I will try to answer as clearly as possible. I understand that you want the progression of the sport. Be assured that I feel the same. I am open to any discussion if it can make the project better.
1. It’s an ultra world tour over multiple distances and terrains. Therefore, does a runner need to do different distance and different terrain to be the world champion?
Maybe was I not clear enough during the presentation, sorry for that. The runner who will
have the best results at the end of the Ultra-Trail World Tour will
be the “UTWT 2014 Champion”, NOT the “Trail Running 2014 Champion”!
For me, it is a completely different vision.
2. Your criteria stipulates a minimum two editions, min 500 entrants and
open to ALL! What will happen with races like Western States? It’s
a lottery with only 20 guaranteed places and an entry limit under
500. More like 397 entries.
There was a precision of “around min 500 entrants” :-)… the first objective of the project was to bring together the most emblematic races of the world, the races of all our dreams… well… we could not imagine it without the Western States… “Open to all” means for us that elite athletes and average runners are running together, that the races are not reserved for elites. The UTWT will change nothing to the entry rules of the different races. The WS100 has its specific rules, the UTMB too, and the UTMF… each race will keep complete control over its organization.
3. How will a multi stage race such as MDS fit into this series? And
are you planning to add more multi day events?
Well, some of us ran it, and are completely sure that the MDS has all its place in the UTWT, that it shows all the diversity of trail running. The race directors all agreed on this initial list which will soon be completed with other races.
4. It would appear, at least to me that the UTWT may almost be perceived as a travel agent to a series of races over the world. What are the benefits that
UTWT will bring to elite and non-elite runners? Why would we join the UTWT?
For non-elite runners, but also for elite runners, the main reason is -for me- the “challenge” over the years, and the promise to discover different races, terrains, people, countries. The project was born at the UTMF this year: we were discussing how enriching it was for us to discover this country, the runners from Japan and from other countries, the specific trails of Mt. Fuji… We started to list the races that we had already finished, and our “wish-list” races… and it all started. This project is about culture, passion, traveling, and common values. For elite runners, I hope that they will have the same motivation than non-elite, but I think that an other reason should be -for me again-be part of a circuit which story will be told all over the year.
5. Do the runners need to purchase ‘The Passport’?
The first idea was to make it free.We will decide it with the race directors, but maybe the runners will have to pay a small participation if we send it through postal mail.
6. Does it cost each runner any extra to be part of the UTWT?
7. What are the races paying to be part of the UTWT and what does that bring what are the benefits?
They pay a contribution of 15’000 EUR, which will be 100% used for the promotion of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, and the travel fares of the athletes.
8. Who is the UTWT? Who are the people involved, for example WAA, UTMB all seem involved. Can we have clarification?
The 2 main partners (and operationals) are Jean-Charles Perrin (eco-trail de
Paris race director), and myself, Fabrice Perrin. We are not relatives. Cyril Gauthier from WAA is also involved (no operational role), and we asked Catherine and Michel Polett (from UTMB) to be part of it too, but they have no operational role.
9. What are the elite packages. It was mentioned that they will get travel and hotels for Elite1. Is this open ended, will all eligible elites get this package?
We will try to help the athletes at the maximum (travel and lodging), with the money that we will be able to raise. We will discuss this fall the rules with the race organizers.
10. What prize money will be available at each race and will prizes be split. Elite and non elite?
Each race will keep its rules. Some have prizes, some not. The UTWT will not change this.
11. A world champion is awarded each year, make and female. What do they get, what remuneration will the world champion receive and in addition, will you have non elite world champions too?
No “remuneration” is planned so far for 2014. Again, I would like to precise that it will not be a “world champion”, but an “UTWT Champion”. The non-elite will be in the same ranking than the elite runners.
I would like to thank the UTWT and Fabrice for the answers to the above questions. It really does clarify some initial questions. I am sure more questions will arise and I feel confident that the UTWT will provide responses as and when required.