ITRA mysterious numbers

Every race evaluated by ITRA – International Trail Running Association  has three mysterious numbers in description. Gorce Ultra-Traill 48 km has ITRA 3, 7 and 380. What do these numbers mean?
The first is the most obvious, the easiest to understand and for many the most important 🙂 ITRA 3 means that every runner who finishes the race in time limit will receive 3 points and will be able to apply for the possibility to start in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – UTMB (but you must have 15 such points), The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail (only 4 points is enough) or other similar competitions. The number of points for a given run depends – in a simplified way – on distance and possitive alititude. For every kilometer and every 100 m up you will get small points, which are later converted into those large ones.

The second factor – Mountain Level in the case of GUT 48 km is 7. This coefficient determines the difficulty of the route. The exact calculation algorithms are unknown, but the amount of the possitive altitudes in relation to the route length, the length of the longest uphill, the average level above the sea level etc. are taken into account. The factor does not depend on the route length or time limit. Gorce Ultra-Trail  level 7 is very high as for the Beskid route (means – the route is quite difficult). Other races in Poland have, for example, Bieg rzeźnika – 6, Chudy Wawrzyniec – 4, Bieg 7 Dolin – 5. On the other hand, the Bieg Ultra Granią Tatr has a respectable figure 9 🙂 In simplified terms, this factor determines the technical difficulty of the route, but some qualitative aspects , hard to mathematically grasp – e.g. the number of rocks on the road – are not taken into account. There are rather soft roads in Gorce Mountain 🙂

The most interesting – and the most developmental – is probably the last factor –  Finisher criteria. It involves one of the basic tasks of ITRA, an attempt to evaluate the difficulty of mountain races and simultaneously evaluation of individual runners’ achievements, despite different routes and conditions during the competition. Anyone who has completed at least one race evaluated by ITRA receives individual points for completing the race. Depending on the time, position at the finish line, time difference in relation to the winner, the number of good results (ie good runners at the finish line) and probably a few other algorithms that ITRA does not reveal, but tries to gradually improve them. With high accuracy, this coefficient determines the runner’s proficiency, his sport level. Theoretically the highest level is 1000 points, but the currently first on the list Jim Wolmsley has 949 points, the majority of runners between 400 and 600, and the man writing these words  – 584 points 🙂
In the case of a given race, this coefficient determines the ratio of the difficulty of the route to the time limit to be overcome. The 48-km GUT has a factor of 380, which means that a lot of time has been allocated for rather difficult route (Mountain Level 7). Actually, every (running) competitor should fit in the limit. 🙂
Registration for the Gorce Ultra-Trail 48 km is open, come and go.

Gorce Ultra-Trail 102 K

Gorce Ultra-Trail’s crown distance is 102 km long, 4320 meters high (cumulative altitude) and it has 5 major peaks along the way: Lubań, Turbacz, Kudłoń, Mogielica and Gorce. Only this distance ensures running all Gorce on one day (Mogielica is somehow in the bonus 🙂 . The peaks are clearly felt, evenly distributed and easily visible from many places along the way (we run right on the wheel). It is so interesting that the distances between them are very similar – it’s time to make friends with each other, cautiously tame and slowly forget before the next one appears. Optically they sometimes seem distant, but this is just an illusion, emphasized by deep valleys. In fact, there are no steep uphills on the route (maybe a bit in the early stage) or breakaway downhills. The route to 92 km is exactly the same as last year. From the top of Gorc, however, we converge on a different route. The finish line is located in Ochotnica Dolna, not Ochotnica Górna, so we have to close the loop.
Not only because of this (easier) downhill, the route is fast. Time limit is 16 hours. ITRA evalueted its difficulties at 530 points. It means that this international organization suggests that runners whose Peformance Index is just 530 points will reach finish line in time limit. This is maybe not quite a precise calculation, since the last runner on the last year finish line  had an index of 498 points, but it gives some idea. To draw attention to the difficulty of the route, we have introduced a subscription threshold of 450 points for all applicants.
On the other hand, we encourage you to run faster. A special prize – Gorc Trophy will be given to the runner who will win the competition in less than 10 hours. If the winner has a longer time, the Cup will go to the next year. The prize will have a real financial dimension (cash). Its amount will be revealed at a later date.
However, is it possible to run this route below 10 hours? The winner from last year achieved the result of 11 hours. 40 minutes. So you have to run much faster. But for a runner with an index of around 750 points, it is perfectly real.
All this is of course a pure theory, as it will be in August – we’ll see.
We invite you to subscriptions today. You can run for the Trophy, you can admire the views 🙂

