|Highest governing body||World Athletics|
An ultramarathon, also called ultra distance or ultra running, is any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (26 mi 385 yd). Various distances are raced competitively, from the shortest common ultramarathon of 50 kilometres (31 mi) to over 200 miles (320 km). 50k and 100k are both World Athletics record distances, but some 100 miles (160 km) races are among the oldest and most prestigious events, especially in North America.
Around 100 miles (160 km) is typically the longest course distance raced in under 24 hours, but there are also longer multi-day races of 200 miles (320 km) or more, sometimes raced in stages with breaks for sleep. While some ultras are road races, most take place on trails, leading to a large overlap with the sports of trail running and mountain running.
There are two main types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specified distance or route, and those that last for a predetermined period (with the winner covering the most distance in that time). The most common distances are 50 kilometres (31.07 mi), 100 kilometres (62.14 mi), 50 miles (80.47 km), and 100 miles (160.93 km), although many races have other distances. The 100-kilometer race is recognized as an official world record event by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of track and field.
Other ultramarathon races include double marathons, 24-hour races, and multiday races of 1,000 miles (1,600 km) or longer. The format of these events and the courses vary, ranging from single loops (some as short as a 400-metre (1,300 ft) track), to point-to-point road or trail races, to cross-country rogaines. Many ultramarathons, especially trail events, have significant obstacles, such as inclement weather, elevation change, or rugged terrain. Many of these races are run on dirt roads or mountain paths, though some are run on paved roads as well. Usually, there are aid stations, perhaps every 20 to 35 kilometres (12 to 22 mi), where runners can replenish food and drink supplies or take a short break.
Timed events range from 6, 12, and 24 hours to 3, 6, and 10 days (known as multi-day events). Timed events are generally run on a track or a short road course, often one mile (1.6 km) or less.
There are some self-supported ultramarathon stage races in which each competitor has to carry all their supplies including food to survive the length of the race, typically a week long. An example of this is the Grand to Grand Ultra in the USA.
The International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) organises the World Championships for various ultramarathon distances, including 50 kilometres (31 mi), 100 kilometres (62 mi), 24 hours, and ultra trail running, which are also recognized by the IAAF. Many countries around the world have their ultrarunning organizations, often the national athletics federation of the country, or are sanctioned by such national athletics organizations. World best performances for distances, times, and ages are tracked by the IAU.
Racewalking events are usually 50 km, although 100 km and 100-mile (160 km) "Centurion" races are also organized. Furthermore, the non-competitive International Marching League event Nijmegen Four Days March has a regulation distance of 4 × 50 km over four days for those aged 19 to 49.
In 2021, concerns were raised about planning and medical care available for ultramarathons in China, after dozens of racers died from hypothermia and at least one from a heart attack while competing in an ultramarathon in the Yellow River Stone Forest. The government later announced a ban on "extreme" competitions.
IAU World Record performances
Until 2014, the IAU maintained lists of the world best performances on different surfaces (road, track, and indoor). Starting in 2015, the distinction between the surfaces was removed and the records were combined into a single category. Some governing bodies continue to keep separate ultramarathon track and road records for their jurisdictions.
Starting in January 2022, the IAU began to recognize and ratify performances as IAU World Records. World Athletics also began to ratify the 50k distance as a World Record for both mixed and women, respectively, along with 100k.
Record performances that have not yet been ratified are as follows.
At the Jackpot 100 US Championship in February 2022, Camille Herron set 12-hour and 100-mile marks of 151.111 km and 12:41:11, respectively. However, there were problems with the course arrangement and distance.
In October 2022, CJ Albertson ran 50 km in 2:38:43.
In January 2023, Dominika Stelmach ran 152.633 km in 12 hours.
In February 2023, Joasia Zakrzewski ran 411.458 km in 48 hours at the Taipei Ultramarathon. This was surpassed the next month by Camille Herron who ran 435.336 km at the Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Festival in Bruce, Australia.
The IAU World Records as of March 2023 are as follows.
|50 km||2:40:13||Stephen Mokoka (RSA)||6 March 2022||Gqeberha, South Africa|
|50 miles||4:50:08||Jim Walmsley (USA)||4 May 2019||Sacramento, USA|
|100 km||6:05:41||Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU)||23 April 2022||Bedford, UK|
|100 miles||10:51:39||Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU)||7 January 2022||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|1000 km||5d 16:17:00||Yiannis Kouros (GRE)||26 November–2 December 1984||Colac, Australia|
|1000 miles||10d 10:30:36||Yiannis Kouros (GRE)||20–30 May 1988||New York City, USA|
|6 hours||98.496 km||Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU)||23 April 2022||Bedford, UK|
|12 hours||177.410 km||Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU)||7 January 2022||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|24 hours||319.614 km||Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU)||17 September 2022||Verona, Italy|
|48 hours||473.495 km||Yiannis Kouros (GRE)||3–5 May 1996||Surgères, France|
|6 days||1036.800 km||Yiannis Kouros (AUS)[a]||20–26 November 2005||Colac, Australia|
- ^ Kouros had Australian citizenship for part of his running career. Nationalities here are as given in the IAU records table.
