THE 15 MOST BEAUTIFUL TRAIL RUNNING RACES IN THE WORLD

There are many trail running races in the world today, but some are special. There are only a few weeks to go until the new year, the main races have opened registrations and every trail runner begins to dream and plan the great challenge for the year 2020.

Among thousands of trail running races in the 4 continents, there are some “mythical” ones, to which every trail runner wishes to participate at least once in his life.

If your passion is still alive and you have some budget saved to invest, it’s time to choose one of the most beautiful Ultra Trail races in the world …. Do you already know which ones are preferred by most trail runners? TRM has made a list for you.

Here are some of the most engaging trail running challenges of each continent.

Follow us on our journey around the world, from east to west … and run virtually the most exciting races with us.

For each race you will find the most suitable training program or trail running camp that will help you reach your goal: tailored trail tunning plan

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TRAIL RUNNING RACES IN THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT

Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc®, 171km 10.300m D+, 24-30 August 2020

Let’s start with the most famous Ultra Trail in the world, between France, Italy and Switzerland, the UTMB® This ultra trail does not require large presentations. It is not just a trail but also an adventure on the Alps shared with thousands of athletes from all over the world willing to admire the flora and fauna around the Mont Blanc. Most of the UTMB® landscapes are typical of high mountains: trails, meadows, rivers, lakes, massifs and fantastic glaciers. Athletes also have the chance to see large and small mountain villages alternated by mountain huts. The organization of the race is huge and the assistance to athletes is guaranteed day and night. The center of all events is located in Chamonix, the capital of Trail Running, with its liveliness and an unparalleled international atmosphere.

ITRA points: UTMB 6 points; TDS 6 points; CCC 5 points; OCC 3 points; MCC 2 points

The main champions at the finish line in 2019 …. Without forgetting the legendary Kilian Jornet and Marco Olmo.

Men: Pau Capell (20:19:07); Xavier Thevenard (21:07:56); Scott Hawker (21:48:04)

Women: Courtney Dauwalter (24:34:26); Kristin Berglund (25:34:12); Maite Maiora Elizondo (25:41:30)

Race website: UTMB

Dedicated training program: TRM Plan 167K

Tor Des Geants®, 330km 24.000m D+, 11 – 20 September 2020

Close geographically and equally fascinating, the TOR races leave you breathless for the variety and uniqueness of the landscapes that alternate rocky peaks with alpine forests of incomparable beauty? The Tor Des Geants® has become the most coveted race in Italy and undoubtedly one of the most “tough” races in the world due to the total elevation gained and the necessary physical preparation required to complete the race which can last up to 7 days! The TOR covers several distances: TOR de Geans® 330 km, TOR des Glaciers® 450 km, TOR Dret® 130 km and Passage Au Malatrà® 30 km. The scenarios are unique, exciting and unforgettable. Your challenge will be epic and, not surprisingly, if you pass the Finish Line you will always be called “Giant” of trail running.

ITRA points: Tor Des Geants 330km 6 points, Tor Dret 130km 6 points, Passage au Malatra 30km 2 points

The main champions at the finish line in 2019

Men: Bosatelli Oliviero (72:37:00); Reynolds Galen (77:06:00); Lantermino Danilo (79:09:00);

Women: Trigueros Garrote Silvia Ainhoa ​​(85:23:00); Pauly Jocelyne (94:22:00); Boggio Chiara (96:55:00)

Race website: Tor Des Giants

Dedicated training program: TRM Plan 330K

La Sportiva Lavaredo Ultra Trail®, 120Km 5.800m D+, 25 – 27 June 2020

In the central-eastern part of Italy the spectacular rock formations of the Dolomites stand out. In this unique lunar scenario, takes place the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, one of the most beautiful races in the world. Only by running it you will understand why … like Venice … this place is magic. The race, also part of the UTWT competitions, develops in the Dolomite mountains, alongside the beautiful Misurina Lake and at the foot of the Tre Cime of Lavaredo. One of the symbols of world mountaineering. The beauty of the place is linked to the contrast between the green of the thick alpine forests, the gray of the rocks and the blue of the sky and the lakes. The race is technical but with several fast sections; you should pay attention to the rocks and tree roots along the way. This is a competition you can’t miss … as long as you manage to pass the draw after registering. Mark it on your agenda, you won’t regret it!

