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 Italy, asking myself which were the Italian Ultra Races with the highest number of finishers.
In this analysis, I did not consider the races of the UTMB (TDS & CCC9), that start in the Italian territory and finish in France, and 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 three tables: in the last ten years (2010-2019), 28 races had more than 500 finishers (TOT=Total; M=Males; F=Females)
Veneto is the Italian region that dominates this special ranking, with 23 races.
Lavaredo Ultra Trail (https://www.ultratrail.it/en/) is the Italian event that dominates this special ranking, with its major events (Cortina Trail & Lavaredo Ultra Trail) classified in the first Top 9 races.
Specifically, Cortina Trail (https://www.ultratrail.it/en/cortina-trail-path.html) owns the podium.
Ultrabericus Trail (https://www.ultrabericus.it/ultrabericus-trail) is another race in Veneto which has about more than finishers per year.
The three other Italian regions in the first 28 races are Trentino Alto Adige, Valle d´Aosta and Lombardy, respectively with Dolomiti del Brenta Trail (https://www.dolomitidibrentatrail.it/), Tor des Geants (https://www.tordesgeants.it/it) and Gran Trail Orobie (http://www.orobieultratrail.it/en/gran_trail_orobie.asp).
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