|50 km||2:59:54||Desiree Linden (USA)||13 April 2021||Dorena, Oregon, United States|
|50 miles||5:40:18||Ann Trason (USA)||23 February 1991||Houston, USA|
|100 km||6:33:11||Tomoe Abe (JPN)||25 June 2000||Yubetsu-Saroma-Tokoro, Japan|
|100 miles||12:42:40||Camille Herron (USA)||11 November 2017||Vienna, IL, USA|
|1000 km||7d 16:08:37||Paula Mairer (AUT)||29 September-6 October 2002||New York City, USA|
|1000 miles||12d 14:38:40||Sandra Barwick (NZL)||16–28 October 1991||New York City, USA|
|6 hours||85.492 km||Nele Alder-Baerens (GER)||11 March 2017||Münster, Germany|
|12 hours||149.130 km||Camille Herron (USA)||9–10 December 2017||Phoenix, Arizona, USA|
|24 hours||270.116 km||Camille Herron (USA)||26–27 October 2019||Albi, France|
|48 hours||403.320 km||Patrycja Bereznowska (POL)||13–15 May 2022||Pabianice, Poland|
|6 days||883.631 km||Sandra Barwick (NZL)||18–24 November 1990||Campbelltown, Australia|
IAU World Championships
There are four IAU World Championships: the IAU 100 km World Championships, IAU 50 km World Championships, IAU 24 Hour World Championship, and the IAU Trail World Championships.
The following is a selected list of world or national-record-holding, or world-championship-winning, ultramarathon runners.
- Al Howie, the record holder for the trans-Canada, 7295.5 kilometres in 72 days, 10 hours and 23 minutes
- Aleksandr Sorokin, IAU World Record holder for 12h, 100 miles, and 24h; Winner of the IAU 24 Hour World Championship and Spartathlon
- Ann Trason, fourteen-time winner Western States 100; 2-time winner of the Comrades Marathon; American 100k record holder (7:00:48)
- Anna Frost, 2-time winner Hardrock 100, 2-time The North Face Endurance Challenge, Transvulcania, Maxi-Race du Lac d'Annecy
- Arthur F. H. Newton, 5 times Comrades Marathon winner
- Bongmusa Mthembu, 3-time winner of the Comrades Marathon and the Two Oceans Marathon, the African record holder for 100 km
- Bruce Fordyce, nine time Comrades Marathon winner
- Camille Herron, Only ultrarunner to win the 50 km, 100 km, and 24 Hour world championships; Comrades Marathon and JFK 50 Mile Champion; holds the IAU World Records for 50 miles (age 40–44), 100 miles, 12h and 24h
- Caroline Chaverot, winner of UTMB, Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix, 2016 Trail World Championships, 2016 Skyrunning World Championships Ultra, 2-time Lavaredo Ultra Trail, Transgrancanaria, Maxi-Race du Lac d'Annecy, Hardrock 100, Eiger Ultra Trail, Madeira Island Ultra Trail and course record holder, and Festival des Templiers
- Courtney Dauwalter, winner of Western States 100 and UTMB, former American 24-hour record holder
- Dan Lawson holds the course record for the 145-mile Grand Union Canal Race and in 2020 set the fastest known time for the 874-mile Land's End to John o' Groats.
- Don Ritchie, holder of the world best for 100 miles for 25 years, holder of the world best for 100 km for nearly 40 years
- Edit Bérces, 24-hour treadmill world record holder; holds several Hungarian records
- Elena Nurgalieva and her sister Olesya Nurgalieva have won a total of 10 Comrades Marathon titles between them
- Ellie Greenwood, 2-time IAU 100k Championship winner, Comrades Marathon winner, winner of Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix and Festival des Templiers, holds course records at the Western States Endurance Run, JFK 50 Mile, and the Canadian Death Race
- François D'Haene, 3-time winner of UTMB and course record holder, 3-time winner of Grand Raid, 2-time winner of Madeira Island Ultra Trail and course record, Maxi-Race du Lac d'Annecy, runner-up at Western States 100
- Frith van der Merwe, set 50k World Best en route to winning the Two Oceans Marathon, continues to hold the downhill course record at Comrades Marathon
- Gerda Steyn, 2-time winner of the Two Oceans Marathon; set a new uphill course record winning the 2019 Comrades Marathon
- Ida Nilsson, 3-time winner Transvulcania and course record, 2-time The North Face Endurance Challenge, Swiss Alpine Marathon, and Ultravasan
- Jim Walmsley, 2-time winner and course record Western States 100, JFK 50 Mile and course record, Ultravasan, Tarawera Ultramarathon and 100k course record, Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim FKT
- Jo Zakrzewski, 2023 women's 48-hour world record distance of 411.458km (pending ratification) 
- Jonas Buud, 2015 IAU 100 km World Championships winner and 4-time silver medallist, 8-time winner of the Swiss Alpine Marathon, Ultravasan course record, 2nd at Comrades Marathon
- Kilian Jornet, winner of the UTMB, Western States 100 and Hardrock 100
- Lizzy Hawker, 5-time winner of Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, 2006 IAU 100 km World Championships winner, Spartathlon winner, former 24h world best holder
- Mami Kudo, former women's 24h track world record holder (255.303 kilometres (158.638 mi), Soochow TPE, 2011), 2013 female winner of IAU 24 Hour World Championship
- Nikki Kimball, 3-time winner of the Western States Endurance Run, 2007 UTMB winner, 2014 Marathon des Sables winner
- Ollie Garrod, World Record Holder for 40 miles (Barry 40, 2023).
