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.