One of the most famous quote assigned to Pierre de Cubertin is the following: “the important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”.
It is impossible to disagree with this quote.
Simultaneously, nobody can deny that the accomplishment of a personal goal is by far what produces an enormous satisfaction and joy. In Trail Running, passing the Finish Line of an Ultra, could generate suck kind of feelings. In fact, it is still a moment which the majority of people has not yet had the opportunity to experience.
Moreover, I believe (and I want to believe) that this satisfaction and joy is simultaneously shared by the family, the friends, the team-mates of each single runner. I also think that the same feelings belong to the organizers of such kind of events.
With this introduction, I analysed the last ten years of Trail Running in Germany, asking myself which were the Germany Ultra Races with the highest number of finishers.
In this analysis, I only ranked the races with higher than 500 finishers. Moreover, I consider as “Ultra” all those races that are longer than 45 km according to DUV and ITRA rankings. Furthermore, this analysis is clearly depending on the allowed number of participants at the start: many races have limited entries.
The results are summarized in the following two tables: in the last ten years (2010-2019), 20 races had more than 500 finishers.
Thüringen is the German region that dominates this special ranking, with 10 races. All these races are the respective last ten editions of the GutsMuths-Rennsteiglauf (https://www.rennsteiglauf.de), a special race in Germany which I wrote about some weeks ago (http://www.emigrantrailer.com/2020/01/10/rennsteiglauf-and-haferschleim-thuringen-ger/). Moreover, there are no other races capable to exceed the number of finishers at this race.
The last edition of Zugspitz Supertrail (https://zugspitz-ultratrail.com/) had a significant increase of finishers compared to past editions. This was due to the special 2019 situation, when the weather conditions obliged the organizers to shift all the starters of the Ultratrail to the Supertrail.
The other race in this special ranking is the Harzquerung Wernigerode-Nordhausen (http://www.harzquerung.de/hauptseite.htm), which had more than 500 finishers in several editions.
Other races were always very close to 500 finishers, but never above.
We will see what happens in 2020, a year characterized by the cancellation of many of the races in the first months due to COVID-19 and that most likely will see a lot of participants in the last months. Therefore, this might also bring to higher number of finishers in races, which are not yet listed in this special ranking.
Andrea De Filippo