*  Humility

In practising trail-running, an activity in open country, humility is a behaviour that is adapted as much to the natural environment as to oneself.

In natural surroundings, it relies upon taking into consideration the existing natural hazards, whatever the relevance and the quality of the measures taken by the organisation of a race to ensure the safety of its participants. Humility, in the face of nature, supposes the capacity to show caution and can go as far as renouncing the race or the envisaged project. For that which concerns each individual, humility is based on the consciousness and the knowledge of one’s limits so as not to question one’s physical or mental integrity.

As a type of behaviour, humility is an inseparable attitude of listening and learning for better understanding of the principles which govern natural environments or the fundamentals of practising an intensive sport in natural environments.

Discovering trail-running

Do you want to explore your abilities by measuring yourself in the great outdoors? Trail running is a discipline in the middle of nature, practiced with respect for the environment, humility, solidarity and sports ethics. This sport benefits from a common definition shared internationally by all trail players.

Trail running, the off-road race.

A Trail which means « path » in English, is a pedestrian competition open to all, in a natural environment, with the minimum possible of cemented or asphalted roads (20% maximum). The course can extend for a few kilometers for short distances and go well beyond 80 kilometers for ultra-trails. 

Mountain, forest, countryside, desert, this endurance race is practiced on all naturally irregular terrain, including very often a part of altitude difference, which means an elevation gain in altitude between the start and finish line. Therefore, the distance isn’t the only value that is counting! The peculiarity of the terrain but also the relationship between distance and elevation match the difficulty of the race.

This sport, which became popular in the mid-1990s, has been recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as a track and field sport.

 

Listening to oneself and one's environment

Born of the pleasure of running in contact with a preserved nature, trail running is above all a communion with our environment. The runner evolves without artifice, in a demanding environment for the body and the spirit. As a physical and mental challenge, it encourages to explore its capabilities in all humility, in contact with such rough and fragile spaces. Running, listening to his 5 senses, without necessarily focusing on performance but on his ability to manage his physical and mental abilities. Because what drives runners above all else is to finish the race! 

Authenticity, humility, fair play, fairness, respect and solidarity make the trail running a discipline with particularly strong values, expressed in the ethical charter of the trail.

 

7 trail running categories 

Trail races, there is something for everyone! Trail running races are categorized according to their level of difficulty. This ranking is considering the distance and elevation to be covered. It operates based on km-efforts to provide during a race. These km-efforts are calculated by adding the distance (in km) and the hundredth of the positive elevation gain (in m). 

There are 7 categories of trail running races, from XXS to XXL races. Each race category corresponds to a number of km-effort and a number of ITRA points. The following criteria make it possible to evaluate the difficulty of a race :

Catégory ITRA Points
Km-effort Approximate time of the winner (*)
XXS 0 0-24 1h
XS 1 25-44 1h30 - 2h30
S 2 45-74 2h30 - 5h
M 3 75-114 5h - 8h
L 4 115-154 8h - 12h
XL 5 155-209 12h - 17h
XXL 6 >=210 > 17h

(*) Approximate time of a winner with an ITRA Performance Index of at least 830. Time given as an indication to assess the difficulty of the race category.