- Patrycja Bereznowska, 2017 IAU 24 Hour World Championship winner and former 24h world best holder; won and set course records at Spartathlon and Badwater Ultramarathon; set a 48h world best of 401k (249.17 miles)
- Pau Capell, winner of 2019 UTMB, 3-time Transgrancanaria
- Pete Kostelnick, best known for the male coast-to-coast FKT of the United States in 42 days, 6 hours, and 30 minutes, 2-time Badwater Ultramarathon
- Ragna Debats, gold at the 2018 and bronze at the 2016 Trail World Championships, winner of Marathon des Sables, Transvulcania, Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix, and 2018 Skyrunning World Championship Ultra
- Rory Bosio, 2-time winner of UTMB and course record holder, Lavaredo
- Ruth Croft, winner of Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix, 2-time winner and course record Orsières-Champex-Chamonix, Festival des Templiers and course record, silver at the 2019 Trail World Championships
- Ryōichi Sekiya, four time IAU 24 Hour World Championship World Championship winner, two-time winner of Spartathlon
- Sandra Villines, best known for the female coast-to-coast FKT of the United States in 54 days, 16 hours, and 24 minutes, Badwater Ultramarathon
- Scott Jurek, 7-time winner of Western States 100, Hardrock 100, 2-time Badwater Ultramarathon, 3-time Spartathlon, former American record for 24Hr
- Shingo Inoue, 2010 winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship (273.708 kilometres (170.074 mi))
- Stu Mittleman, US record holder for a six-day race (578 miles)
- Sumie Inagaki, current women's 48h Track world record holder(397.103 kilometres (246.748 mi), Surgeres FRA, May 2010), two time female winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship, two time female winner of Spartathlon
- Takahiro Sunada, former men's 100 km Road world record holder (6:13:33, Lake Saroma Ultramarathon, 1998)
- Ted Corbitt, "father of American ultrarunning"; 1952 US Olympic team member; former American world record holder at various distances
- Tomoe Abe, current women's 100 km Road world record holder (6:33:11, Lake Saroma Ultramarathon, 2000)
- Wally Hayward, multiple winner of Comrades Marathon, London to Brighton, and many other ultramarathons; set early world records
- Xavier Thévenard, only trail athlete to have won all four Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc races including 3-time winner of UTMB
- Yiannis Kouros, often considered the best ultrarunner in history, at least in the longer track and road races, holder of numerous world bests from 24 hours to 1,000 miles, course record holder of the Spartathlon since its inception in 1983
Ultramarathons by regions
Ultra Marathons are run around the world with more than 600,000 people completing them every year.
Several ultra-distance events are held in Africa.
- Egypt has joined the Ultramarathon races with more adding up each year.
- South Africa hosts a number of notable ultra marathon events.
- Off-road: The Salomon Sky Run is a grueling 100 kilometres (62 mi) self-supported, unmarked trail race held in a particularly scenic part of the country.
- On a paved surface: the world's oldest and largest ultramarathon, the 87 kilometres (54 mi) Comrades Marathon. Approximately 12,000 runners complete the Comrades each year, out of approximately 17,000 who start, with 23,961 competing in 2000.
- The 56-kilometre (35 mi) Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town in the southern autumn attracts approximately 11,000 runners.
- The Namib Race is a six-stage race that takes place along the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. It is part of the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series.
- The Washie 100 road race is the oldest one hundred miler road race in Africa.
- Trail: The Peninsula Ultra Fun Run (PUFfeR) 80 kilometres (50 mi) supported, unmarked trail run crossing the Table Mountain range in Cape Town South Africa.
- The Grand Raid de la Réunion is held annually on Réunion in October, crossing the island over 163 kilometres (101 mi) with an altitude gain of 9,643 metres (31,637 ft). This race attracts 2,350 competitors, with 1,000 runners from overseas.
- The Marathon des Sables is a 6-day stage race which covers 250 kilometres (160 mi) through the Sahara desert in Morocco.
- The Spanish Canary Islands off the African coast are the location of some prestigious ultramarathons, including the 46-mile Transvulcania.
Ultrarunning has become popular in Asia, and countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have hosted IAU World Championships.
- A night race called the Sundown Marathon has been held in Singapore annually since 2008, over a double marathon distance (84 km) up to 2010 and 100 km since then.
- Clark Freeport Zone in the Philippines is the venue for two of the Philippines' premier ultramarathon events. The Clark Miyamit Ultra, known as CM50 a 60K and 50Mile Trail Ultramarathon that takes runners to traverse from Clark to the Aeta Villages, lahar bed, mountain ranges near Mt. Pinatubo and the iconic Miyamit Falls. Cardimax – Clark Ultramarathon is a road ultramarathon of 50K and 100K distances which brings and gathers ultramarathoners from aspiring ones to the most competitive elites.
- In Israel, two major ultramarathon races are Mount to Valley relay race; over 215 km, from the hills of the Upper Galilee to the Jezreel Valley, and the Valley Circle race in the Jezreel valley; contains several distances, including 160 km and 200 km.
