It’s becoming more clear how runners can qualify for the 2023 UTMB World Series Finals in Chamonix, France, next August.
The UTMB Group and Ironman Group on Nov. 4 jointly announced seven more international events that will be part of the new UTMB World Series qualifying series for the UTMB championship races held Aug. 22-28 in Chamonix, including the Western States 100 held June 25-26 in California. Other newly announced races as part of the 2023 UTMB World Series include the La Sportiva Lavaredo Ultra Trail by UTMB (Italy), TransLantau by UTMB (Hong Kong), Trail 100 Andorra by UTMB, Trail du Saint-Jacques by UTMB (France), as well as brand new events Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB (France) and Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB.
An additional 15 UTMB World Series qualifying events around the world, plus three UTMB continental championships known as UTMB World Series Majors (one in the Americas, one in Europe and one in Oceania), are expected to be announced within the next month.
To compete at the 2023 UTMB World Series Finals in Chamonix, runners must compete in at least one of the 30 UTMB World Series events or one of the three UTMB World Series Majors, where they can collect Running Stones for use in the lottery or be rewarded for their performance with direct access. Men’s and women’s World Series champions will be crowned for each of the three key distances of the UTMB race week in Chamonix in August 2023: the OCC (50K), CCC (100K) and UTMB (100 miles).
The UTMB Group started the 106-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in 2003 and subsequently launched six other races held during a week-long festival of trail running that attracts 10,000 total participants to Chamonix in late August. The UTMB organization partnered with the U.S.-based Ironman Group in 2021 to help acquire events and create the UTMB World Series.
Hoka, the current sponsor of the Western States 100, was recently announced as the premier-level footwear and apparel partner of the 2022 UTMB World Series.
The Western States 100 connection will have some unique twists for elite athletes. The Western States Golden Ticket feeder races allow the top two male and female finishers to automatically qualify for Western States entry. In an unprecedented evolution, elite athletes will now have the chance to double-qualify for UTMB Mont-Blanc and Western States through the integration of select Western States Golden Ticket races into the UTMB World Series. In 2023, Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB in New Zealand and UTMB World Series Finals Mont-Blanc will both offer qualification to Western States. Beginning in 2023, four or more Western States Golden Ticket Races are expected to also be part of the UTMB World Series.
“The Western States Endurance Run is proud to be part of the UTMB World Series,” says Craig Thornley, Race Director Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. “For many years our sport has attempted to connect the most prestigious, challenging, and historic events in a meaningful and transformative way — one that demonstrates how runners from across the globe can experience the highest levels of human endurance endeavor. The UTMB World Series promises to do this in a very unifying and welcoming way. We are also excited to share a reciprocal agreement with UTMB World Series in that the sport’s finest athletes can qualify for both WSER and UTMB World Series through the Western States Golden Ticket race series. We welcome the strong sense of collaboration and the promise for shared excellence for runners of all abilities that underpins this new and exciting development in our sport.”
UTMB World Series 2023 confirmed events to date:
• Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB (New Zealand), February 12, 2022
• Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB (Australia), May 12-15, 2022
• Trail du Saint-Jacques by UTMB (France), June 11, 2022
• mozart 100 by UTMB (Austria), June 18, 2022
• La Sportiva Lavaredo Ultra Trail by UTMB (Italy), June 23-26, 2022
• Trail 100 Andorra by UTMB (Andorra), June 24-26, 20222
• Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (USA), June 25-26, 2022
• Val d’Aran by UTMB (Spain), July 7-10, 2022
• Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB (France), September 22-25
• Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB (Mexico), October 2022 (Dates TBD)
• Thailand by UTMB (Thailand), November 10-13
• TransLantau by UTMB (Hong Kong), November 2022 (Dates TBD)
• Panda Trail by UTMB (China), Dates TBD
• Gaoligong by UTMB (China), Dates TBD
• UTMB World Series Finals ; UTMB Mont-Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland), August, 22-28
Trail Runner will continue to update this story.
*An earlier version of this article mistakenly reported that these changes would be implemented in 2022. They will not go into effect until 2023.