*  Authenticity

Authenticity is the first trail-running value. At its origins, trail-running was born from the runners’ motivation to practise their sport in contact with natural surroundings, so as to experience the beauty of the landscape and to learn to evolve without artifice in an environment that is demanding for both body and spirit. Trail-running is an authentic sport, because it creates a confrontation between the participant and the unspoilt natural environment as a source of inspiration, surpassing oneself, but also one of harmony.

As a social activity, trail running promotes human relationships based on simplicity, conviviality, sharing and respect for differences. The trail-running community gives these authentic values as much importance as those of performance and competition.

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.