Saturday, 18 February 2017

Hardest ITRA races - Why Killian's 22:41 was a bigger deal than my 22:40 for 100 miles

When I applied for UTMB draw, it also told me my ITRA rating was 480. This was the first time I had heard of ITRA rankings and a bit more digging told me that my level was "DDD - Intermediate 1". If only I had run a bit faster in my qualifying races - a score of 750+ would have got me automatic entry and 850+ would have been free entry. Every race that "UTMB" points submits the results for the database.

My best score was 489 for the Centurion South Downs 100 (23:12) which was quite a bit slower than my 100 mile PB of 22:40 for the Autumn 100 which had scored  only 479 points. Even my slowest 100 - the North Downs Way 100 of 25:31 scored 487.

http://itra.run/page/269/FAQ_Indice_de_performance.html







http://www.i-tra.org/community/
Find your score by going to the above link.

Being statistician and actuary, I naturally had to do a bit more digging into the index. It works a bit like age-grading for parkrun but instead of adjusting for age and gender, it adjusts for distance, elevation change and "hardness coefficient". This makes sense as the North and South Downs Way races are similar lengths to the A100 but a lot more climbing. A bit more digging and I back engineered the formula. I have expressed it as "Hardness score / Time in days to finish". The quotient is slight different for women but should have the same relativity. I had used the men's formula as there were more data points to calibrate it.

Nobody from the A100 2016 achieved the level for free entry with Mark Denby, Susie Chesher and Jess Gray achieving the automatic (but not free) entry level*. Interestingly Susie was closer to a free spot (750 vs 707) than Mark (850 vs 769) despite Mark winning.

*I think they would need 5 races at this level to qualify rather than just one


Now having back engineered the formula, this should be a way of comparing 100 mile races to determine which is the hardest as you only need 1 data point for the database for a race to determine the "hardness / distance / height change" factor. Please note this is not my opinion but merely a back engineering of the ITRA factor. I have picked races which are close to 100 miles to compare them.

Interestingly the A100 comes out as the lowest score / "least difficult". It is a relatively flat course but I am putting this down to the amazing support you get on a Centurion event with great aid stations and course marking so the controllable difficulties are mitigated. It should be a hard race as it is done in the British Autumn and certainly has the potential to be very challenging if the elements are unfavourable. However in recent years it has been dry and fast with mild conditions. The quotient can change from year to year depending on how well the runners perform or if the course changes slightly. I have grouped all editions together.

I have put together a table of the "quotients" for each race. This is the score you would get if you finish in exactly 24 hours. I have also included my ranking of 480, PB of 489 and Jim Walmsley's ranking of 916 (Ultra XL distance). In a separate post, I will put a table of times for each race to get automatic qualification but I am struggling with tables in this blog. http://76thmile.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/additional-table-for-itra-rankings.html

This table is only for races which have UTMB points - the Barkley marathon and Sparathlon/Comrades (road) don't appear for example.

The "hardest" 100 miler in the list is the Ronda Dels Cims where a sub 24 would score you 1,045 points. A projection of Jim's ranking would imply a finish time of 27:22. Admittedly RDC is 170km (same as UTMB) but it is an absolute monster of a race. Other notable scores are Hardrock (888), Spine Challenger (905), UTMB (806),  Hurt (740), MDS (720), Arc of Attrition (662), Lakeland (647), Leadville (609), WSER (574) and North Downs Way (515).

On this basis, my PB of 489 would just about scrape me a finish at Leadville just under the 30 hours cut-off but 44:24 compared with the 48 hour Hardrock cut off. However you know what people say about extrapolation...

Hopefully you have found this interesting and don't take it too seriously. Here is the full table in case you are interested.

And I guess Killian's 22:41 at Hardrock is slightly better than my 22:40 at the Autumn 100...


Race Rating 480 489 916
Centurion Autumn 100 454 22:42 22:17 11:54
Brazos Bend 100 - 100M 456 22:48 22:23 11:56
Centurion Thames Path 100 457 22:50 22:24 11:57
Rocky Raccoon - 100 Mile 457 22:50 22:25 11:58
Centurion South Downs Way 100 473 23:38 23:12 12:23
Javelina Jundred - 100 Miles 488 24:23 23:56 12:46
West Highland Way Race 492 24:35 24:08 12:53
Oman Desert Marathon 506 25:17 24:49 13:15
Centurion North Downs Way 100 515 25:46 25:17 13:30
White Rose Ultra - 100 Mile 539 26:57 26:27 14:07
Cotswold Way Century-100 Miles 543 27:09 26:39 14:14
Thunder Rock 572 28:35 28:03 14:58
Western States Endurance Run 574 28:42 28:10 15:02
Pinhoti 100 - Pinhoti 100 Miles 584 29:12 28:40 15:18
Chimera 100 - Chimera 100 Miles 586 29:19 28:46 15:21
Hardmoors - 110 Miles 592 29:36 29:03 15:30
Zion - 100 Mile 594 29:42 29:09 15:33
Leadville Trail 100 Run 609 30:28 29:54 15:58
Cascade Crest 100 Mile 642 32:04 31:29 16:48
Grindstone 100 642 32:05 31:29 16:48
Lakeland - Lakeland 100 647 32:20 31:44 16:56
Run Rabbit Run 100 653 32:40 32:04 17:07
Bear 100 654 32:41 32:05 17:07
Arc Of Attrition 100 Mile 662 33:04 32:27 17:19
Bighorn Trail Run - 100M 667 33:21 32:45 17:29
100 Miles Of Istria - 100 Miles 671 33:33 32:56 17:35
Le Marathon Des Sables 720 35:58 35:19 18:51
Hurt 100 Mile Endurance Run 740 36:59 36:18 19:22
Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji - Utmf 756 37:48 37:07 19:48
100 Miles Sud De France 790 39:29 38:45 20:41
Utmb® 806 40:19 39:34 21:07
Ehunmilak Ultra-Trail® 821 41:01 40:16 21:29
Le Grand Raid De La RĂ©union 881 44:02 43:14 23:04
Hardrock 100 Endurance Run 888 44:24 43:35 23:16
Montane Spine Challenger 905 45:15 44:25 23:42
Andorra Ronda Dels Cims 1,045 52:14 51:16 27:22

























































































































































































No comments:

Post a comment