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!