ITRA points: 120km 5 points, 80km 4 points, 48km 3 points, 20km 1 point

The champions at the finish line in 2019, not forgetting Sebastien Chaigneau, Iker Karrera and Anton Krupicka

Men: Tim Tollefson (12:18:47); Jiasheng Shen (12:31:08); Sam Mccutcheon (12:47:22)

Women: Kathrin Götz (14:59:52); Audrey Tanguy (15:24:10); Francesca Pretto (15:34:28)

Race website: Lavaredo Ultra Trail

Dedicated training program: TRM Plan 120K

Madeira Island Ultra Trail®, 115Km 7.100m D+, 25-26 April 2020

Moving westwards we will have to take the plane and fly over France, Spain and Portugal to reach the island of Madeira.  At the Madeira Ultra Trail you will be projected up and down, from the sea to the peaks, along the whole island for over 100km. The scenarios that will appear to your eyes are so varied that it will seem to you to run more races at the same time in different places. Nature reigns supreme: wild and surprising. The race track path develops through sheer cliffs, long grassy meadows, rocky roads along the rivers and ridges that will put a strain on your legs. The temperature will also change many times from cold depending on the time of day and altitude.

ITRA points: 5 points Miut; Ultra 4 points: Marathon 2 points

The champions at the finish line in 2019

Men: François D’haene (13:49:36); Diego Pazos (14:13:59); Tim Tollefson (14:36:18)

Women: Courtney Dauwalter (15:17:05); Katie Schide (15:43:43); Audrey Tanguy (16:10:59)

Race website: MIUT Madeira

Dedicated training program: TRM Plan 120K

Transgrancanaria HG, 128Km 7.500m D+, 4 – 8 March 2020

How many times have you run over 100 km on a volcanic terrain? … How many times did you run on a landscape declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO? TransCanaria allows you to do both and discover areas halfway between the desert and the volcanic areas. Your adventure will take you through Spanish canyons, “pueblos” and terrains made of rocks and sand. You will be in total solitude on the highest peaks of the Island. Are you looking for an extra-long race or a shorter one? You can choose between different races taking place at the same time: 360, 65, 42, 30, 17km.

ITRA points: 360° 6 points; Trans Gc 5 points; Advance 3 points; Maratòn 2 points; Starter 2 points

The top champions in 2019

Men: Pau Capell Gil (12:42:40); Pablo Villa González (13:31:37); Cristofer Clemente Mora (13:42:54)

Women: Magdalena Laczak (16:22:56); Kaytlyn Gerbin (16:35:08); Fernanda Maciel (17:03:33)

Race website: TransCanaria

Dedicated training program: TRM Plan 167K

THE BEST ULTRA TRAILS OF THE AMERICAN CONTINENT 

The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race, 167km 5.360m D+, 27 – 28 June 2020

From one continent to another, our journey through the most beautiful races in the world continues in the United States. The Western States is the “# 1” trail running race. There is no great champion in the world who has not faced it at least once in his sporting career. By reputation, it is comparable to the New York Marathon! The Western States takes place in California, it starts from the Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn, a typical town built in the historic Golden Region at the time of the conquest of the Far West. The Western States is a very long downhill run, with several slopes created by creeks and canyons. The race track passes through uncontaminated woods, rocky sections and rivers that make the race a real adventure. Consider that most of the territories crossed by trail runners can only be reached on foot, on horseback or by helicopter. To face this challenge the preparation must be not only physical but, above all, mental.

ITRA points: 167km 5 points

The main champions at the finish line in 2019 … without forgetting the performances of Anton Krupicka

Men: Jim Walmsley (14:09:28); Jared Hazen (14:26:46); Tom Evans (14:59:44)

Women: Clare Gallagher (17:23:25); Brittany Peterson (17:34:29); Kaci Lickteig (17:55:55)

Race website: Western States

Dedicated training program: TRM Plan 167K

Iditarod Trail Invitational, 1.609km (1.000 miles) – 30 days, 01 March 2020

If you think that all the races listed so far are not yet exciting enough and you want more … you can challenge yourself in one of the longest and toughest races in the world in Alaska near Anchorage. The Iditarod Ultra Trail is really hard both for the prohibitive weather conditions (very cold!) to be faced in total self-sufficiency and for the weight of the mandatory equipment that you will have to carry with you on a sled! You can choose to cover the track on foot, but also by mountain bike or on skis … always carrying with you everything you need to eat and sleep! Yes you read that right, eat and sleep … maybe with wolves and bears around. The maximum time? 30 days. You will need an adequate preparation, the right equipment, but above all a good physical and mental resistance to face, in total solitude, this real sporting “madness”.

The main champions in 2019 … without forgetting the extraordinary editions won by Roberto Ghidoni

Beat Jegerlehner – 25 days + 5:11:00

Eric Johnson – 29 days + 18:25:00

Race website: Iditarod

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan Extreme 1000KTRM Plan Snow Running

Patagonia Run, 167km 9.000m D+, 3 – 4 April 2020

Running from one end of the continent to the other, we reach the 100 most famous miles in South America in Chile, the Patagonia Run. In the splendid natural setting protected by the Lanin National Park, we will have the opportunity to run different race distances for all levels of trail running preparation, from 21km to 167km and other 3 intermediate distances (42, 70, 110km). The races start from Lake Lácar and cross meadows and plateaus in the characteristic natural system of the humid Patagonian Andes, mountains covered with dense native forests, crystal clear streams and rich biodiversity. During the race, you will have to adapt to changing weather conditions with sun, strong wind and possible snowfall on the crests of the highest mountains. In short, you will not miss anything! Don’t forget that the race is a UTMB and Western States qualifier.