- In the Cebu, Philippines, an All-Women Ultra Marathon race covering a distance of 50 kilometers is held annually on the weekend of International Women's Day since 2012.[non-primary source needed]
- India's first ultra-marathon, the Bangalore Ultra was held in 2007. Since 2010, Indian Himalayas have hosted La Ultra – The High, a 333 km course crossing Khardung La, touted to be the world's highest motorable mountain pass.
- Indonesia's first ultramarathon race, Mount Rinjani Ultra (52K), was held in August 2013 and Indonesia's first 100K & 160K ultramarathon race, Bromo Tengger Semeru 100 Ultra, was held in November 2013. Tambora Challenge (320 km) held from 2015
- Japan had its first 100 km event in 1987 as Lake Saroma Ultramarathon and hosted the IAU 100 km World Championship in 1994 (Lake Saroma), 1998 (River Shimanto) and 2005 (Lake Saroma). Japan hosts more than 50 ultramarathon events throughout the year, including the Trans Japan Alps Race (TJAR) (415 kilometres (258 mi) with more than 26,000 metres (16 mi) cumulative altitude gain crossing Japan Alps, crossing Japan's mainland from Japan Sea to Pacific Ocean in 7 days), Hasetsune cup (71.5 kilometres (44.4 mi) in steep foggy mountains) and the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji (161 kilometres (100 mi) loop around World Heritage Mount Fuji with a cumulative altitude gain of about 9,000 metres (5.6 mi)).
- Malaysia's first ultra trail marathon was founded in November 2011 and is known as the TMBT (The Most Beautiful Thing) in Sabah at Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia's highest mountain. The event has a 55% dropout rate and is a 3-point qualifying race for UTMB and a 2-point qualifying race for the 55-kilometer category of the event. This was followed by the Beaufort Ultra Marathon in Sabah organized in 2012 and a 60-kilometer endurance run under 35-39-degree Celsius heat with a 60% finish rate amongst runners. First 100 miles ultra-marathon road race, Putrajaya 100 Miles, was held on 22–23 November 2014.
- Nepal hosts several ultramarathon races, including the Annapurna 100, the Kanchenjunga Ultra Marathon Trail Running Race and the Everest Ultra. Running a total of 1,504 km in a bit more than 24 days, Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel set a new fastest known time during March 2018 for the Great Himalaya Trail.
- Northern Mongolia hosts an annual 100 km summer race, Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset.
- Soochow International 24H Ultra-Marathon is held since 1999 in Taipei, and is an official IAU-registered event.
- South Korea's first ultramarathon was held in 2000.
- The Gobi March in northwest China was China's first ultramarathon, first staged in 2003. The Gobi March is part of the 4 Deserts Race Series.
Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand are hosts to some 100 organized ultramarathons each year. Additionally, a handful of runners have run the entire length of New Zealand, a distance of around 2,200 kilometres (1,400 mi).
In Australia, the Westfield Ultra Marathon was an annual race between Sydney and Melbourne contested between 1983 and 1991. Greek runner Yiannis Kouros won the event five times during that period. Australia is also the home of one of the oldest six-day races in the world, the Cliff Young Australian 6-day race, held in Colac, Victoria. The race is held on a 400-meter circuit at the Memorial Square in the centre of Colac and has seen many close races since its inception in 1984. The 20th Cliff Young Australian six-day race was held between 20 and 26 November 2005. During that event, Kouros beat his existing world record six-day track mark and set a new mark of 1,036.851 kilometres (644.269 mi). The Coast to Kosciuszko inaugurated in 2004, is a 246-kilometre (153 mi) marathon from the coast to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mountain.
Australia has seen a steep growth in ultrarunning events and participants in recent years. Many new races have come into inception, covering a range of ultramarathon distances from 50 km right through to multi-day events. The cornerstone of Australian Ultra events is such races as Ultra-Trail Australia 100, The Great North Walk Ultras, Surf Coast Century, Bogong to Hotham, Alpine Challenge, GC50 Run Festival, and the Cradle Mountain Run. The Australian Ultra Runners Association (AURA) has a comprehensive list and links of events and their respective results.
New Zealand New Zealand's first ultramarathon, called the Kepler Challenge, was held on a 60 kilometres (37 mi) trail through Fiordland National Park. It has been running since 1988 and is one of the country's most popular races. New Zealand's Northburn 100 ultra mountain run is the first 100-mile (160 km) race through the Northburn Station. The Te Houtaewa Challenge has a 62 km race on a ninety-mile beach, in Northland. The runners have to contend with rising tides and soft beach sand and the March race dates often mean the race is run in the cyclone season. In 2014 the ultramarathon was postponed because of Cyclone Lucy. The Tarawera Ultramarathon is currently one of the most competitive ultras in New Zealand and part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
In December 2013 in Auckland, Kim Allan ran 500 km in 86 hours, 11 minutes, and 9 seconds, breaking the 486 kilometres (302 mi) women's record.
In April 2013, a Feilding man, Perry Newburn, set a new New Zealand record by running 483 kilometres (300 mi) without sleep at Feilding's Manfeild Park.
Ultramarathon running in New Zealand has a national body: the New Zealand Ultrarunners Association.
Oceania New Caledonia Trail Festival has several annual ultramarathon including the Ultra Trail New Caledonia 136 km / 6 000m D+ and the Endurance Shop Trail race 70 km / 3 000m D+ on Pentecost long Week end. The Trail des Cagous is another 60 km ultramarathon held in April.
