Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UltraRunning Magazine Launches North American Race Series

How do you stack up?

That's how the announcement read for UltraRunning Magazine's new Race Series announced via email this morning. In action from May, 2015 to April, 2016, the new Race Series includes all North American ultras (50k, 50, 100k, 100m) using their compiled race results and costs nothing to enter. In fact, if you've run a North American ultra since May, you are already in the results!

The new Race Series uses a "complex formula" to determine your overall score, then breaks that down into one of seven regions as well as age groups for each gender. They say prizes will be offered for all 146 categories, with overall winners getting a ticket to the 2016 Western States 100 Endurance Run.

The "complex formula" includes a number of factors for determining your score for each ultra, such as Finishing Time, Race Distance, Gender, Place, Strength of Field, and Size of Race. At first glance, it has a bias for frequency of races (particularly longer ones), but that feels like the UR Mag vibe to me. The focus on North America provides another bias, and one that will likely handicap some of our best runners who often choose peak races overseas. But when you do see the top ranks for each region, I see a lot of names I know are hard core.

Take a look...and you in there? What do you think of the scoring system and results?

Pretty fascinating. Hats off to UltraRunning Magazine for leveraging their knowledge to try something new!



  1. Thanks for sharing Scott.

    Our primary goal was to have a series that was fun and interesting, one that was broad and inclusive for all ultraruners. We also didn’t want to encourage burnout- that’s why it scores only four ultras in a given year- at every distance.

    The icing on the cake here are the two Western States entries for the two top Overall scorers - who will not necessarily be uber elite ultrarunners - for that group there are the prior year’s Top 10 and the 24 Golden Ticket races. But for a very solid ultra runner who wants to put together four super strong ultras - well this entry is possibly just their ticket. And we think that’s pretty cool.

  2. That is cool and I enjoy seeing my scores and the like in multiple formats (first in the mag itself when subscribed, then at UltraSignup). So when I get my butt back at it, it will be fun to see me there too. That said, middle of the pack baby! That's where you will find me.

  3. Hey Scott, pretty cool blog you got going here! Great meeting you at Patagonia Palo Alto the other day. Would you be interested in going for a run? I'd love to hear more about your running and your blog.

    Cheers, Matt Stephens


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