What is the Ultra X World Championships Virtual Qualifier?
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.
Next June marks the inaugural Ultra X World Championships. This is the pinnacle of multi-stage ultramarathon racing, with the world’s greatest ultra runners racing over 5 days and 250km to become the undisputed multi-day ultra King or Queen.
2020 should have been jam-packed with qualifying Ultra X events. However, due to you know what, we have had to cancel a number of these.
The good news is that we are not going to let these places go to waste!
The World Champs Virtual Qualifier offers the opportunity for anyone to qualify by completing 50km any day and anywhere in a 50-day time period between Friday 11th December and Saturday 30th January.
There are two options for competitors:
1) To race a set course, designed by the Ultra X team, along the Serpent Trail just outside of London (see below for further information).
2) To compete virtually from ANYWHERE in the world.
On the final day of the qualifying period (Saturday 30th January 2021), Ultra X will be on the Serpent Trail course offering support at no cost to anyone wishing to participate on that day. What better opportunity to cross under those famous Blue Arches?! Even if you aren’t going for a World Champs spot it will be one hell of a day and will not cost you a penny!
The top 10% of each category doing either Option 1 OR Option 2 will receive an invitation to the Ultra X World Championships in Slovenia. What is more, four lucky finishers (two male and two female) will also be chosen at random for a place!
Registrations are open NOW!
How do I take part?
To take part you must first register online.
There are two options:
1) Race the UK segment
2) Race virtually
– If you select this option you will have 50 days to race 50km (with at least 1,200m elevation gain) from wherever you are in the world and submit your time.
NOTE: If you register for the UK segment and are subsequently unable to do it you can easily transfer to the virtual qualifier via the Active Events portal.
Entry is free, but you will have the option to purchase a medal or to make a donation to our sustainability partner Mossy Earth who will plant a tree in your name.
Anyone can enter. There are no other requirements to enter.
Once you have registered, you will be added to the race start list and assigned a bib number. 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 Friday from when registration goes live. Please be patient if you do not get yours straight away upon registration. Our designer does not like to rush things…
On the day
You can select any day or time from 11th December 2020 to 30th January 2021 (50 days) to attempt the qualifier and you can submit as many attempts as you like.
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, anywhere in the world!
Once you have entered, all you have to do is run or walk the distance and send us evidence that you have done it. That is all!
The link for uploading your completion time will be sent to you via email upon registration. You will simply need to input your time in and submit a screenshot/image that provides evidence (e.g. from Strava, Garmin Connect, Suunto Movescount etc) of your time and elevation.
The evidence you submit must show proof that the time recorded is ‘elapsed time’ (total time accounting for pauses) and not ‘moving time’ (not accounting for pauses). The simplest way to do this is to upload the activity to Strava and tag the activity as a ‘race’. For attempts at the UK Segment we will also require an image showing the route taken or a link to the activity itself.
Please note that we are not allowing treadmill submissions for this event. This is a trail race qualifier, so we want you to prove yourself on the trails!
Time submissions must be made within 24 hours of the final race date (30th January 2021). Late submissions will not be considered in the results.
On the final Saturday of the event (30th January 2021), Ultra X will be providing support (a start/finish line and an aid station at approximately 25km) for anyone taking on the UK segment that day.
What/where is the UK segment?
The UK segment is 50km beginning and ending at the wooden gate/National Trust information board in Swan Barn Farm (exact start/finish location: qualifier.kinder.broken) in Haslemere. You can view a map of the route above.
Haslemere is the southernmost town in Surrey, located between London and Portsmouth, and has easy access to and from it via roads and railway.
The start is 10 mins walk from Haslemere train station and there is also parking readily available.
The full GPX file of the route is available here.
Do I need to run the UK segment?
No! If getting to Haslemere does not float your boat, you can select “I will create my own course” on registration and simply run your own 50km route and submit your time.
Please note that this route MUST have at least 1,200 metres of elevation gain to be considered as a qualifying attempt. Your submission must show proof of this.
How should I plan my route?
If you choose not to do the UK segment you must ensure that your route is at least 50km (aim for it exactly!) and you must ensure that your elevation gain is at least 1,200m.
You can ensure that your result will count by mapping your course on Garmin Connect, Strava, Suunto Movescount, Komoot, or similar route mapping platform.
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, you should run ‘out’ approximately 25km 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 does the elevation work?
For those doing the virtual 50km and NOT the UK segment you are required to gain at least 1,200 metres or 3,937 feet over the course of your run. This must be displayed in submissions.
For those doing the UK segment we understand that differing GPX devices to give different readings and so provided that you follow the correct route the elevation gain/loss will not be considered.
What happens on 30th January 2021?
On 30th January 2021, we will be on the UK segment course offering support in the form of a start/finish line and an aid station at approximately 25km. We will be there between 08:00 and 18:00, giving runners an opportunity to race in their own time.
Do note the course will not be marked and so make sure you have the GPX downloaded on your watch/phone (or are handy with maps 😉). The route follows the Serpent Trail for the first 40km (which is marked at occasional intervals), but it’s best not to rely on these.
This is a time-trial so you can start whenever you want. However, please note you are in charge of recording your own time and providing evidence for the results (e.g. Garmin Connect, Strava etc).
Further, the evidence you submit must show proof that the time recorded is ‘elapsed time’ (total time accounting for pauses) and not ‘moving time’ (not accounting for pauses). The simplest way to do this is to upload the activity to Strava and tag the activity as a ‘race’.
Is this event Covid-secure?
Yes, absolutely. Your safety is always our highest priority. We have created this event to be 100% flexible so that competitors have 50 days to complete it and there is minimal risk of transmission.
The capacity to which the Ultra X team are present on 30th January 2021 will depend upon the UK government guidelines at the time and all registered entrants will be contacted before to clarify the processes in place. Please see our Covid-19 Transmission Mitigation Policy which outlines some of the relevant precautions we may be required to take.
When does registration close?
Registration will be open until 29th January! Places cannot run out for this one!
What can I win?
The top 10% of finishers in each category will be offered a chance to compete in the Ultra X World Championships to be held in June 2021.
One male and one female finisher of the UK segment and one male and one female finisher of the virtual 50km will also be picked at random for a place.
How can I follow?
From 11th December 2020, a leaderboard will be published on the Ultra X website which will show the fastest times so far by category. This will be split between those that have done the physical UK segment and those that have raced 50km virtually.
Categories are as follows:
(Men and Women)
How can I submit my time?
You will be sent a link on registration where you can upload your time.
Please note that the evidence you submit must show proof that the time recorded is ‘elapsed time’ (total time accounting for pauses) and not ‘moving time’ (not accounting for pauses). The simplest way to do this is to upload the activity to Strava and tag the activity as a ‘race’.
Is there a cut-off?
No. However, your time must be submitted within 24 hours of the event close (30th January 2021).
When will I receive my medal and merchandise?
Just like a real race you will receive the goodies after the event has finished. These will be posted to your home address after the event.
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 email@example.com.
We love hearing from you, but please do make sure you’ve read this page thoroughly before getting in touch!