Gorce Ultra-Trail 84/48 km – a test of character

Gorce Ultra-Trail 84/48 km will be organized in the formula of a joint start. Each competitor decides during the race which distance she/he wants to run. The novelty this year is that there will be a lot of time to make this decision. 🙂 The route split is located on the 41st kilometer. Turning right means very easy 7 km dowhill to the finish line. The left turn rewards the daredevils with the other half of the route to run. It will not be an easy decision, as after 41 km everyone will get a little tired.
At the beginning it is relatively easy: asphalt road, a convenient path and a wide mountain road along the Main Beskydy Trail. From 26 km things get tough. We leave the beaten path and venture into the beautiful backwoods of the Gorce meadows, valleys and ridges. Narrower or wider paths, without tourist markings. And as there will be a few ridges, and deeper valley after each , on the route of 48 km a total of 2590 m possitive altitude has been gathered! It’s quite a lot. ITRA granted this route a mountain level of 7, which is a value that none of our races has ever had. For completing it you will receive 3 UTMB points (and not 2 as last year). On the other hand, we have increased the time limit for this route to 10 hours, so even if slightly slower, everyone will be able to reach the finish line.
It is not much easier (and actually a lot more difficult) in case of a longer distance.  Competitors will run through Gorc to Mogielica and collect over 4000 m possitive altitudes on the entire route. Interesting that the time limit on 84 km is exactly the same as for 102 km and is 16 hours. And because both ends of both distances and intermediate limits are the same, in the last kilometers competitors 84 and 102 km will be able to support each other.
This does not mean, however, that routes 84 and 102 km are very similar to each other; in the middle section they have a completely different character and therefore they differ much more than a year ago. So we have three completely different routes, everyone can choose what suits him best.
Come to Gorce, and check it out 🙂

Ochotnica Challenge 20 km – a new route

The Ochotnica Challenge 20 km route starts and ends in Ochotnica Dolna. Both up and down, has a height of 950 m. The beginning is the same as last year, a short stretch of asphalt road,  to warm-up and to insight into the forces among competitors. And then a  turn right and a really serious ascent starts. Without a trail, through meadows, small sticks and mid-forest glades. Once you find the green signs it will be more comfortable and at times you can even accelerate, even though it is always uphill. We’ll take the top of Gorc along the path from the west, with the view tower in the package :-). Next we turn to the right and behind a large clearing with a place for a bonfire, we find a narrow path. Here begins one of the longest in Gorce section without any markings. Almost 10 km of downhill! 🙂 Completely pristine terrain, not penetrated by tourists or runners. The path is narrow but clear, it will be clearly marked on its entire length. Initially, through the forest, later more and more thouhgt the meadows, with views of the Tatra Mountain in the south. We have two hamlets along the way: Szlagówka, lost high among meadows, and  Tarchały before Ochotnica, exactly where the path starts to meander like a river in the delta. At the finish line we run straight from the mountains, across the river without any bridge 🙂
Already for this one route it is worth coming to Gorce 🙂

Gorce Ultra-Trail 2018 registration is open

Registration is open. Welcome to Gorce Ultra-Trail 🙂

Gorce Ultra-Trail 2018 registration

We are pleased to announce that the entries on Gorce Ultra-Trail 2018 will start on January 18, 2018, at 10.00.
5 distances to choose from::
Studzionki Vertical – 1.7 km, 248 m
Ochotnica Challenge – 20 km, 1 point ITRA
Gorce Ultra-Trail 48 km, 3 points ITRA
Gorce Ultra-Trail 84 km, 4 points ITRA
Gorce Ultra-Trail 102 km, ITRA 5 points
Stay tuned.

Merry Christmass

Sunday does not accept fasting. The rule is not binding anymore but it was once widely observed. In Gorce, many people still remember it. In 1944, December 24 was the same as today on Sunday. That is why the Christmas Eve was celebrated on Saturday, December 23. They were not happy holidays. Exactly December 23, the Germans carried out the largest pacification of villages in the Podhale region in Ochotnica. 56 people were killed. It was the most tragic day in the whole history of Ochotnica. The monument in the center of the village commemorates this event.
Today, Christmas is a festival of joy and reconciliation. We wish a Merry Christmass and Happy New Year for all inhabitants of Ochotnica, for all our competitors and supporters of the Gorce Ultra-Trail.