Papua New Guinea has the Kokoda Challenge Race, an annual 96 km endurance race held in late August that runs the length of the historic Kokoda Track.
Papua New Guinea also has the Great Kokoda Race, a multi-stage 96 km (3-day) race held in early July where competitors run or walk the length of the Kokoda Track.
In Europe, ultrarunning can trace its origins to early documentation of ultrarunners from Icelandic sagas, or ancient Greece from where the idea of the Marathon, and the Spartathlon comes. The history of ultrarunners and walkers in the UK from the Victorian Era has also been documented. The IAU hosts annual European Championships for the 50 km, 100 km and 24 hours. The European Ultramarathon Cup is an annual cup event covering some of the biggest ultramarathon races in Europe. Also worth mentioning is the ultramarathon CajaMar Tenerife Bluetrail, the highest race in Spain and second in Europe, with the participation of several countries and great international repercussions. Besides trail ultramarathons, Europe features large road ultramarathons such as Spartathlon and the Millau 100K, which have gathered thousands of runners for the past 50 years.
There are over 300 ultramarathons held in Europe each year,. This includes the Harz Run in the Harz Mountains, the Irish Connemarathon, the British Spine Race and Welsh Dragon's Back Race which covers 315 km with 15,500m of height gain.
The UTMB, through France, Italy, and Switzerland has been considered the world's most competitive trail ultra. The other races in the UTMB festival, including the CCC, TDS, and OCC, are also significant events in the ultrarunning calendar.
In 2021 the Megarace was held. The race was 1001 km and was planned to be held on trails through Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. Due to Covid, 2021, the course was modified to only go through Germany.
Due to logistics and environmental concerns, there are only a handful of ultramarathons held in Antarctica, and travel costs can mean entrance fees as high as $14,000. Ultramarathons in Antarctica include The Last Desert, part of the 4 Deserts Race Series, a multi-stage footrace, and the Antarctic Ice Marathon – a marathon and 100-kilometer race.
There are several hundred ultramarathons held annually in North America. One of the best known is the Western States Endurance Run, the world's oldest 100-mile trail run that is still held. The race began in 1977, founded by Wendell Robie, of Auburn California.
The first mountain trail ultramarathon held in the United States was the 1911 Mount Baker Race (50K), in Bellingham, Washington. Runners raced by car or train to the trailheads, ran up and down Mount Baker 10,000 feet, and then returned to the city.
An early ultramarathon was held in Mexico in 1926, and at the time was part of the Central American Games. Tomas Zafiro and Leoncio San Miguel, both Tarahumara Indians, ran 100 km from Pachuca to Mexico City in 9 hours and 37 minutes. At the time, the Mexican government petitioned to include a 100 km race in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.
In 1928, sports agent C. C. Pyle organized the first of two editions of the 3,455-mile-long Bunion Derby (the first went along U.S. Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago before heading toward New York; the 1929 Derby reversed the route). Neither the race nor the accompanying vaudeville show was a financial success.
In the 1980s, Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell and Karl "Raw Dog" Henn conceived the Barkley Marathons, an annual trail race held in March or April in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. The course is approximately 20 miles long with approximately 11,000 feet of vertical climb, and runners have 60 hours to complete five laps. The run is notorious not only for its difficulty but also for its secretive nature; entrants must undergo a selection process and entry dates and requirements are not announced, meaning entrants rely on word-of-mouth for details on how to enter. The first Barkley Marathons took place in 1986, and as of 2022, only fifteen runners have ever completed the 100-mile course.
Since 1997, runners have been competing in the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, which is billed as the longest official footrace in the world. They run 100 laps a day for up to 50 days around a single block in Queens, NY, for a total distance of 3,100 miles (5,000 km). The current recordholder is Ashprihanal Pekka Aalto, at 40 days 09:06:21 for a daily average of 76.776 miles (123.559 km) in 2015.
The latest Trans-American Footrace (2015) winner was Robert HP Young (Marathon Man UK), winning in a time of 482 hours and 10 minutes.
In April 2006, the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame was established by the American Ultrarunning Association (AUA). Candidates for the Hall of Fame are chosen from the 'modern era' of American ultras, beginning with the New York Road Runners Club 30 Mile race held in 1958. The Inaugural inductees were Ted Corbitt, a former US Olympian, winner of the aforementioned race in 3:04:13, and co-founder of the Road Runners Club of America, and Sandra Kiddy, who began her ultra career at age 42 with a world record at 50 kilometers, 3:36:56, and who went on to set a number of US and world ultra records.
The Yukon Arctic Ultra is described as the coldest and toughest ultra in the world, requiring racers to start from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon, a distance of 430 miles (692 km) in 13 days under the territory's extremely cold conditions in February.
There are a small number of ultramarathons in South America, but participation in the sport is increasing. The Brazil 135 Ultramarathon is a single-stage race of 135 miles (217 km) with a 60-hour cutoff, held in Brazil. This is a Badwater "sister race". Several ultramarathons are held in Chile and with both local and international participation. Ultramarathons held in Chile include:
- Atacama Xtreme 50K, 80K, and the first 100 Miles in Chile. One loop for each distance starting and finishing in San Pedro de Atacama at an avg. of 2,400 above sea level.
