the ultra x virtual race world series

frequently asked questions

What is the Ultra X Virtual Race World Series?
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. If we’re not going to be allowed to race in reality for the next month or so, then we’ll race VIRTUALLY!

Social distancing does not mean you are alone and self-isolation does not mean that you cannot race. The Ultra X Virtual Race World Series allows runners from all over the world to come together and connect for an amazing cause. Over the next month, we are going to be hosting four virtual races (three qualifying rounds and a grand final) of varying lengths and awarding points for taking part in each.

Register online and tune in to our social feeds to follow.

Find out more here.

How do I take part?
Register

To take part you must first register online.

You will have the option to purchase entry to one, two or all three qualifying races (entry to the final – if you make it there! – is free).

Anyone can pay to enter any of the qualifying races. There are no other requirements to enter.

Entry is £5 per event (or £12 for all three) and 50% of entry fees will go towards the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 appeal.

Upon registration you will also have the option to purchase a medal, a limited edition Virtual Race World Series t-shirt, and an Ultra X cap.

Once you have registered, you will be added to the race start list and assigned a bib number, which you will keep throughout the World Series. You do not have to wear it while racing (although we do encourage it!)

We will be sending out new bib numbers (and social media assets) every three working days. Please be patient if you do not get yours straight away upon registration. Our designer doesn’t like to rush things…

On the day

Virtual running works the same as any other type of running but the difference is that the race can be run at any location, at any pace, inside on a treadmill, or outside anywhere in the world!

Once you have entered, all you have to do is run or walk the distance (8, 15 and/or 19 km) and send us evidence that you have done it. That is all!

The link for uploading your completion time will be sent to you upon registration. Please ensure that evidence displays total time taken from start to finish, including any pauses (not just moving time!!). If you are submitting via Strava, the easiest way to do this is to make sure you tag the activity as a “race”.

The screenshot submitted must show “elapsed time” and not just moving time.

In order to have your result normalized and compared to all other results, you must ensure that your negative net elevation loss is no more than 10%.

For example, if your run has 100 feet of incline, it should have no more than 110 feet of decline.

The easiest way of ensuring that you don’t break the rule here is to start and finish within at the the same place! See “How should I plan my route” FAQ below for further information on this.

Please note that if you are participating on a treadmill and wish to be considered for the final, we will need evidence of you actually running on the treadmill (not just a picture of the screen at the end). We will be hosting a Zoom call at 13:00 BST on each race day which anyone participating at this time can dial into. Alternatively, you can film yourself doing the run and send us a time lapse video. If you are planning on doing this, you must contact us 24 hours in advance of the race in question at contact@ultra-x.co with the subject “Treadmill Virtual Race”. If you aren’t too fussed on making the final then no worries!

Participants may compete at any time that suits them provided it is on the same date as the race in their respective time zone.

Time submissions must be made within 24 hours of the race date. Late submissions will not be considered in the results.

When are the races?
There are three qualifying races which can be entered by anybody. There will also be a final limited to 110 competitors which is invitation only. Please see below for times and distances. Competitors can do the race at any time on the below dates.

Qualifier 1 – Saturday 2nd May – 8km

Qualifier 2 – Saturday 16th May – 15km

Qualifier 3 – Saturday 30th May – 19km

Grand Final – Saturday 13th June – distance to be announced the night before the race

When does registration close?
You can enter one, two or all three races on initial registration here. Alternatively you can enter one at a time (e.g. enter race one before 1st May, and then enter race two on 4th May).

Each race registration will close at 12:00 BST the day before the race begins. As demonstrated below:

Race 1 registration closes 12:00 BST 1st May

Race 2 registration closes 12:00 BST 15th May

Race 3 registration closes 12:00 BST 29th May

The entry fee is payable upon registration. This is non-refundable.

What can I win and how?
Beyond the reward of unity, spirit and the feeling of togetherness earned from taking part in the Ultra X Virtual Race World Series, there will be some serious prizes up for grabs.