Studzionki Vertical 2018

Among the many new products and surprises that we prepare for you in the 2018 Gorce Ultra-Trail edition, one thing remains unchanged – Studzionki Vertical. The same route, the same distance, the same start time, the same views at the finish line and the same, amazing atmosphere, other than at our other distances. Maybe it is not a race for everyone, but every ultras who once tries such a short distance will remember it for a long time. If only a hand-cut path does not overgrow us by summer 😉
Facts: distnce 1,7 km, possitive altitude 249 m


Please read carefully

Essential info before the start

Competition office’s location:

Friday/Saturday: Ochotnica Górna, Marii Konopnickiej Primary School, Iwanki housing estate, no. 203.

Sunday: Ochotnica Dolna, Wiejski Ośrodek Kultury, Dłubacze housing estate, no. 160 (next to the staring line)

Competition office’s working hours

Friday, July 11, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Primary School in Ochotnica Górna

Saturday, July 12, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Primary School in Ochotnica Górna

Sunday, July 13, 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., Wiejski Ośrodek Kultury (local cultural center) in Ochotnica Dolna (next to the staring point)


Deposite bags will be available in the competition office. You can deposit your stuff in the competition office or right before the start in Ochotnica Dolna. You can collect your things only by showing your starting number.

Technical briefing

– technical briefing for the participants of Studzionki Vertical – before the start, 6:45 p.m. in Ochotnica Górna

– for the participants of the 102, 80 and 40 km runs, technical briefing will be held on Friday, July 12, at 8:30 p.m.

– for Ochotnica Challenge participants – just before the start, 8:45 a.m. in Ochotnica Dolna.

There won’t be showers at the finishing line, but if you are brave enough, you can jump into the mountain stream only 10 meters away.

Starting point, finishing line, transport

Studzionki Vertical – July 11, 2017

Starting point – Ochotnica Górna, bridge on the way to Studzionki, about 900 m away from the Competition ofiice, 7 p.m.

Finishing line – Studzionki, next to the shelter

Gorce Ultra Trail, July 12

– Starting point for the 102 km run – Ochotnica Dolna, Wiejski Ośrodek Kultury (local cultural center), Dłubacze housing estate, no. 160. Parking available next to Municipal office or the church, 1 km away. 4 a.m.

– Starting point for the 80 and 40 km runs – Ochotnica Dolna, Wiejski Ośrodek Kultury (local cultural center), Dłubacze housing estate, no. 160. Parking available next to Municipal office or the church, 1 km away. 5 a.m.

Finishing line: Ochotnica Górna, in front of the church. Distance between starting point and finishing line is about 5 km, asphalt road.

Transportation of the participants from the finishing line to the starting point after the run will be provided. Service frequency will depend on the demand.

Ochotnica Challenge, July 13, 20 km

– Starting point – Ochotnica Dolna, Wiejski Ośrodek Kultury (local cultural center), Dłubacze housing estate, no. 160. Parking available next to Municipal office or the church, 1 km away. 9 a.m.

– Finishing line: Ochotnica Górna, in front of the church. Distance between starting point and finishing line is about 5 km, asphalt road.

Transportation of the participants from the finishing line to the starting point after the run will be provided. Service frequency will depend on the demand.

Route, time limits, route marking, food stops and medical points

Emergency numer (paramedic): +48 609 126 719 / on your starting numer


Studzionki Vertical 1,7 km

Time limit – on the finishing line – 30 minutes, at 7:30 p.m. finishing line will be closed

No time limits on the route.

Gorce Ultra Trail, 102 km

Time limit – on the finishing line – 16 hours, finishing line will be closed at 8 p.m.

Time limits on the route:

– Knurowska Pass – 5,5 hours

– Obidowa – 7,5 hours.

– Rzeki – 10,5 hours.

– Szczawa – 13,5 hours.

Gorce Ultra Trail, 80 km

Time limit – at the finishing line – 15 hours, finishing line will be closed at 8 p.m.

Time limits on the route:

– Knurowska Pass – 5,5 hours.

– Obidowa – 7,5 hours.