ITRA points: 167km 6 points; 110km 5 points; 70km 3 points; 42km 2 points; 21km 1 point

The main champions in 2019

Men: Pau Capell; Sergio Pereyra; Krystian Ogly

Women: Caroline Sebert; Tania Diaz-Estevez; Veronica Ramirez

Race website: Patagonia Run

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan 167K

THE MOST FASCINATING RACES IN THE ASIAN CONTINENT

Ultra Trail of Mount Fuji, 165km 7.942 D+, 24 – 26 April 2020

Leaving the American continent, we run towards Japan, precisely at the foot of Mount Fuji. The Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji competition, a cousin of the UTMB®, reaches 168km by circumnavigating the extinct volcano with the legendary snow hat. The path alternates woods with very tall plants and almost staggering plains and ups and downs with slippery or snowy terrain. For this type of terrain, the race is considered one of the toughest races in its category. Consider that the statistics show that less than 50% of the participants come to the Finish Line. You are ready? After the effort, you will have the wonderful opportunity to be able to immerse yourself in the remaining natural and cultural heritage of Japan that will complete your journey leaving indelible memories. Remember that there are also reduced versions of the race, from 95km to 140km.

ITRA points: 165km and 154km 6 points; 140km, 127km and 114km 5 points; 95km 4 points

The main champions at the finish line in 2019

Men: Xavier Thevenard (19:36:26); Jing Liang (20:39:38); Loren David Newman (20:40:14)

Women:  Fuzhao Xiang (24:20:00); Lou Marie Clifton (25:50:48); Kaori Asahara (25:55:53)

Race website: Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan 167K

Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail, 103km 5.300m D+, 17 – 19 January 2020

Going down China, we will arrive in the very famous East Gate: Hong Kong. Here you can take the opportunity to visit the city from a different perspective … the mountains that surround it. The 103 kilometers of the Vibram HK Ultra Trailalso known as a UTWT race, begin in the Eastside on the Sai Kung Peninsula. The track develops through a kind ancient tropical forests with monkeys on the trees, impervious trails and panoramic views of the city and the sea. The long crossing serpentine that will take you to the Westside will also challenge your feet and muscles on beaches and up and down hundreds of steps! This is a fast race where Asian athletes do not fail to grab the podium. If you prefer a shorter race you can sign up for the 56km race, which is just as scenic. We leave you the choice!

ITRA points: 103km 5 points; 56km 3 points

The champion athletes at the finish line in 2019

Men: Jiasheng Shen (10:22:02); Jing Liang (10:35:50); Zhenlong Zhang (10:41:46)

Women:  Yangchun Lu (11:43:20); Fuzhao Xiang (12:17:32); Guangmei Yang (12:43:19)

Race website: HK 100 Ultra

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan 120K

THE BEST COMPETITIONS IN OCEANIA 

Ultra-Trail Australia, 100km 4.400m D+, 14 – 17 May 2020

Our world tour continues in Australia. This time we are going to discover a stage of the Ultra-Trail World Tour in Oceania. The 100km race track of the Ultra-Trail Australia takes place in the Blue Mountains National Park which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The lucky trail runners who will compete in this fast ultra trail will immerse themselves in a landscape that is characterized by a massive presence of eucalyptus trees, high-altitude trails and tropical forests. This Ultra-Trail Australia will also allow you to meet unusual animals such as kangaroos and koalas and the Aborigines. Are you ready to fly to the other side of the world for this special ultra ultra-trail?

ITRA points: 100km 4 points; 50km 2 points; 22km 1 point

The main champions at the finish line in 2019:

Men: Marcin Swierc (09:31:15); Jono O’Loughlin (09:42:28); Morgan Lindqvist (09:43:45)

Women: Amy Lamprecht (11:03:28); Angélique Plaire (12:05:18); Emma Roca (12:14:23)

Race website: Ultra-Trail Australia

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan 120K

Tarawera Ultra Marathon, 102km 3.089m D +, 14 – 17 May 2020

Taking a flight to the East you will switch from desert to mountainous landscapes. The most important and famous race is the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. This race is also part of the UTWT and it runs along the trails in the center of the island in an extremely green area around Rotorua. The trail runners have the possibility to choose among different race distances from 21km to 102km  In this cradle of the Maori civilization you can enjoy pristine nature full of lakes, 7 natural basins, tropical forests of palm trees, moss and ferns and waterfalls. But what will most impress you are the gaisers and the thermal waters of which the area is particularly rich. Get ready to face a hot and humid climate that will put a strain on your body! The race is qualifying for UTMB and the Western States 100 miles.