Prize money in the final will be allocated as follows:

  • Overall male 1st, 2nd, 3rd position. (£200, £100, £50)
  • Overall female 1st, 2nd, 3rd position (£200, £100, £50)

Top three in each of the below fields:

  • Male 18-25 (£100, £75 and £30)
  • Female 18-25 (£100, £75 and £30)
  • Male 26-39 (£100, £75 and £30)
  • Female 26-39 (£100, £75 and £30)
  • Male 40+ (£100, £75 and £30)
  • Female 40+ (£100, £75 and £30)

Wildcard: £1,000

Yes, you read that correctly! One person picked at random who completes the final will win £1,000! It doesn’t matter how fast you are. If you are on the start line, you have a 1 in 110 chance of winning a grand!

Medals

If you don’t make it to the final, don’t worry! Everyone who participates in a race will be able to purchase a medal. Medals will be distributed at the end of the World Series. Depending on how many races you do, you will get a different colour ribbon.

1 race = White

2 races = Bronze

3 races = Silver

Grand Final = Gold

Also, thanks to our partners at Arc’teryx we’ll be picking one person at each event to win an amazing bundle of prizes.

Races 1-3: Arc’teryx SWAG bundle for a random winner in each race – Arc’teryx T-shirt, Arc’teryx Nalgene Water Bottle, Arc’teryx Notebook
Final- An Arc’teryx Champion’s Trail Bundle, including an Arc’teryx Cap, Arc’teryx T-shirt, Incendo Hoody Men’s OR Cita Hoody Women’s, and a pair of Norvan LD2s – their latest long distance trail shoe. Again, picked at random.

How do I get to the final?
Okay, so here is where our points system comes into play (see the next question for more on this).

The top 100 competitors at the end of the three races (ranked by points) will get an invitation to compete (and they will have no excuses not to because the final is free).

We will also pick 10 individuals at random from everyone that has completed two or more events to toe the start line alongside our elites (we love loyalty).

How does the final work?
The top 100 competitors at the end of the three races (ranked by points) will get an invitation to compete (and they will have no excuses not to because the final is free).

We will also pick 10 individuals at random from everyone that has completed two or more events to toe the start line alongside our elites (we love loyalty).

The Final is on Saturday the 13th June with the distance to be announced the day before the race at 1200 BST.

As this is the final (and there is dosh up for grabs) we are going to get strict on you, so here it is.

Read this carefully because it could well cost you your winnings!

All activities must be submitted via Strava, on a public account, and with the activity type set to “race” (which displays the overall elapsed time from start to finish, including any pauses). To clarify, the activity can be recorded on any device, but must be uploaded to and submitted via Strava (the image submitted as evidence must show the Strava username, so if needs be we can access that activity for inspection).

This is to ensure that

1) There is no watch stopping;
2) Race Directors can inspect the elevation profile of your chosen route.

If you must complete the activity on a treadmill we will need evidence of you actually running on the treadmill (not just a picture of the screen at the end). We will be hosting a Zoom call at 13:00 BST on each race day which anyone participating at this time can dial into. Alternatively, you can film yourself doing the run and send us a time lapse video. If you are planning on doing this, you must contact us 24 hours in advance of the race in question at contact@ultra-x.co with the subject “Treadmill Virtual Race”.

There will be no exceptions to the above rules!

You mentioned points... how does the system work?
We’ve designed the points system to reward everyone, regardless of age or gender.

If you are VERY fast you may or may not have to do every qualifier to reach the final. However, if you are slower, you will probably have to complete all three qualifiers to make the big day. And even then, it’s not guaranteed (sad face emoji).

Points will be awarded based upon the percentile in which you finish in your category, up to a maximum of 10,000 for each qualifying race.

For example:

If you finish as the first female in the 18-25 category and there are 100 competitors in the female 18-25 category for that qualifying race, you would receive 10,000 points. If you finish 50th in the same scenario, you would receive 5,000 points. If you finish last in the same scenario, you would receive 100 points.

If you finish as the first female in the 18-25 category and there are 200 competitors in the female 18-25 category for that qualifying race, you would still receive 10,000 points. However, if you finish 50th in this scenario, you would receive 7,500 points. If you finish 100th in this scenario, you would receive 5,000 points. If you finish last in this scenario, you would receive 50 points.

Points will accumulate after each event and we will publish results by category and nationality as well as overall.

How should I plan my route?
In order to have your result normalised and compared to all other results, you must ensure that your negative net elevation loss is no more than 10%.

You can ensure that your result will count by mapping your course on Garmin Connect, Strava, Suunto Movescount or similar. Alternatively, the easiest way is just to make your start and finish within 100 feet of the same location and run at least the distance of the day’s race!

