*  Fair-play

Fair-play indicates the loyal acceptance of rules, not only to the letter but also in the spirit which presides over their definition.

For the runners, to be fair-play means respecting the race regulations, not cheating, not bending the rules, refusing all forms of doping; but also embodying the human values of trail-running throughout all of their races; mutual aid and solidarity with the other runners, respect for all the players present at the races.

For organisers, respecting fair-play supposes the implementation of the necessary means to fight against "...cheating, bending the rules, doping, ...physical and verbal violence ...exploitation, unequal opportunities, excessive commercialisation and corruption" (extract from the Council of Europe’s Code of Sports Ethics).

FAQ Performance Index and scoring

ITRA’s performance index

What is the ITRA performance index?

The ITRA performance index is intended to provide a tool for evaluating the speed level of trail runners. In particular, the performance index can be used for comparing the speed of runners around the world, including athletes who may never have run in the same event.

The index corresponds to the potential speed of each runner on a scale of 1000 points. The value obtained is termed the "score". It is not an index of evenness.

The performance index is regularly updated.

To what level corresponds the performance index?

What are the different categories of the performance index?

The performance index can be sub-divided into different categories:

  • The general index: based on a weighted mean of the 5 best results for each runner over the previous 36 months, regardless of the race category.
  • The index by category: the principle is the same as that of the general index but the calculation (weighted mean) is based on races in the respective category (for example races over 100 km for the Ultra Trail XL category).

Which races are included in the performance index?

This performance index is calculated using all the trail races which publish an official ranking. Priority is given to ITRA races, i.e. races which are shown in the ITRA calendar and the results of which are published by the organiser.  No other event will be used except in the event of special circumstances determined by ITRA.

With reference of the definition of trail as defined by the ITRA, this index takes in to account all those races in open country which have a minimum distance on asphalt and which take place in total or semi self-sufficiency.

How is the performance index calculated and over what period?

The performance index is calculated from the weighted mean of the 5 best results achieved by a runner over the previous 36 months (for the general index or the index by category). In the case where a runner does not have a sufficient number of races, a tapered statistical calculation allows extrapolation of theoretical results of the missing races, and hence the calculation of the runner’s performance index. One single race can therefore be sufficient for a runner to appear in the performance index.

This period of 36 months is long enough to permit reliable statistical calculations. Furthermore, in the case of an injured runner, they still appear in the performance index due to their previous performances.

The fact that the mean used is weighted makes it impossible for an individual runner to calculate his performance index. The calculation is more complex than simply finding the average of the 5 best scores ((score 1 + score 2 + … score 5) divided by 5).

Why do some races not appear in my record?

The races that do not appear are those for which we have not received results from the organiser.

Occasionally, for the sake of expediency, ITRA may enter some results manually but in all other cases results must be forwarded by the race organisers.

A runner who notices that a race in which the runner has taken part is not shown in the ITRA calendar or list of results can contact the organiser to request that the results be submitted.  In order to do so, before the organiser can upload the results he must create an Organiser Space (if he has not already done so) and input details of the race. This process is an entirely free service (and is independent of the course evaluation).

Why is the "General" index often better than an index by category?

The general index is calculated on the weighted average of the 5 best results, a mix of categories, while the category index is calculated on the best results of the category. For a versatile runner, often their best 5 races will be spread across several different categories, which therefore gives them a better result in the general index than they would have for each category.

Is the performance index mixed?

The performance index calculation applied is the same for men and for women. It is therefore possible to the compare the performances of men with those of women.

For all that concerns the performance index, is it advantageous to be a member of the ITRA?

All members of the ITRA (see subscriptions organisers, associations, brands or runners & sympathisers at 5 Euros) have a member’s account. To consult the performance index it is necessary to identify oneself (click on “My account”, then give your login and password), it is then possible to consult runners’ complete results, as well as the full results of each race. Being a member of the ITRA also allows the consultation of previous year’s performance indexes.

ITRA scoring

What is the ITRA score?

For each race listed in your runner's record a score is given.  This score represents an "evaluation" of your performance in the race in question, the highest possible score being 1000.  The various scores given to a runner are used to calculate the runner's performance index (general or by trail category).

How is my score for each race calculated?

The score for each race is calculated from the distance and the elevation profile, as input by the race organiser. Where race organisers have requested an ITRA evaluation of their events, we use the data obtained following the evaluation (see the ITRA procedure for trail race evaluation).  If not, we use the data supplied by the organiser.

The distance is "smoothed" using an empirical formula, expressed approximately as "the distance expressed in kilometers + a hundredth of the ascent/descent expressed in meters".

Using this "smoothed" distance, each result (time) is then compared with a theoretical best possible performance, determined by reference to multiple world records and corresponding to a maximum score of 1000 points. Thus, in a first calculation step, the score associated with a result is in the form of a number of points representing a ratio between the runner's time and the theoretical best possible performance.

In a second calculation step, and in order to take into account the specificities on trail related to the route and to the race conditions, we apply a coefficient of readjustment. It is calculated in so that the average of the ITRA scores gained by all the riders at the finish line multiplied by this coefficient is equal to the average of the ITRA ratings of the riders at the start.

The calculation of a score does not take the ranking into account.

Is a score calculated for each race?

Yes, when we receive the results from the organiser. Filing the results is a free service but the race organiser must respect the format required.

Exceptions:  no score is calculated for "vertical KM" races or for races with too many stages or for which the number of effort points (distance + (elevation profile/100)) is less than 20.

The score for a race in which I took part has changed.  Is that normal?

Yes, the calculation of the scores can be modified and may be subject to adjustment consequent upon the receipt of additional information (conditions, route changes not communicated to us by the organiser, ...).  However, such adjustments are infrequent.

Why is my score listed as "To come"?

This indicates that the result has been entered into our database but that the score is still being calculated. Dependent upon the number of results to be processed, the updating and calculation of scores may take a little while.

Is the same score given to a runner for each similar race?

No. The score is not the same since it relates to the performance of a runner for a specific race in specific conditions and will therefore depend on the distance and elevation profile of a race as well as on the coefficient of correction.

Two races may be advertised with the same distance and the same elevation profile yet, in reality, differ considerably (condition; the technical difficulty of the course; the relationship of elevation gain to distance (4 x 1000 m or 8 x 500m) etc.). A statistical coefficient of correction makes allowance for these less obvious differences, which explains why two runners respectively running races that are different yet have the same advertised characteristics (distance and elevation profile) can achieve similar times but be given different scores.

What is the finisher Criteria ?

The Finisher criteria is calculated according to the limited time authorised by the organizer and concerns more particularly the slowest runners.
It gives the Performance Index required to be able to finish the race within the time limit. By comparing the Finisher criteria to their own Performance Index, each runner will be able to judge their ability to finish the race within the time limit.