ON QUALIFIER STATUS
The Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc (UTMB) requires qualifying races to be evaluated and certified by The International Trail Running Association (ITRA). A lot of opinions have been written and shared about this process in American Ultra Running Circles. HPRS has paid an inexpensive yearly membership of ~$125 USD to become a member of the ITRA. As a member organization, we are allowed to have as many races as we’d like evaluated for qualification status towards UTMB and other related European Races. The following HPRS races have been evaluated and certified by the ITRA and welcomed as UTMB qualifiers, worth the following points:
• Silverheels 100-Mile = 5 Points
• Last Call 50-Mile = 3 Points
• Sheep Mountain 50-Mile = 3 Points
• Sheep Mountain 50k = 2 Points
• Sangre de Cristo 100-Mile = 6 Points
• Sangre de Cristo 100k = 4 Points
• Sangre de Cristo 50-Mile = 3 Points
• Sangre de Cristo 50k = 2 Points
• Indian Creek Fifties 50-Mile = 3 Points
• Indian Creek Fifties 50-Mile = 2 Points
Human Potential is committed to providing the community of Trail and Ultra Running the above opportunities to gain qualifying points towards their UTMB, or other associated European race, dreams. We are well aware of the opinions shared by other major North American 100-mile Endurance Runs, and while we may agree with some of their sentiments, we also believe that the needs and desires of our community of trail and ultra runners trumps any and all political points of view. Simply put… American’s need ways to qualify for these races and we are proud to provide them with the opportunity.
Western States 100
The Western States 100 chooses qualifiers based on distance, number of finishers, and sometimes time. In order for a race to be considered a Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run qualifier, it must be 100k or more in length, and also see 100 finishers or more in the prior year. We feel that their qualifier selection process is both transparent and fair. Our Silverheels 100 is a long ways away from being considered a Western States qualifier given the length of time it will take us to acquire the necessary number of starters in order for us to see 100+ finishers considering our near 50% finishers rate.
Does finishing the Silverheels 100, or the Sangre de Cristo 100-Mile, display that you “qualify” to run Western States? We certainly think so. We know so. We don’t make the rules on this, the WSER Board does. We certainly welcome you to write them requesting they reconsider some of the standards they use when accepting qualifying races. You can write them by contacting them via their online contact form http://www.wser.org/contact-us/
Hardrock is a “post graduate” 100-mile run that has a list of standards it looks for in potential (and existent) qualifying races. Those standards are:
• High Elevation
• Long, steep climbs
• Extended distance and time between aid stations
• Severe weather, including heat, cold, rain, hail, and lightning
• Water and snow crossings
• Exposure to potential for falls
Races wishing to be a qualifying race for the Hardrock 100 are required to submit an application that also details why they should be considered. Human Potential has submitted The Silverheels 100 for qualifier consideration in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Silverheels 100 meets and/or exceeds all of the standards set forth by Hardrock. A number of runners who have finished Silverheels are also Hardrock Veterans, many of whom have also written letters of support to the Hardrock Board for Silverheels becoming a qualifying race.
We have been denied qualifier status each and every year we have applied. Each time, we have requested feedback from the Hardrock Board asking what we can do better, what we can change in order to become a qualifier, why their response is “no,” etc.. and each time we have been met with silence. It is an unfortunate reality in our sport that personal politics has begun to play a role in the power certain races have over the success of others. If you would like to support the Silveheels 100 becoming a Hardrock Qualifier, we ask that you please write both the Race Director Dale Garland at firstname.lastname@example.org and Board Member Ken Gordon at email@example.com
We are committed to continuing the hard work required to provide our runners with an exceptional race experience regardless of if we are a WSER or Hardrock 100 qualifier. While we share your disappointment in knowing that Silverheels is not yet a qualifier for either event, we are dedicated to providing our trail and ultra community with an amazing opportunity to explore Colorado’s High Country. The best way you can help Silverheels becoming a qualifier for these events is to continue to join and support us, get your friends to join us, and write to both groups above.