– Rzeki – 11 hours.

Gorce Ultra Trail, 40 km

Time limit – at the finishing line – 9 hours, finishing line will be closed at 2 p.m.

Time limits on the route:

-Knurowska Pass – 5,5 hours

Ochotnica Challenge 20 km

Time limit – a tthe finishing line – 5 hours, finising line will be clsed at 2 p.m.

No time limits on the route.

After exceeding time limits participan’t are not allowed to continue the race.

Paramedics’ decisions concerning participants’ abilities to continue the run cannot be argued.

Regeneration meal at the finishing line will be available for the participants of all runs on Saturday and Sunday (after showing starting number). Studzionki Vertical participants can get the meal on Saturday or Sunday. There is no regeneration meal on Friday.

At the food stands following products will be available: Gorczanska Krynica water, Nutrend sports drink, bananas, oranges, watermelons, raisins, cranberries, salted peanuts, salted cucumbers. At the food stand in Rzeki (63km) you can eat tomato soup wit noodles.

The route follows marked tourist trails. Important points will be additionally marked with tapes and in some places volunteers will show you the way. Parts of the route with no tourist trail signs:

a. Beginning of the route, from the starting point to Makowica, about 8 km, first 5 km on the main road through the village

b. Short part after the Turbacz summit, about 1 km (only for 80 and 102 km runs)

c. Last 3 km of the run (for 102, 80 and 20 km runs)

On the map below you can see routes of all the runs, including food points and medical points

Safety rules, and obligatory equipment

You should be very careful when using public asphalt roads. These are:

a. First 5 km of the route (102, 80, 40 km runs)

b. Crossing with the asphalt road on the Knurowska Pass (102, 80, 40)

c. 300 me of the asphalt road after the point in Obidowa (102, 80)

d. 1 km long part after Rzeki till Przysłop pass (102 km)

e. 1,2 k. m after Rzeki till the small wooden chapel (80 km)

f. 3 km after food stand in Szczawa (102 km)

g. crossing with the asphalt road 200 m before the finishing line (all distances)

h. Ochotnica Challenge – first 500 m

i. Studzionki Vertical – first 300 m

In all these places you should obey road trafiic rules and the instructions of traffic management services. You should use roadside when running on the asphalt roads.

We remind you that the obligatory equipment is:

  • charged mobile phone, which should always be on / the number that you gave while registering
  • standar size space blanket (140x200cm)
  • cup or a bottle for drinks (there won’t be any at the food stands)
  • staring numer with time mesuring chip attached in a visible place
  • czołówka z kompletem baterii (dystans 102 km)
  • head lamp with a set of batteries (102 km)

Recommended additional equipment

  • shoes and clothes suitable for challenging mountain route and expected weather conditions
  • water bag / at least 1,5 l
  • head lamp
  • basic medical equipment

All competitors are insured with NNW insurance.

We remind you that we run is in the wild, natural environment, partly in the Gorce National Park. It is not allowed to leave any trash on the runway, destroying nature, picking plants or deliberately disturbing the peace of animals. Trash should be taken with you, you can leave it at the nutritional points. Runners breaking these rules may be punished with time penalties and in extreme cases disqualified.
Let the form and weather be favorable to you. See you at the finish line 🙂

Race weekend – Times and places

The race schedule for Gorce Ultra-Trail 2017.
Race Office working hours:
Friday 11th August, 4.00 p.m. – 11.00 p. m., Ochotnica Górna, Primary School
Saturday 12 August, 6.00 p.m.- 8.00 p.m., Ochotnica Górna, Primary School
Sunday 13th August 7.30 a.m – 8.30 a.m, Ochotnica Dolna, Amphitheater (next to the start).

Check-in meeting: Friday, 8.30 p.m., Primary School, Ochotnica Górna.

Time and place of departure:
Friday: 19.00 – Studzianki Vertical, (Ochotnica Górna, the bridge at the junction with the road to Studzionki)
Saturday: 4.00 a.m. – GUT 102 km (starts at Ochotnica Dolna, Amphitheater)
Saturday: 5.00 a.m. – GUT 80/40 km (starts at Ochotnica Dolna, Amphitheater)
Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – Ochotnica Challenge 20 km (starts at Ochotnica Dolna, Amphitheater).
All distances finish line : Ochotnica Górna, square against the church.

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