Trail running is a relatively new sport, dating back no farther than a few decades. This means there are limited organized races. The good news is that the sport is increasing in popularity and so the number of races is increasing at an impressive rate. For this reason, The International Trail Running Association (ITRA) was founded in 2013.
Trail running is a relatively loosely governed sport/activity. The races vary in distance and difficutly. Races can be anywhere from 5km to 160 km. The larger and more well known races tend to be longer in distance. The different nature of each race and lack of standards make performance comparison relatively difficult.
Trail races tend to have less participants than road races and number of spaces are often limited. This is because trails are narrow, they may take place in national parks which have rules and limits, or safety/environmental concerns. A positive problem is an overwhelmingly large interest that forces races to offer only a limited number of entries.
The races often provide food and beverage stations as well as aid stations every 5 to 10 km. The level of support depends on the race and location, as does the style and nature of the race.
Racers may travel to enjoy the sport and also to discover new landscapes and countries. A few races that are popular and known amongst trail runners worldwide include:
– Fish River Canyon Ultra Marathon
– Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon
– Mount Cameroon Race of Hope
– Peninsula Ultra Fun Run: 80 kilometres
– Rhodes Trail Run
– Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji (UTMF)
– Trans Japan Alps Race(TJAR)
– Fruškogorski Marathon
– Transvulcania: 83 kilometres
– Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc: 166 kilometres
– Tor des Géants: 330 kilometres
– Badwater Ultramarathon:
– Bear 100 Mile Endurance Run:
– Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run:
– Leadville Trail 100
– Western States Endurance Run
– Kepler Challenge
– Kokoda Challenge Race