%)

That’s a fantastic gender split overall with 518 (41%) at the starting line of the three events.

The forecast looks great (no rain and into the 70’s) – much much better compared to last year, and that combined with an adjusted and relaxed cutoff time should results in a much lower DNF rate. (Last year’s 100K had only a 65% finisher rate and the 50K a 74%).

The events will be live-streamed on Youtube on the Mountain Outpost channel.

The races are still not listed on the UTMB Index calendar? If a race director promotes their events as offering UTMB index “points”, but doesn’t renew the event on the UTMB website, can they still upload the results after the event has concluded? What happens if a runner hopes to get this run counted for the Index and this isn’t possible?

As DBO would say: #LFGorge

Nick left his senior editor role at Outside this week:

After two years, my creative and professional drives are taking me to places beyond running. I am in the process of re-engaging with work devoted to the animate world, a pledging of allegiance to wildness (inner/outer), and to matters of climate and justice. Following a decade in publishing, I plan to harness my writing and editorial experience to support this intersection of ecology and artistic subversion—it’s just too urgent not to.

I just listened to his ‘Short’ episode on Dirtbag Diaries from last December on my run yesterday and I was reminded on how running can be so much more than metrics, numbers and results. It’s a beautiful, simple yet powerful thing, and sometimes it can move mountains. I cannot wait to follow Nick’s journey to see what he’s up to next… like publishing a book.

Singletrack – Episode 300:

Madlen Kappeler just returned from the SkySnow Skyrunning World Championship in Tarvisio, Italy with 4 silver medals two her name. The Bavarian triathlete went to Florida Atlantic University on a track scholarship and is now killing it competing in sky races for the German National Team.

LINKS

I you’re remotely interested what’s going on this season on the mountain there’s no better voice to follow than Alan Arnette:

It’s a huge day at Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side, aka EBC–the first commercial team has arrived! This is almost a week earlier than in 2023. It will be their home until late May unless they are on acclimatization rotation and, of course, the summit bid. The majority of Everest summits occur between May 18th and 23rd. However, the Icefall Docs still have problems in the upper Icefall. Thankfully, most teams are still on their trek, so there’s no problem, yet.

Despite all the challenges the modern world and climate change throws at this place, the allure remains.

I will repeat this for you slowly so you can catch up here: There’s a board game about trail running… and further, there’s a special and officially licensed version of that game with a separate map that’s playing in the official “universe” around Mont Blanc and players are running the various UTMB events as part of the game play.

I sort of have no words, but maybe one: #trailculture?

I often comment on here that US municipalities don’t understand the positive economic impact sporting events have on their communities, but of course, that’s a blanket statement and there are outliers. Vail Valley Foundation is one. They organize the Vail Mountain Games:

The GoPro Mountain Games started as a local whitewater event in 2002. Over the past 20+ years the event has grown into the best all-around mountain experience anywhere in the world. The GoPro Mountain Games is a 4-day celebration of Athletes, Art, Music and Mountains that takes place each June in VAIL, COLORADO.

And the organization understands that this event is meant to be an economic driver. Huge corporate sponsors include GMC and Polaris.

As part of the many events, that include slack-lining and fishing, among others, the four day festival offers several running races, including a 20K trail race, that’s sponsored by Adidas Terrex. The website only lists results from 2023, so I will assume that this is a reasonably new offering. Last year only 65 runners competed. The entry fee for 2024 range from $50 – $70 (with a $25 add on option if you want the brunch).

But here’s the kicker: They are offering a $11,500 prize purse split evening between men and women for the top 5 runners. Is this the biggest prize purse of any event in the US (considering the distance and numbers of sign ups)? Easy money for elite (fast) athlete, maybe?

Here are the results (yes, a little bit late – sorry about that) for Istria 100 by UTMB in Labin, Croatia on April 4-7, 2024, the first sold out event of the season on the UTMB 2024 World Series Calendar. (For full results visit the UTMB website):

168K (168KM – 4 STONES)

Women:

  1. Alessandra BOIFAVA – Italy – 20:51:24
  2. Ida Sophie HEGEMANN – Germany – 21:27:38
  3. Claire BANNWARTH – France – 22:26:28

Men:

  1. Marek CAUSIDIS – Czechia – 18:58:00
  2. Jan PROCHÁZKA – Czechia – 19:21:24
  3. Juuso SIMPANEN – Finland – 19:35:46

110K (110KM – 3 STONES)

Women:

  1. Monika STEJSKALOVÁ – Czechia -11:59:43
  2. Inês MARQUES – Portugal – 12:13:07
  3. Biborka Krisztina FAZAKAS – Romania – 12:36:04

Men:

  1. Janosch KOWALCZYK – Germany – 09:52:43
  2. Pablo VILLA GONZALEZ – Spain – 10:19:14
  3. Pau CAPELL – Andorra – 10:31:38

69K (69KM – 2 STONES)

Women:

  1. Kristyna CERNA – Czechia – 06:38:58
  2. Melodie GILBERT – Canada – 06:57:09
  3. Martina KLANCNIK POTRC – Slovenia – 07:14:12

Men:

  1. Simon GOSSELIN – France – 05:40:56
  2. Hans-Peter INNERHOFER – Austria – 05:51:00
  3. Dominik MILEWSKI – Poland – 06:14:32

