Sponsor:
TAILWIND NUTRITION - my fuel on long adventures.
For a limited time save 15% off your order with code - MATHIAS.

TAILWIND NUTRITION - my fuel on long adventures.
For a limited time save 15% off your order with code - MATHIAS.

UTMB! The biggest trail race in the world is now a global racing series. This year’s incredible images of runners traversing the high alpine meadows with the glorious glaciers of Mont Blanc as a backdrop will only make everyone want to run these races around Chamonix, Courmayeur, and Champex-Lac even more.

Over the last few of years there has been lots of confusion as the UTMB Group reorganized itself, introduced a new lottery system and dealt with a global pandemic. But the new system is in place now and while people are still have questions, I think it’s fairly straightforward and can be broken down quite simply. I’m posting this September 6th, 2022, this is all subject to change and if I made any mistakes I’d move to hear it and correct it.

First the summary, and then below I try to explain a few terms UTMB uses regularly throughout their website to speak about the process.

To race UTMB you need three things

For the main event, the 170 km UMTB, and the smaller 100 km CCC and 50 km OCC races you need
(The other races that are happening during the week in and around Chamonix, the PTL, TDS, ECC, and MCC, aren’t subject to the same system, yet.)

  • a valid UTMB index (for the race distance you wish to enter).
  • and at least one running stone. (The more stones, the higher chances of getting picked in the lottery).
  • A UTMB account with all your information current and valid.

Here’s how to get your UTMB index

Mandatory to enter the UTMB Mont-Blanc lottery, a valid UTMB Index is achieved by completing at least one race of the UTMB World Series or a UTMB Index race in the relevant category within the previous 24 months.

  • To enter the OCC lottery, runners need a valid and up to date UTMB® Index in the 20K, 50K, 100K or 100M category.
  • To enter the CCC® lottery, runners need a valid and up to date UTMB® Index in the 50K, 100K or 100M category.
  • To enter the UTMB® lottery, runners need a valid and up to date UTMB® Index in the 100K or 100M category.

According to the UTMB World website events listing there are 4,681 races globally for 2022 you can enter and get your index.

So, find a race near you in the distance corresponding to the race you want to race at UTMB and finish! And you get your valid index. Easy. Just remember that you can’t run a 50K index race and use that to get into the 170K UTMB race, which makes sense, right?

Here’s how you get your Running Stones

Run a UTMB World Series race around to world and collect stones. All stones are equal, but the more stones you have the better chances you have making it in the lottery.

In order to run at UTMB you have you now run a “qualifying race” of the official UTMB World Series. There are currently 25 World Series Events and each race lists how many stones you get from running a specific race; the longer the distance the more stones you get. On top of that, there will be 3 World Series Majors around the world where you can get double the stones.

Val d’Aran by UTMB and Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB are the European and Asia-Pacific Majors with the US Major to be announced.

Only 1 Running Stone acquired in the past two years is mandatory to enter the lottery. Running Stones are cumulative, have no expiration date, and each Running Stone gives you an additional chance to be drawn.


So, here’s how you plan your year of racing with a UTMB World Series finale race in Chamonix in mind:

  • Create your UTMB account.
  • Find and complete a “stone race”, a UTMB World Series event, and get your stones.
  • Find an index race in the distance you want to run a UTMB event and race that to keep up your index. Stone races will contribute to you index too.
  • Enter the lottery for the race you wish to run and hope for the best.
    Each year you don’t get drawn in the lottery, and you keep running a UMTB World Series event, you will collect more stones, and the more stones you accumulate the higher your chance will be to get drawn in the lottery.

Glossary:

UTMB World Series Finals
The races in and around Chamonix at the end of August.

  • UTMB – the Final for the 100 mile distance.
  • CCC – the Final for the 100 kilometer distance.
  • OCC – the Final for the 50 kilometer distance.

UTMB World Series Majors
Run these races to get double the stones.

  • One for Asia – Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB
  • One for Europe – Val d’Aran by UTMB in the Pyrenees in Spain.
  • One for Americas – will be announced.

UTMB World Series Events
25 races around the world. You have to run one to get your stones. One stone is the minimum to enter the lottery for the UTMB in Chamonix.

Running Stone
Run a UTMB World Series race around to world and collect stones. All stones are equal, but the more stones you have the better chances you have making it in the lottery.

Only 1 Running Stone acquired in the past two years is mandatory to enter the lottery. Running Stones are cumulative, have no expiration date, and each Running Stone gives you an additional chance to be drawn.

This makes me belief (and I am not 100% sure here) that you will have to run a Series Event once every two years to keep your stone active, even though they don’t expire and are cumulative if yo don’t get selected in the lottery, thus increasing your chances in consequent years.

UTMB Index
There’s more to the Index than just accessibly to the race you’d like to run. There’s also this:

A UTMB Index race contributes towards every Finishers UTMB Index in the corresponding category (20K, 50K, 100K or 100M) and gives privileged access to the UTMB World Series Events or Majors*. The privileged access corresponds to:

  • Exclusive pre-sales period
  • Early bird prices secured
  • Access to races on a first come first served basis

The registration process for 2023:

  • Pre-registration deadline: 31 December 2022
  • Result of the lottery: 10 January 2023
  • Deadline to finalise registration in case of a positive lottery: 20 January 2023

Elites
(I didn’t cover the elites in this article. If you’re speedy, like really speedy, you can get into UTMB in the following way:

The first 10 men and women on the UTMB World Series Majors, as well as the first 3 men and women on the UTMB World Series Events in each of the 50K, 100K and 100M categories, will win a place at the UTMB World Series Finals in the equivalent category.

UTMB offers more detailed description of that process and personal support here.


Edit:
After talking to my coach Matt Urbanski, who has lots of experience helping people get into UTMB and other high profile races, I changed some wording around the UTMB Index. I used the word ‘points’ to describe the index score you get from completing an Index race. This seemed confusing because you used to accumulate points from completing qualifying races. So you still need a valid index, but this number just ranks the runner, and doesn’t amount to a point system in itself.

MADE BY EINMALEINS