This announcement marks a significant development for the UK and Ireland ultrarunning scene and has been several years in the making.
With inauguration to the Ultra-Trail® World Tour next year, UTS will be part of a global series of emblematic races around the world, sitting alongside the most prestigious ultras that are sure to be at the top of any serious ultrarunner’s bucket-list, including Western States and UTMB.
Next June, the world’s elite ultrarunners from far and wide will descend upon Snowdonia to battle it out at UTS 100 for lucrative UTWT series points, in what promises to be one of the most competitive fields ever seen on these shores at an ultra-race. At the end of the season, top-ten ranked male/female runners will enjoy their share of a huge €64,000 prize pool, with each overall winner claiming a cool €10,000.
While living in Chamonix during the summer of 2017 and training for CCC, UTS Race Director Michael Jones had the vision to launch an ‘Alpine-style’ ultra, similar in nature to UTMB, within the UK. An event that would in due course bring the UTWT to the UK and in doing so, put Snowdonia firmly on the global trail running map. In 2018, his vision was realised with the inaugural UTS, which has gone from strength to strength since then.
Mike explains: “Since launch in 2018 I have worked relentlessly to develop UTS and shape it into an event worthy of hosting the Ultra-Trail® World Tour. It has been very rewarding to see that the vision I had has not been lost amongst the event’s previous competitors, many of whom no doubt entered having identified UTS as a new benchmark mountain ultra-race for the UK”
As a UTWT 500 Point event, finishers of UTS 100 will collect 5 highly lucrative ‘Running Stones’, which can be used towards guaranteed entry to UTMB events in 2022 onwards, thus bypassing the usual lottery to enter. Read more about this HERE.
And for those lucky to already be racing at UTMB next August, in terms of date and nature of challenge, UTS offers the perfect dress-rehearsal event to help ensure you are suitably well prepared upon arrival in Chamonix. Also, thanks to being part of the tour, UTS will soon join the UTWT Virtual Club (more info HERE), so keep an eye out for a new, international UTS-themed virtual event this winter.
“The routes you have found are challenging and the right mix of rough Welsh terrain and nice rocky well-made paths with lots of really good views, taking me to places on routes that I have never thought to go… The organisation is superb, very friendly with great checkpoints serving a wide selection of food. I look forward to returning in 2021!” - Nicky Spinks, 2018 UTS 50 Champion
"I had never been to Wales before; I had never done a race with so much vertical gain... I didn't know what to expect so I had just one goal: to finish. We had amazing views, a challenging route, long climbs and technical descents. I had never felt as broken as I did on the last descent, but at that moment I knew that I'd definitely be coming back for more!" - Marcis Gubats, 2018 UTS 100 Champion
Already, UTS is notorious as an event with some of, if not the most challenging race routes in Europe, justly earning it the strapline ‘Beautiful beyond belief. Savage beyond reason’. Snowdonia National Park offers in abundance, both the terrain and trails to create a highly aspirational, technical and challenging ultra-event; a very worthy host for the Ultra-Trail® World Tour circuit.
With routes that explore the area’s most scenic valleys, rugged peaks and epic landscapes, UTS’ race routes are also truly the most beautiful in the UK. Following what has been a very difficult year for event organisers globally, we look forward to welcoming trail runners from around the world to Snowdonia to experience what makes UTS so special, here in Wales next June.
Next year’s UTS will take place on the weekend of 4-6th June 2021, with a reserve date of 10-12th September, should Covid-19 affect event planning. Now in its fourth year, there are three race distances on offer: 50/100/165km, featuring 3300/6700/10,000m+ elevation gain, respectively.
2021 UTS entries are now live and with over 500 of the 800 available entries already taken, these races will sell out very soon!
More event info & entry: www.ultratrailsnowdonia.com
View the full 2021 Ultra-Trail® World Tour calendar here: (link TBC)