CHAMONIX, France / TAMPA, Fla. USA - UTMB® World Series organizers have today confirmed two long-standing events in the USA will be added to the global UTMB World Series circuit in 2023, totalling a now official calendar of 34 events. Celebrating its 20th anniversary on the beautiful trails of Fruita, Colorado, Desert RATS™ Trail Running Festival™ by UTMB ® will welcome runners of all abilities across five distances from the 14-16 April, while from 22-24 September, Grindstone Trail Running Festival™ by UTMB® will offer one of the toughest challenges on the East Coast of the Shenandoah Valley in Staunton, Virginia.
Registrations for Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB are open at desertrats.utmb.world, and runners can register for pre-sale entries to Grindstone Trail Running Festival by UTMB at grindstone.utmb.world beginning tomorrow, 21 December, for a limited time.
The announcement follows the news last week that The Canyons Endurance Runs™ by UTMB was selected as the UTMB World Series Major in the Americas for 2023. Runners in North America now have even more chances to live the UTMB experience on their home trails, with six events across the continent confirmed for next year that also includes Puerto Vallarta Mexico by UTMB®, Speedgoat™ Mountain Races by UTMB® and Western States® 100-Mile Endurance Run.
In the UTMB World Series' second year, runners will be able to choose from 34 events in total across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania to start their journey to the UTMB World Series Finals, held in the UTMB (100M), CCC (100K), and OCC (50K) races of UTMB Mont-Blanc.
A celebration of trail running for everyone at Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB
For two decades, Desert RATS (Running Across the Sand) Trail Running Festival by UTMB has brought the trail running community together for an epic weekend adventure. In 2023, the race is set to be bigger than ever, with the addition of a 62.1mile (100km) race to the existing 30 mile, (50km), 26.2-mile marathon (42km), 13.1-mile half-marathon (21km) and 6.2-mile (10km) races. The event takes place from the 14-16 April 2023, and registration is already open here.
Located in the high desert of southwestern Colorado, the course sweeps through desert landscape and striking red slickrock cliff buttes. Runners will traverse the cliff edges overlooking the Colorado River and venture up into the incredible flat-topped mesas, where they will be rewarded with breath taking views across all categories.
“We are so excited for the opportunity to become part of the UTMB World Series! The Desert RATS Festival has always been a way for our trail running community to connect and celebrate the spring running season on the epic desert trails in Fruita, Colorado, and now we can offer even more festival fun, including a new 100K distance. We can't wait to see everyone out there crushing their goals at the 20th anniversary Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB in 2023,” shared Kyla Claudell and Reid Delman, Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB Race Directors.
One of the toughest challenges on the East Coast at Grindstone Trail Running Festival by UTMB
Grindstone Trail Running Festival by UTMB invites runners to step up to the challenge of a highly technical course, where they will face high elevation, ridges, peaks, valleys, and all the grit the Shenandoah Valley has to offer in Virginia, USA from the 22-24 September 2023. Pre-sale registration will open tomorrow 21 December at grindstone.utmb.world.
Held during peak fall foliage, the Shenandoah Valley captures all the beauty of the East Coast. With miles through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, runners will take in peaks, valleys, sunrises, and sunsets. They will also discover diverse wildlife as they climb the Appalachian Mountains and trek along the ridge to stunning views.
The event offers three unique courses and an adventure for every runner, including 100 miles, plus a new 62.1 mile (100km) and a 13.1 mile (21km) half-marathon race.
“I'm absolutely thrilled to see Grindstone become part of the UTMB World Series. For me, it's truly an honour to welcome runners from all over the world to experience some of the best trails on the U.S. East Coast. By adding 100km and half-marathon distances, we have amazing options for those not quite ready to tackle the full 100-mile version!” said Dr. Clark Zealand, Grindstone Trail Running Festival UTMB Race Director.