- The Atacama Crossing, established in 2004, a 250 km (155-mile) ultramarathon which takes place in the Atacama desert, around San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, and crosses through the driest place on earth. There are six stages in seven days, with almost four marathons running in the first four days, then a 74 km stretch, then a rest day, and a final stage of 11 km. It is part of the 4 Deserts Series. The race covers rugged terrain, with a harsh climate and an altitude that averages 2500 m (8000 ft). The race uses the town of San Pedro de Atacama as its host town, and in 2012 the race began at its highest point of over 3,000m in the Arcoiris Valley.
- The Endurance Challenge, a 10K, 21K, 50K, and 80K trail running race held in the Andes mountain range near Santiago. It is part of the global Endurance Challenge circuit. The race seeks to promote the sport, outdoor activity, and the use of mountain trails, taking care to have the lowest impact possible on the environment.
- The Lican Ray-Villarrica Ultramarathon, a 70 km marathon that starts in Lican Ray, climbs Villarrica Volcano and ends in downtown Villarrica.
- "Extreme Challenge Peru Ultra" at 210 km, 105 km, 50 km and 25 km. This is a race where participants run for 5 consecutive days traveling to Sierra (9,000 to 11,000 feet elevation), the desert (running on top desert dunes), the coast, and the last day at the high elevation jungle (5,900 feet elevation). Some participants also run shorter distances.
- The Patagonian International Marathon, organized by NIGSA, takes place in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Chilean Patagonia. The event features four race distances: an ultramarathon (63 km), a marathon (42 km), a half marathon (21 km), and a 10K. Each distance has a different starting point, but everyone finishes in the same place. The event has the secondary goal of promoting the conservation of Chilean Patagonia and contributing to the sustainable development of the region through the planting of trees in the Torres del Paine National Park through the "Corre y Reforesta" (Run and Reforest) campaign run by the organization "Reforestemos Patagonia" (Let's Reforest Patagonia)
- The Rapa Nui GrandTrail, an 80k ultramarathon that takes place on Easter Island, Valparaíso Region, Chile. This exotic trail, far out in the Pacific Ocean, takes in the famous Moai statues of the island.
Argentina There are several ultramarathon races in Argentina.
La Mision has been going on for almost 15 years. There are different editions, one in Villa La Angostura in Patagonia with 3 distances. 110 km with cumulative altitude gain of about 4500m, 160 km with cumulative altitude gain of about 8000m and 200 km with cumulative altitude gain of about 9000m. There is other edition of the race (Short & Half) in Villa San Javier, Cordoba with 2 distances, 35k and 70k.
In April 2019 for the 1st time UTMB took place in Ushuaia (Ushuaia by UTMB) A very tough race facing the wild Patagonia weather with 4 different distances, 35k, 50k, 70k and 130k. The race brings together in one competition all the landscapes and geographies of the southern Andes (forests, rocky terrains, mountains, hills, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and wetlands, among others) The race has a technical, non-stop format and is ruled by the principle of semi-autonomy.
Cerro Champaqui in Cordoba is the landscape of different races. Champa Ultra Race with 5 different distances, 8k / 18k / 26k / 42k, and 62k. Also the UTACCH – Ultra Amanecer Comechingón with 7 different distances, 16k, 26k, 42k, and 4 ultras of 55k, 70k, 110k, and 100 miles.
Ushuaia, at "the end of the world" also hosts Ultra Maratón Glaciar Martial with 3 different distances, 10k, 25k, and 50k.
International Trail Running Association
Many ultramarathon organizers are members of the International Trail Running Association (ITRA), an organization that promotes values, diversity, health, and safety during races, as well as working to further the development of trail running and helps to coordinate between the national and international bodies with an interest in the sport. ITRA also evaluates the difficulty of specific ultramarathon routes according to a number of criteria, such as the distance, the cumulative elevation gain, and the number of loops and stages. ITRA maintains a calendar of ultramarathon events.
- ^ "– 100 Kilometres Records". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- ^ If the loop is less than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi), run direction changes every 2–4 (sometimes 6) hours [Citation Needed~~~~Mark Halsey]
- ^ "Ultra Running". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Vierdaagse – Distance & Rewards". 4daagse.nl. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Systemic problems in ultramarathon racing in China". The World from PRX. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "IAU: Rationale for Combining IAU World Best Performances into one List" (PDF).
- ^ "USA Track & Field | Records". usatf.org.
- ^ "IAU World Records Guidelines" (PDF). International Association of Ultrarunners. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
- ^ "Camille Herron: American ultrarunner breaks own 100-mile women's world record". BBC Sport. 20 February 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
- ^ American Trail Running Association: American Records.
- ^ The Washington Post: She ran a 100-mile world record. A course error means it won’t count.
- ^ Brady, Sarah (10 October 2022). "CJ Albertson Sets 50k World Record in 2:38:43". iRunFar. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ iRunFar: Dominika Stelmach Breaks 12-Hour World Record at 2023 Spartanion Race.
- ^ iRunFar: Jo Zakrzewski Sets 48-Hour Running World Record of 411.458 Kilometers (255.668 Miles).
- ^ iRunFar: Camille Herron Sets 48-Hour Running World Record of 435.336 kilometers (270.505 miles).
