FAQ

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Score - A “Score” is given to each runner for every race they complete. Each person’s runner file profile consists of many different scores, corresponding to each race they have completed.
Performance Index – the individual scores of each runner are used to calculate their Performance Index. The performance index changes with the addition of new results and over time as races become older.
ITRA points – These points are awarded for finishing a race (1 – 6 points), each person who finishes the race receives the same number of points. This article does not discuss ITRA points, it describes only the ITRA Performance Index.

The ITRA performance index is a tool for ranking athletes based on their performance level. The performance index can be used to compare the level of different trail runners around the world and is built on a scale up to a maximum of 1000 points. The top of the scale corresponds to the theoretical best possible performance.

The ITRA performance index is calculated by obtaining the weighted mean of up to the 5 best scores achieved by a runner over the previous 36 months (for the general index or the index by category).

A weighted mean is used because we give more importance to the most recent results compared with older ones and we also give more importance to a runner’s best result, then to their second best, down to their 5 best ones.

Runners who do not have 5 results will still have a PI, which is calculated using their available results but a runner with at least 5 results will have an advantage over someone with less results.


This period of 36 months is long enough to permit reliable statistical calculations and allow an injured runner to continue to appear in the performance index due to their previous performances.

To allow the performance index to be open to as many people as possible, as soon as a runner has completed one race, they appear in the performance index.

Runners who do not have 5 results will still have a PI, which is calculated using their available results. A runner with 5 or more results will have an advantage over someone with less results.

As a result gets older, the value of this score is reduced when calculating the performance index.
For the first 12 months after a race, a result is given its full value in the PI calculation.
After the first 12 months, the value of this result in calculating the PI is progressively reduced each 6 months, until 36months when it is no longer used at all.

For the General performance Index, the scores for every distance are decreased at the same rate.
For the Performance Index by distance category, the scores for shorter races are decreased at a faster rate than for long races. This is because ultra-distance runner will run far fewer races than a short-distance runner

The general performance index uses the weighted mean of the 5 best results, regardless of distance, for each runner over the previous 36 months.
The performance index by category uses the weighted mean of the 5 best results, in one distance category, for each runner over the previous 36 months.

The categories are based around known typical distances that Trail Runners can find in majority of the races:

 

Vertical

10kms

Half marathon

Marathon

50kms

50miles (80kms)

100kms

100miles (166kms)

Endurance (beyond 100miles)

For calculation purposes and also because the exact distance of a Trail race usually differs from the distances that are announced due to measurement inconsistencies (different GPS methodlologies etc.) we’ve allowed for a wide enough distance gap when identifying each race category. This way all race results are taken into account in at least one category.

The distance categories are defined by the numner of klometers in the race

 

Category Name

lower limit
(equal to or greater than)

upper limit
(Less than)

Vertical*

2

12

 10K

5

15

Half Marathon

15

35

Marathon

35

45

50K

45

65

50M

65

90

100K

90

130

100M

130

190

Endurance

190+

 

 

*Vertical races need an up to down ratio of 10:1 and a minimum of 5km-effort.

The table below shows how to interpret performance indexes by category and gender, so that it is possible to define different categories of trail runners ranging from novice to the top elite.
By using this table, a runner will be able to judge the level at which they are performing.
Organizer can also use this table to estimate the level of their race or to determine their policy regarding elite athlete registration.

 

itra chart

 

New race scores appear in your runner account automatically.

The ITRA performance index is updated daily, hence newly released scores will not be immediately included in your performance index. Please check again tomorrow.

If your Performance Index has not changed after a few days, it is because the new score is not significantly different from your existing scores/PI to make an overall change.

Your PI is made up of your top 5 results which are given a time weighted coefficient, therefore it is not always possible to determine from your scores which results are used for the General PI calculation. For example, a new PI score of 500 can be used in place of an older score of 505.

Please be assured that the calculation will always give you the best possible score looking at all your results and that we apply the same exact calculation to every athlete in our database.

A race score is not based on your finish position in a race but on your finishing time.

 

The position obtained is related to the level of competition of the race, not to the level of the performance. At a same level of performance, you can finish 1st in a local race or 50th in an international race.

Your PI is calculated using your best scores, regardless of your finishing position in that race.

 

 

A runner’s performance index will not be affected by a slow race or a DNF!

If a score from one race is much lower than scores that runner achieved in other races then this result will not be used in calculating the performance Index. This also applies to a DNF result.

An identical calculation is applied for men and for women. It is therefore possible to directly the compare the performances of men with those of women, just as you would compare finish times in our sports.

To compare the level of performance of men and women within categories please see the ITRA LEVEL CHART below. For example, elite men have a score above 825 and women above 700. This chart was created using statistical analysis of all the runners in our database.

 

itra chart

The general index is calculated on the weighted average of the 5 best results in a mix of different distance categories, while the category index is calculated using the best results within an individual category.


For a versatile runner, often their best 5 races will be spread across several different categories, which therefore gives them a better result in the general index than they would have for each individual category.

The performance index is based on your results, so as your performance level increases so will your scores, which will in turn increase your performance index.


Even if your highest score doesn’t increase, having more scores close to your maximum will reduce the simulated results and increase your score.
If you want to improve in one category, more races in that category will help to improve your score.


That said, you will perform better in races that suit your preferred style or races where you will be relatively faster than your competitors. If you are better at flat technical races, then you may score lower on hilly non-technical courses, if you are very good at single trail then you may be relatively slower on flat open trails.

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