ITRA points: 102km 4 points; 51km 2 points

The main champions at the finish line in 2019:

Men: Jeff Browning (16:18:54); Grant Guise (19:24:08); Akio Ueno (19:51:12)

Women: Camille Herron (17:20:52) Katie Wright (23:43:26) Lesley Park (24:07:38)

Race website: Tarawera Ultra Marathon

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan 120K

THE BEST COMPETITIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST (ASIA) 

Ultra Trail Oman by UTMB®, 170km 10.400m D+, 3 – 5 December 2020

From New Zealand we travel to the United Arab Emirates. The scenario changes and you will experience the Arabic spirit. The Ultra Trail Oman by UTMB develops through completely uncontaminated landscapes, mountain ridges, little stone villages and palm plantations. The Oman by UTMB® ultra is a very he technical race in terms of terrain and you also need to be ready to face 170km in a desert climate. You can choose other distances in addition to the main competition such as: 130 km (D + 7400) and 50 km (D + 2300) and even shorter races for young trail runners.

ITRA points: 170km 6 points; 130km 5 points; 50km 3 points

The main champions at the finish line in 2019

Men: Eoin Keith; Hamdan Al Khatri; Kaori Niwa

Women: Kaori Niwa; Anita Lehmann; Kimino Miyazaki

Race website: Ultra Trail Oman by UTMB

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan 167K

THE BEST COMPETITIONS IN AFRICA

Ultra-Trail Cape Town®, 100km 4.300m D+, 28 -29 November 2020

On the way back home, we decided to stop in the African continent for another fantastic race that was part of UTWT, the Ultra-Trail Cape Town®The competition takes place at the end of the year and the high temperatures require a correct adaptation period for the athletes living in other cold countries. In South Africa it is indeed Summer! The scenarios are truly magnificent. The race crosses very different sections, alternating easy slopes along the coast with steep climbs (up to 35% gradient) that lead to trails with a breathtaking view of Cape Town. If you prefer less demanding races, you can also opt for less shorter distances such as 65km, 35km and 21km.

ITRA points: 100km 4 points; 65km 3 points; 35km 2 points; 21km 1 point

The main champions at the finish line in 2019:

Men: Cody Reed (10:04:58); François D’haene (10:11:22); Nicolas Martin (10:14:10)

Women: Beth Pascall (10:55:25); Emily Hawgood (12:03:51); Dominika Stelmach (12:15:36)

Race website: Ultra Trail Cape Town

Dedicated training programs: TRM Plan 120K

Marathon des Sables, 240km – 7 days, 3 – 13 April 2020

To conclude this race tour around the world, we cannot fail to immerse ourselves in the Moroccan desert to challenge our limits in the “queen” of deserts: the Marathon Des Sables. This competition will put a strain on your endurance: heat and pain caused by blisters on your feet will challenge you. It is a minimalist race where you will have to share meals and accommodation in itinerant tents set up along the stages of the race that takes place in stages over a week with a rest day and a stage with charity purposes. The ability to organize a light backpack with all the material needed to survive and run 7 days and the management of rhythms consistent with proper hydration will be the specialties that will take you to the finish line. The route alternates sand dunes with rocky terrain, sometimes immersed in the desert wind that insinuates the fearsome grains of sand into every clothing slit you will have worn. Spice up your shoes and set a specific preparation, because nothing has to be left to chance!

ITRA points: 240km 6 points;

The main champions at the 2019 finish line

Men: El Morbity Rachid (18:31:24); El Morabity Mohamed (18:39:48); Baghazza Abdelaziz (19:21:20)

Women: Debats Ragna (22:33:36); Raji Aziza (25:17:31); Game Gemma (26:04:10)

Race website: Marathon Des Sables

Dedicated training program: TRM Plan Desert Running

… and now, after this fantastic trip, it’s time to book the races and train with us!

Here we are finally back to the starting point! After this series of dreams and emotions, all you have to do is choose and register for your favorite race!

Are you sure you have planned correctly your next year challenges? If you have any doubts, you can download the free eBook you find here: Mini-Guide “How to Plan Workouts & Races”

If, on the other hand, you ould like to have a professional feedback about your race calendar, you can fill out the questionnaire and ask us for an opinion here: Your Race Calendar Evaluation. It’s FREE until 31/01/2020

At this point we just have to wish you good training and good adventures and … do not forget to contact us if you want to be sure to make your dreams come true … Here you will find all the training programs, nutrition and trail running camps that will satisfy all your needs.

Write to us and tell us about your goals, we will help you to achieve them!

Email: info@trailrunningmovement.com

 

 

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