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New kid on the block: World Trail Majors

A third, big Trail Run series has seen the light; the World Trail Majors. Its mission: diversity, local community and respect for nature. Nine races are on the schedule for 2024.

The World Trail Majors is set-up by a handful of race organisers to ‘steer the sport’s development in the right direction’. That direction is in their point of view: a diverse, respectful, sustainable approach to trail and ultra racing, with local knowledge and community at its heart.

“Our Swiss Canyon Trail pioneered trail running in Europe over 30 years ago”, says Patrick Christinat. Founder and director of Swiss Canyon Trail, that has joined the series. “The sole aim of our organisation is to share our region, our landscapes, our atmosphere and the strength of our volunteers. The trail spirit has always been a motivating force for us, with one word in mind: sharing.  The trail we run on, we borrow from the regions we cross, and to which we owe the greatest respect. Just as we borrow nature from our children. Let’s preserve the trail spirit and preserve Mother Earth.”

World Trail Majors

The nine races that form the World Trail Majors are:

  • Anta Hong Kong 100 Ultramarathon: 102 km, +5314m – Hong Kong, China
  • Black Canyon Ultras: 100 km, +1250m – Phoenix, United States
  • The North Face Transgrancanaria: 126 km, +6804m – Canary Island, Spain
  • Mt. Fuji 100: 165 km, +7574m – Fujiyoshida, Japan
  • MIUT – Madeira Island Ultra-Trail: 115 km, +7100m – Madeira, Portugal
  • Swiss Canyon Trail: 111 km, +5350m – Val de Travers, Switzerland
  • South Downs Way: 161 km, +3800m -Winchester, United Kingdom
  • Quebec Mega Trail: 160 km, +6500m – Quebec, Canada
  • RMB Ultra-Trail Cape Town: 166 km, +7516m – Cape Town, South Africa

The series hopes to add more races to the calendar in the future.

Best of two

To win the series, the best two results count. Athletes can do as many races as they wish, but to ‘respect the health of the trail and ultra runners, only the best two races count’.

The World Trail Majors uses their own scoring system for the top 20, after that it relies on the scoring system that is used by the International Trail Running Association.

World Trail Majors scoring system

For elite and amateurs

As with (almost all) trail and ultra races, the World Trail Majors amateurs can toe the startline with the elites. ‘These races should be a once in a lifetime experience’, says the organisation. That’s why there will be an ongoing leaderboard, so runners that can or want to do only one race a year, can see how they score compared to their peers and friends over the years.

World Trail Majors schedule 2024


Third trail run series

The two other big trail series are the UTMB, which has trail and ultra trail races, and the Golden Trail Series, with the marathon as longest distance.

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