The UTMB World Series race calendar ramps up with season opener in North America

Press Release / 02.04.2024
/ © UTMB

Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB will kickstart the UTMB World Series calendar in America on April 12-14, in the high desert of southwestern Colorado. Over 1,500 runners will take on one of the four distances on offer (100K, 50K, 21K, 10K), discovering the flowy singletracks that twist up the mesa, vast desert views and clifftop trails overlooking the Colorado river.

Over 100 of the athletes registered derive from the host town of Fruita and its surrounding areas, giving them the opportunity to live the UTMB adventure on their doorstep. An impressive 66% of runners taking to the startline also live in Colorado, as they prepare to experience the best of their backyard, share the trails with international runners and look towards qualifying for the UTMB World Series Finals.

“Fruita has some of the best running in Colorado and we love sharing the trails with visitors. We are fortunate to have epic views and unique trail systems that runners of all ages can enjoy. We're excited to welcome the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB to share our town and the trails with us again this April!” Joel Kincaid, Fruita Mayor and avid trail runner.

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Canadian runner, Valeria Arsenault (CAN, UTMB Index 730) could be one to watch in the Women's race, despite only taking up running a few years ago. Finishing fourth at the 2023 Speedgoat by UTMB® 50K, she joins Oana Mihalcea (ROU, UTMB Index 706) in the hunt for their first UTMB World Series victory.

Jonathan Rea (USA, UTMB Index 892) looks to be the one to beat in the 100K, having finished second at the Alternative 50K in the last edition of the race, alongside a fourth-place finish at the 2023 CCC®.

The 50K looks set to be fast and furious, with Justin Grunewald (USA, UTMB Index 861) and Helen Mino Faukner (USA, UTMB Index 762) amongst the home favourites.

As a UTMB World Series Event, finishers in each of the UTMB race categories will collect Running Stones in order to enter the UTMB World Series Finals Lottery. The top 3 male and female finishers in the 50K, 100K and 100M categories automatically win their place at the Finals.

Follow the event LIVE here.

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