- ^ "IAU World Records" (PDF). International Association of Ultrarunners. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
- ^ "IAU Championships". Iau-ultramarathon.org. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ Francis, Anne (25 September 2019). "10 of Al Howie's most mind-boggling achievements in ultrarunning". Canadian Running Magazine. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ Hicks, Meghan. "Right on Pace: An Interview With Aleksandr Sorokin About His World-Record-Setting Run at the 2022 Spartanion". IRunFar. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
- ^ Potter, Alex. "Aleksandr Sorokin, 24-Hour World Record Holder, Interview". IRunFar. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
- ^ Hicks, Meghan (5 February 2014). "Ann Trason: The Pioneer Returns". iRunFar. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Anna Frost". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ René. "Arthur Newton – old school running hero | Running Coach Ireland". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ HAUMAN, RIËL (22 April 2019). "Bongmusa Mthembu And Gerda Steyn Bring Home Both Two Oceans Titles To South Africa For 1st Time Since 2000". LetsRun.com. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ Digital, Pii (9 August 2017). "Bruce Fordyce: Comrades King". Brand South Africa. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Portrait and Interview width Camille Herron, an American ultramarathon runner". International Association of Ultrarunners. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
- ^ Prelle, Monica (7 June 2017). "Camille Herron Becomes First American to Win Comrades Marathon in 20 Years". Runner's World. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
- ^ Snider-McGrath, Ben (22 November 2020). "Camille Herron, Hayden Hawks run to wins at JFK 50-miler". Canadian Trail Running. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
- ^ Dutch, Taylor (15 February 2019). "Camille Herron Breaks 100-Mile Course Record 2 Weeks After Harrowing Car Accident". Runner's World. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
- ^ "Hernando and Chaverot Ultra Champions. Spain, Czech Republic, and Japan take the medals". International Skyrunning Federation. 24 July 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Caroline Chaverot". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Hall, Damian (17 January 2019). "Courting Success: An Interview with Courtney Dauwalter". iRunFar. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ Stott, Adrian (7 September 2018). "In Celebration and Memory of Don Ritchie".
- ^ "Francois D'Haene". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Sharman, Ian. "2013 Two Oceans Marathon Women's Preview". No. 28 March 2013. IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Records". Comrades Marathon. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Mock, Justin (10 June 2019). "This Week in Running: June 10, 2019". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Ida Nilsson". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Geeks Only". Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Mock, Justin (21 November 2016). "This Week in Running: November 21, 2016". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Mock, Justin (19 August 2019). "This Week in Running: August 19, 2019". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Mock, Justin. "This Week in Running: February 13, 2017". No. 13 February 2017. IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Mock, Justin. "This Week in Running: October 10, 2016". No. 10 October 2016. IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Jo Zakrzewski sets world 48 hours road record". AW. 14 February 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
- ^ Powell, Bryon (12 February 2023). "Jo Zakrzewski Sets 48-Hour Running World Record of 411.458 Kilometers (255.668 Miles)". iRunFar. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
- ^ Powell, Bryon (14 September 2015). "2015 IAU 100k World Championships Results". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Jonas Buud". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Powell, Bryon (23 August 2015). "2015 UltraVasan Results". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Inside the Mind of Kilian Jornet | Motiv Running". 1 September 2017.
- ^ "The North Face: Lizzy Hawker".
- ^ "Kudo & Sekiya To Return To Soochow International 24 Hour Race 2013". 8 March 2014. Archived from the original on 8 March 2014.
- ^ "IAU Homepage". Iau-ultramarathon.org. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Nikki Kimball". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Pole wins ultramarathon in Death Valley in record time". PolandIn. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
- ^ "This Week in Running: October 2, 2017". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
- ^ "This Week in Running: January 29, 2018". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
- ^ "IAU WOMEN RECORDS" (PDF). Retrieved 17 February 2023.
- ^ "Pau Capell". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ Senseman, Eric (4 November 2016). "Pete Kostelnick 2016 Transcontinental Run Record Interview". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
- ^ Mock, Justin (25 July 2016). "This Week in Running: July 25, 2016". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
- ^ "Ragna Debats". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Rory Bosio". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Ruth Croft". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ a b c "IAU 50 km Women & Men" (PDF). Iau-ultramarathon.org. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ a b "Αποτελέσματα". Spartathlon.gr. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ Collmer, Sheryl (9 December 2017). "Sandra Villines' North American Transcontinental World Record". Ultrarunning Magazine. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
- ^ Mock, Justin (17 July 2017). "This Week in Running: July 17, 2017". IRunFar.com. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
- ^ "About Scott Jurek". Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Japanese ultra star set for Comrades". Independent Online. South Africa. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Athlete". Ted Corbitt Archives. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Tomoe Abe shatters world 100km best | World Athletics". worldathletics.org. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Wally Hayward Marathon: About Wally".
- ^ "Xavier Thévenard". ITRA. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ "Yiannis Kouros – Greek Greatness". 9 June 2019.
- ^ "More People Are Running Ultras Than Ever Before". Runner's World. 24 January 2020.
- ^ "Hathor". Ultraegypt. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "UltraEgypt - Qarun 66km Trail Ultramarathon in Fayoum, Egypt". Ultraegypt. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Comrades Marathon History". 4 June 2014. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014.
- ^ Hicks, Meghan (12 May 2019). "2019 Transvulcania Ultramarathon Results". iRunFar. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Sundown Marathon". HiVelocity. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- ^ "AWUM". Retrieved 23 November 2016 – via Facebook.
