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Trail Running Race Series In The United States

Even though the trail running scene is relatively small in the running world, there still are a variety of national trail running race series sponsored by some of the big players in the industry that can take you all around the United States; to the north, west, south, and east.

Montrail Ultra Cup

The 2009/2010 Montrail Ultra Cup series consists of 11 events (14 races) ranging in distances from 50km up to the series finale at the Western States 100. The state hosts within the series include Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Alabama, California (4 events), and Wisconsin. (complete schedule)

Each race will have a max available number of points based on the distance. (1 point per mile: 50km – 31 points, 50mile – 50 points, etc) The male/female winners will receive max points and all others will receive a fraction of the max points available based on their finish time relative to the male/female winner.

You need at least two race finishes to be included in the series points standings but you can include your best four points performances for your final standings.

The top five men and women in the final points standing will receive cash or cash/swag. For all athletes that finish more than four events, you receive a special Montrail jacket.

website: Montrail Ultra Cup Series

The North Face Endurance Challenge

The 2009 The North Face Endurance Challenge consists of five events with each event having a 10k, half marathon, 50km, and 50 mile race. The states hosts include New York, Washington, Washington D.C. (not a state), Wisconsin, and California for the championship event.

There is cash available for the top three men and women in each 50 mile race as well (1st – $1000, 2nd – $650, 3rd – $350). The winner also received a comped entry for the championship event in San Francisco. The championship event has a nice chunk of change which will have plenty of speedsters in the 50 mile event going after the $10,000 first place, $4000 second place, and $1000 third place cash awards for both men and women.

A cool part of this series is that it has something for everyone so it is sure to introduce many people to the joy of running out in nature.

website: The North Face Endurance Challenge

Trail Runner Trophy Series

The 2009 Trail Runner Trophy Series consists of 123 races throughout the United States and Canada. The series consists of two main categories; Non-marathon (shorter than a marathon) and Marathon&Longer. Looking at the list of races, there are distances for everyone.

Points are awarded as one point per event mile (15 mile = 15 points). There are also serious bonus points available if you place in the top three of your age group (10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-and-over).

At the end of the series sponsor swag is given to the top overall male and female with the most series points and the age group leaders. As a special prize, the male and female athlete that completes the most events will receive free registration to a running camp in British Columbia, Canada but you will need to provide you own transportation to the camp.

This seems like a pretty fun series but there sure aren’t may events in my part of the country. I think I saw one event in Texas. With the number of events in the state you would think there would be more on the list.

website: Trail Runner Trophy Series

La Sportiva Mountain Cup

The 2009 La Sportiva Mountain Cup series consists of 10 trail/mountain running events ranging from 3.6 miles up to 25 km. The events are hosted in North Carolina, California, New Hampshire, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Idaho.

The series is broken into two main divisions; Open and Masters (Over 40). You receive points in a decreasing fashion from 1st to 15th place with your top five races used to determine your final placing at the end of the series.

Cash is awarded three deep for both men and women in the open and master division for the end of series awards. Total purse is $25,000.

website: La Sportiva Mountain Cup

If you are a trail running stud/studette or like the destination series concept, one of the above may be worth checking out. Of course any of them can be fun single events as well.

Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with any of these series?

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

2 Responses to “Trail Running Race Series In The United States”

  1. on 11 Aug 2009 at 3:17 pm Blaine Moore

    There’s plenty of small local trail series around the country as well. Here in Maine, the Trail Monsters put on a 3 race series at Bradbury Mountain (6, 9 and 12 mile courses throughout the Summer/Autumn) as well as various Fat Ass races in the Winter and a 25k/50k/50 mile race on Memorial Day weekend at Pineland Farms, all of which are pretty popular with the local trail crowd. ( )

  2. on 11 Aug 2009 at 7:29 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Blaine – Thanks for sharing some of the local race series up in the northeast.