We suggest choosing one of three types of routes: out-and-back, lollipop or loop.

Out and back: Run slightly more than half of the total distance you are running, then follow the same route back to the start.
For example, if running the 8km race you should run ‘out’ approximately 4.2km out and return ‘back’ on the same route, stopping at the same location you started.

Lollipop: You run out for a distance, then make a large loop, and return on the same route you ran while outbound. To ensure that you reach the full race distance and finish where you started, you may need to make an adjustment with an out-and-back at the end of your course.

Loop: It’s just like it sounds! Run a loop on different roads ending where you started. Just like a lollipop course, you will need to be prepared to make an adjustment with an out-and-back at the end of your course to reach the full distance.

How can I follow the races?

We encourage you to share your journeys with us on social media by tagging @ultraxco on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We will be re-sharing the best stories! We want to see sun, beaches, mountains, snow caps, and maybe even desert?!

There will be a live and interactive broadcast of each race streamed on the Ultra X social channels.

How do I submit my time?
The link for uploading your completion time will be sent to you via email one day prior to the event (e.g. for the first race Friday 1st of May). All you will need to do is put your time in and submit a screenshot/ image that provides evidence (e.g. from Strava, Garmin Connect, Suunto Movescount etc). Please ensure that evidence displays total time taken from start to finish, including any pauses (not just moving time!!). If you are submitting via Strava the easiest way to do this is to make sure you tag the activity as a “race”.

Please note that if you are participating on a treadmill and wish to be considered for the final, we will need evidence of you actually running on the treadmill (not just a picture of the screen at the end). We will be hosting a Zoom call at 13:00 BST on each race day which anyone participating at this time can dial into. Alternatively, you can film yourself doing the run and send us a time lapse video. If you are planning on doing this, you must contact us 24 hours in advance of the race in question at contact@ultra-x.co with the subject “Treadmill Virtual Race”. If you aren’t too fussed on making the final then no worries!

Participants may compete at any time that suits them provided it is on the same date as the race in their respective time zone.

Time submissions must be made by 1200 BST the day following the result. Late submissions will not be considered in the results.

Any activity uploaded that is less than the required distance may subject the participant to disqualification or adjustment of time (this is at the discretion of the Race Director).

There are four races... are there four medals?!
No! There is only one medal. But it is awesome.

Not only that, the lanyard of the medal will be different depending on the number of events you participate in!

1 race = White

2 races = Bronze

3 races = Silver

Everyone who makes it to the final and completes the distance will get a gold ribbon.

Is there a cut-off?
No! Take as long as you need. This should be fun.
How does the charity element work?
These difficult times give us all as individuals, groups, and organisations the chance to show we care and to make a difference.

Therefore, 50% of all registration fees will be donated directly to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 appeal and we hope that this series will also raise awareness of this important cause.

NHS staff and volunteers are doing amazing work right now in caring for COVID-19 patients across the UK, the home of the Ultra X team. Together, we want to show our respect and gratitude as they work tirelessly in the face of the virus. It’s our turn to make sure we look after them, to ensure they can keep doing their vital work.

This national campaign, endorsed by NHS England, acknowledges and supports all NHS staff and volunteers who are looking after those affected by Coronavirus.

Funds generated will be granted to member NHS Charities supporting the health and emotional wellbeing of those at the frontline of the NHS, so they can deliver the best care possible to coronavirus patients.

The grants will cover above and beyond what the NHS alone can provide, such as wellbeing packs, accommodation, travel, parking and volunteer expenses. Furthermore, it supports the longer term rehabilitation of NHS staff, volunteers, patients and carers after the pandemic is over. Supporting NHS patients to leave hospital quickly and safely and to remain out of hospital.

For more information about the campaign, please visit the website.

When will I receive my merchandise?
Great decision! You’ve chosen to grab some limited edition Virtual Race Series stash (and of course a medal).

We will be sending this out at the end of the series (just like any other race). This will be the same for t-shirts, medals, and caps.

How do I contact the Ultra X team?

That’s easy! We keep an eye on our inboxes at all times and guarantee to respond to queries within 24 hours. Please get in touch or email contact@ultra-x.co.

We love hearing from you, but please do make sure you’ve read this page thoroughly before getting in touch!

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