42K (42KM – 2 STONES)

Women:

  1. Andrea KOLBEINSDÓTTIR – Island – 03:34:32
  2. Claudia TREMPS – Spain – 03:55:02
  3. Alexandra TREMBLAY – Canada – 03:55:53

Men:

  1. Simon SCHÄPPI – Switzerland – 03:01:35
  2. Peter CUDRNAK – Slovakia – 00:13:47
  3. Egill GUNNARSSON – Island – 03:24:22

21K (21KM – 1 STONE)

Women:

  1. Kinga KWIATKOWSKA – Poland – 01:34:55
  2. Ludmila ZEPA – Latvia – 01:37:48
  3. Tytti KIRVESMIES – Finland – 01:49:18

Men:

  1. Matteo ROSSI – Italy – 01:16:13
  2. Yves HELOURY – France – 01:18:16
  3. Nils BERGMANN – Germany – 01:19:27

Combined, the events had 2,287 racers and 2,083 finishers, and another low DNF rate. Below are the numbers broken down by distance and gender :

  • 168K Starters: 370 – DNF 90 – Finishers 288. Women: 32 (11%) – Men: 255 (89%)
  • 110K Starters: 432 – DNF: 57 – Finishers: 376. Women: 76 (20%) – Men: 299 (80%)
  • 69K Starters: 555 – DNF: 44 – Finishers: 511. Women: 131 (26%) – Men: 380 (74%)
  • 42K Starters: 589 – DNF: 25 – Finishers: 568. Women: 193 (35%) – Men: 371 (65%)
  • 21K Starters: 341 – DNF: 1 – Finishers: 340. Women: 172 (51%) – Men: 168 (49%)

In total the event saw 2,083 finishers, 604 (29%) women and 1,473 (71%) men reached the finish line and earned themselves stones and an UTMB index (or directly punched their ticket to the Finals in Chamonix for 2025). 

Next up on the UTMB World Series Calendar, the first of the year, event in the USA: Desert Rats on April 12-14 in Colorado, USA.


Why do I just count finish line numbers, you ask?
The UTMB Live webpage shows these numbers easily, and I don’t want to wait until full results are posted to share these numbers.

Speaking of Boston sponsorships, Maurten is sponsoring the event, seemingly splitting the ‘nutrition sponsorship game’ with Gatorade. A brand that didn’t exist until 2015, didn’t have a product on the market until 2017. Fascinating.

Matt Feldhake via Aravaipa press release:

As part of this partnership with Aravaipa Running, adidas Terrex will officially be named the presenting sponsor of the White Mountain Endurance Cup races in New Hampshire, and Silverton Alpine Marathons and Kendall Mountain Run in Colorado.

After losing the German National Team soccer jersey bid to Nike, Adidas seems to have the money to invest into the trail running, which is great to see and good for our sport. Adidas’ pockets are deep and more players will raise the game for everyone.

Speaking of other players: several of Aravaipa’s other big races (Black Canyon, Javelina) are sponsored by Hoka, and Cocodona is sponsored by Speedland.

Apparel brand rabbit had huge success in the past years promoting their brand at ‘exclusive pop-up’ stores in Boston during the Boston Marathon and this year they are doubling down with a shoe release in a perfect Boston Marathon color way. Kind of a smart marketing strategy to release a special “Boston” product without running into any licensing issues.

The shoes are a first foray into the footwear marketing for rabbit which in the past has been colloborating with Hoka on some branded apparel.

My bet is a running/hydration vest will be next – just in time for UTMB where every runner is required to wear a vest.

Via official Apple press release:

Members of Los Angeles’s Koreatown Run Club (KRC) and New York City’s Old Man Run Club (OMRC) have been training for this day for months, joining forces from their respective coasts to take on the grueling 300-plus-mile route through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas. 

Through it all — the rugged landscape, the sleep deprivation, the dehydration, the extreme temperatures, and the pouring rain — Apple Watch Ultra 2 was an essential companion, offering the 12-member team the ability to instantly keep tabs on each others’ locations, take hands-free calls, keep an eye on their pace, provide visibility in the darkness, and view their elevation.

Last year the Trail Running Film Festival highlighted The Speed Project in the film ‘Chasing Crazy‘ as part of the Official Selection 2023.

How much longer until Apple has a supported/sponsored athlete at Western States?

One of my favorite outdoor podcasts extends their product offering by adding a ‘member level’ tier. Several podcast, not just in the outdoor space, have moved into that direction with sponsors leaving the space and creators opting to finance their projects through the community.

In one of the newest episodes titled ‘Race Day’ they dive into trail racing:

Chances are at some point you’ve signed up for an organized race or event. Maybe you’ve participated in a local turkey trot or maybe you’ve run Western States. You register, pay the entry fee, train, show up and try hard. Race day can almost feel like magic. This is a story about the people behind the scenes making all that magic happen.

This feels like a sign that trail running and trail racing is not just becoming more mainstream but through this gaining a bit more adoption by the classic ‘dirt bags’. My take has always been that trail running, and especially racing has been sort of at odds with the ‘John Muir’ mindset of outdoor lovers of the West, who are out there to seek untouched wilderness and solitude. Inviting conversations about organized trail races into the mix of the classic adventure stories is big.

MADE BY EINMALEINS