*  Authenticity

Authenticity is the first trail-running value. At its origins, trail-running was born from the runners’ motivation to practise their sport in contact with natural surroundings, so as to experience the beauty of the landscape and to learn to evolve without artifice in an environment that is demanding for both body and spirit. Trail-running is an authentic sport, because it creates a confrontation between the participant and the unspoilt natural environment as a source of inspiration, surpassing oneself, but also one of harmony.

As a social activity, trail running promotes human relationships based on simplicity, conviviality, sharing and respect for differences. The trail-running community gives these authentic values as much importance as those of performance and competition.

Definition of trail-running

Trail-running is a pedestrian race open to all, in a natural environment (mountain, desert, forest, plain…) with minimal possible paved or asphalt road (which should not exceed 20% of the total course).

The terrain can vary (dirt road, forest trail, single track…) and the route must be properly marked (1).

The race is ideally – but not necessarily – in self-sufficiency or semi self-sufficiency (2) and is held in the respect for sporting ethics, loyalty, solidarity and the environment.

Classification of Trail running races

As part of the rewriting of Article 252 of the IAAF Competition Rules, defining the trail, the ITRA has improved the definition of trail categories in order to group the races coherently. The old classification, based on distances (without taking into account the elevation), did not provide enough coherence with regard to the efforts made by the trail runners. Indeed, two races of 100km, but with very different elevation gain were in the same category whereas the effort made by the trail runners is not the same at all (as well as the time .

Henceforth, the classification of the races is based on the same km-effort as those used to attribute the ITRA points (calculated by adding the distance (in Km) and the hundredth of the positive elevation gain (in m)). In this way, these categories of trail more accurately reflect the effort that will have to be made by a runner on a race.

This new classification, implemented in March 2018, has 7 different categories of trail running (from XXS to XXL) all associated with the new ITRA points according to the following table:

Catégory ITRA Points
Km-effort Approximate time of the winner (*)
XXS 0 0-24 1h
XS 1 25-44 1h30 - 2h30
S 2 45-74 2h30 - 5h
M 3 75-114 5h - 8h
L 4 115-154 8h - 12h
XL 5 155-209 12h - 17h
XXL 6 >=210 > 17h

(*) when the winner has an international level (ITRA score of 830 at least). The time of the winner is approximate. This is not a mandatory time. It's just an indication.

(1) "Properly marked" means that the runners will receive enough information to complete the race without getting lost. 
That includes physical markings (flags, tapes, signs…) or GR permanent markings or GPS tracks or map indication.

(2) "Self-sufficiency or semi self-sufficiency" means that the runner has to be autonomous between aid stations, regarding clothing, communications, food and drink.