America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

Last week UTMB teased that they’d be sharing some data from this year’s lottery draw. Today we get some details on that via press release:

This year, for the UTMB World Series Finals – the UTMB, CCC, and OCC races – we have recorded an incredible 34% increase in registrations compared to last year.

This is probably the result a combination of things: The world is back open post-pandemic, the new stone system is fully in operation, more World Series races around the globe give runners a chance to participate in the lottery, and yes, of course, an increased interest and excitement about UTMB.

Demand is 2 to 3 times higher than our maximum capacity. Let’s talk numbers: for the UTMB, we have a 30% increase with 7,200 pre-registrations, for the CCC a 22% increase with 5,400 pre-registrations, and for the OCC, a spectacular jump of 52% with 6,500 pre-registrations.

The number of runners interested in running the full UTMB is still lower than Western States, which saw almost 10,000 runners in their lottery for the 2024 race. Of course, it’s worth nothing that UTMB offers a lot more spots to runners and thus the chance to get picked in the lottery is much higher. For the overall 2024 lottery the accumulate number comes to 19,100 runners who were hoping for a ticket to Chamonix. (Not counting their other races that don’t require a lottery.)

In last year’s press kit for UTMB 2023 they shared that 16,998 runners registered the lottery for the 2023 race. In 2023 UTMB had 2,814 starters, CCC had 2,406 and OCC had 1,953, for a total of 7,173 spots. Not all are handed out through the lottery as elites are able to qualify directly by racing the various World Series events around the world.

Despite this exceptional demand, the number of spots remains the same.

In the Alps the number of runners on any given trail aren’t locked down by permit agencies per se, thus giving the race organization some leeway. Glad that at this point they aren’t tempted to open this up. It’s a delicate balance.

For the UTMB, the average was 5.4 Running Stones, for the CCC 4 Running Stones, and for the OCC 2.8 Running Stones.

The average number of Running Stones for runners drawn in 2024 was 5.3, compared to 4.9 in 2023. The runners selected for the UTMB had an average of 6.8 Running Stones, 4.8 for the CCC, and 3.7 for the OCC.

Averages are hard to make sense of and difficult to extrapolate out what this means for the individual runner planning their year. But lotteries are also just that, a lottery that requires luck. If you were planning to run the full UTMB, I would say you should acquire at least 8 stones, which means racing at least 2 races (Or a 100M Major) before making an honest attempt in the lottery.

Ladies, your presence is growing stronger and stronger! This year, you represent 20% of the participants in the Finals, a progressive increase that marks the diversification and evolution of our sport. The numbers speak for themselves: there’s a 13% increase for the UTMB, 21% for the CCC, and 30% for the OCC.

The previous numbers didn’t paint a great picture here and that is one of the main things that many runners were complaining about to UTMB. Seeing them track the growth an highlight this shows they care, and shows that they are aware of having to continue to create positive PR around this issue.

To date, for the 2024 edition, 487 elite athletes, including 78 Top Elites, have already confirmed their participation.

This would’ve been included in an official announcement no matter what, but given the meeting with PTRA, Kilian and Zach, this is also UTMB clearly putting a stake in the ground announcing to the world that UTMB is still the top draw for elites and all is well at the spear-end of the competition.

With 40% of participants coming from France and 75% of all runners hailing from various European countries, the 2024 edition demonstrates its strong European identity.

Here UTMB doubles down and wants to remind folks that UTMB is a European product and despite the online chatter which predominantly comes from an North American audience, UTMB reserves the right to shape their product in the way they see fit and they won’t be bent to the will of the US trail dignitaries.

The 260 charity bibs for the UTMB, CCC, and OCC were snapped up in less than 24 hours!

In closing UTMB highlights their charity bibs, which are expensive, a sign of goodwill, and also a business indicator to UTMB that some folks really do have the dough and want to run this race at all costs.