RMB Ultra-trail Cape Town has joined forces with organisers of some of the best ultra-trail running races across the globe to form World Trail Majors.
The World Trail Majors is an association launched this week that seeks to help steer the sport’s development in the right direction.
Safeguarding the original spirit of trail and ultra running, race organisers will share their knowledge and experience acquired over decades.
Stuart McConnachie, Race Director, RMB Ultra-trail Cape Town (RMB UTCT), says: “RMB Ultra-trail Cape Town is very proud to be part of this association that celebrates diversity as one of the objectives. Independent races have their place in the world of trail running and by supporting, sharing and recognising each other’s place, we collaborate to continue the legacy of our sport in an independent way that is the root of this sport.”
Established in 2014, RMB UTCT has hosted runners from over 66 countries, with most international runners coming from France, Great Britain, United States, Germany and Italy. The event that sees runners traverse Table Mountain and the Peninsula, has evolved from only 16 finishers in the 100 km in 2014, to over 2000 runners taking part. There are five distances of 23 km, 35 km and 55 km, the UT100 (100 km), and UTCT (100 miles/166 km). The 2023 edition takes place from 24-26 November.
World Trail Majors will provide a new, alternative path of growth in this fast-developing sport which aims to be inspirational to all runners and organisers. Trail/Ultra racing is a sport that takes place in the natural outdoor environment, with uncomplicated rules and free from the limitations inherent in many sports.
World Trail Majors wants to maintain and build an open and accessible ethos to help preserve the original values of the sport. The fundamentals of World Trail Majors are solid but simple:
- Diversity is a core value of trail running, embracing difference as enriching and improving trail running as a sporting, cultural and social activity. Trail/ultra racing is an incredibly varied sport, each race is unique, the variety of distances, locations and terrains providing an infinite number of wonderful experiences.
- Respect. An activity that takes place in nature must always treat the environment with respect. Understanding on a local and global scale that the effects of our actions reach far further than the sport itself. Allowing trail running to grow as an activity that enriches and is enriched by the local community and environment.
- Identity, each race has its own distinct and individual personality that is inspired by its local environment and its own evolving story.
Involving local organisations, respecting local communities and boosting local economies, the races must leave little trace on nature, but lifelong impact on the runners.
Sidónio Freitas, Race Director of MIUT-Madeira Island Ultra-Trail, says: “We are honoured and privileged to be a part of the World Trail Majors, a prestigious collection of races that epitomise the true spirit of trail running. These iconic events from around the world not only challenge and inspire runners but also foster a global community of trail enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty and adventure of off-road running. Being part of this elite group reflects our commitment to providing an exceptional trail running experience and further cements our dedication to the sport. We’re excited to join the ranks of these world-renowned races and look forward to welcoming runners from all corners of the globe to share in the adventure with us.”
World Trail Majors is an open association, and the first edition will be held in 2024 and will include the following events:
- Hong Kong 100 Ultramarathon: One of the events that show-cased trail running in Asian trail running to the world. 18th – 21st January 2024, 102 km, +5314 m. Hong Kong
- Black Canyon Ultras: Pure American trail running on native American trade routes and old stagecoach trails. 10th – 11th February 2024. 100 km, +1250 m. Phoenix, Arizona, United States.
- The North Face Transgrancanaria: One of the classics on the world trail running calendar. 21st – 25th February 2024. 126 km, +6804 m. Canary Islands, Spain.
- Mt. Fuji 100: Japanese-style trail running with the great symbolic meaning of the highest mountain in the country. 26th – 27th April 2024. 165 km, +7574 m. Fujiyoshida, Japan.
- MIUT – Madeira Island Ultra-Trail: Iconic event on the spectacular island of Madeira. 27th – 28th April 2024. 115 km, +7100 m. Madeira, Portugal.
- Swiss Canyon Trail: Founded in 1994, a bucket list and benchmark event in Central Europe. 7th – 9th June 2024. 111 km, +5350 m. Val de Travers, Switzerland.
- South Downs Way: 100 miles following the historic South Downs Way is a classic of the U.K. racing calendar. 8th – 9th June 2024. 161 km, +3800 m. Winchester, UK.
- Quebec Mega Trail: True wild trail running in the mountains near Quebec City. 5th – 7th July 2024. 160 km, +6500 m. Quebec, Canada.
- RMB Ultra-Trail Cape Town: Pure mountains next to one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Africa. 22nd – 24th November 2024. 166 km, +7516 m. Cape Town, South Africa.
Visit www.ultratrailcapetown.comand follow RMB UTCT on YouTube or Instagram stories to watch the event between 24 and 26 November.