By Mathias Eichler
The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2023.
I previously mentioned their amazing lottery policy of separating men and women into two, equal-sized pools. Essentially creating two lotteries, which results in a field that’s evenly split between women and men. What I didn’t mention is their little side note to their qualification process:
Due to UTMB’s partnership with Ironman, we no longer feel that their company or races reflect the values of this sport. We will not recognize any UTMB finishes as qualifiers and encourage runners to seek out races that prioritize the community, sport, and environment instead of those who’s sole objective is maximizing revenue.
From the High Lonesome Value Statement page:
The High Lonesome 100 is committed to excellence, and we will continually strive to meet the highest levels of quality in our planning, organization, and implementation of our race. We believe in honesty and transparency, and will act in a manner that enhances the reputation of the ultra-running community. Our goal is to create a high quality ultra-marathon and trail running event in Colorado that benefits the runners, communities, volunteers, sponsors, environment, and auxiliary users.
While I’m not here to trash Freestone Endurance, organizers of High Lonesome, their own value statement doesn’t really sound that much different to what UTMB is known for?
And from the Freestone Community Policies:
It’s simple, running doesn’t discriminate.
Unless you run UTMB races?
I wonder if there’s something else at play here… did Ironman/UTMB approach them sell their race?