- ^ "The Bangalore Ultra". The Bangalore Ultra. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- ^ "Big response for the Bangalore Marathon". The Hindu. 14 December 2007. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- ^ "Why La Ultra The High is the Cruelest Marathon". Forbes India. 18 February 2013.
- ^ "IAU World Cup 100 Kilometres" (PDF). Iau-ultramarathon.org. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "2016 – 2017 Japan Ultramarathon Calendar". Marathons.ahotu.com. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "TJAR (Trans Japan Alps Race)". tjar.jp (in Japanese).
- ^ NHK team, 激走! 日本アルプス大縦断 密着、トランスジャパンアルプスレース富山~静岡415km, 26 April 2013, ISBN 978-4087815276
- ^ "日本一過酷な山岳レース「トランスジャパンアルプスレース（TJAR）」に密着したノンフィクション書籍『激走！ 日本アルプス大縦断』（NHKスペシャル取材班・著）が、集英社より4月26日（金）に発売！ | 株式会社 集英社 | プレスリリース配信代行サービス『ドリームニュース』". Dreamnews.jp. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ RUNTRAIL editors, RUN+TRAIL vol.2 トレイルランレースをはじめよう ハセツネ/UTMF完走法 (SAN-EI MOOK),22 Aug 2012, ISBN 978-4779615627
- ^ "2013 Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji Preview". Irunfar.com. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji (UTMF) | The Japan Times Online". Info.japantimes.co.jp. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Sabah Adventure Races". Sabahadventurechallenge.com. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- ^ "Nepal events". Trail Running Nepal.
- ^ "Annapurna 100". annapurna100.com. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- ^ "Everest Ultra". Everest Ultra. 30 March 2013. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- ^ "Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset". Ms2s.org. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- ^ "The Gobi March". 4 Deserts Official Website.
- ^ "Endurance Sport". Endurance Sport. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Salomon Trail Running Series – What Is Trail Running? (Salomon trail running series)". 21 March 2015. Archived from the original on 21 March 2015.
- ^ "Ultra Marathons in Australia". 5 June 2020.
- ^ "AURA – Australian Ultra Runners Association". 12 October 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007.
- ^ "Partners - Tarawera Ultramarathon | Rotorua, New Zealand". taraweraultra.co.nz.
- ^ "Ultra-distance runner breaks record – National – NZ Herald News". The New Zealand Herald. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Feilding father breaks NZ running record". 3 News NZ. 5 April 2013.
- ^ "Home - Festival de Trail EEC-Engie 2022".
- ^ "Kokoda Challenge". Kokoda Trekking. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- ^ "The Great Kokoda Race". Twisted Explorer. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- ^ "LaufReport Presse Info". laufreport.de.
- ^ "Tenerife Bluetrail, la carrera más alta de España". abc. 6 October 2016.
- ^ "2020 - 2021 Ultramarathons held in Europe". marathons.ahotu.com. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
- ^ "Details – The Berghaus Dragon's Back Race®". berghausdragonsbackrace.com.
- ^ Powell, Bryon (21 August 2017). "2017 UTMB Men's Preview". iRunFar. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Ultra Marathon du Mont Blanc schedule: when do the TDS, CCC, and OCC start?". South China Morning Post. 20 August 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
- ^ "Home". megarace.de.
- ^ "Antarctic Ice Marathon 2013". Icemarathon.com. 7 March 2013. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- ^ Crockett, Davy (22 January 2021). "Western States 100 - 1977". Ultrarunning History. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
- ^ Crockett, Davy (6 September 2019). "The Mount Baker Ultramarathon (1911-1913)". Ultrarunning History. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
- ^ Vilchis, Raul (10 March 2015). "Still, They Endure: The Paradox of Mexico's Legendary Tarahumara Runners". Remezcla. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
- ^ Crockett, Davy (12 August 2019). "The 1928 Bunion Derby". Ultrarunning History. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
- ^ "srichinmoyraces.org / About the 3100 Mile Race". Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- ^ "Results : RAUSA Results". Raceacrossusa.org. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ Crockett, Davy (19 August 2020). "The American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame". Ultrarunning History. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
- ^ "The Yukon: Discover the world's coldest ultra". Montane. Montane. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
- ^ Ann, Virginie. "Yukon Arctic Ultra, which calls itself the world's 'coldest and toughest,' kicks off in Whitehorse". CBC. CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
- ^ "Brazil 135". 5 July 2011. Archived from the original on 5 July 2011.
- ^ "Ultramarathoner | Atlas Vivo de Chile". Livingatlaschile.com. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "A running battle". Toronto Star, 26 September 2016. pages E1 and E5.
- ^ "The Atacama Crossing Race | ExtremeMarathonGuide.com". 2 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014.
- ^ "Corre y reforesta la Patagonia chilena con la maratón de Torres del Paine". Eldefinido.cl. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- ^ "Reforestemos Patagonia". 5 October 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013.
- ^ "RAPA NUI GRAND TRAIL 80K 2013". ACTIVE.com. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- Official International Trail Running Association website
- RunUltra.co.uk Global ultramarathon calendar with reviews
- The history of ultrarunning
- Ultra running at IAAF web site
- ULTRAmarathonRunning.com Global ultramarathon calendar
- UltraSignup, global race list and signup site