USATF Pacific

Ultra Rules


Ultra Rules


USATF Pacific Ultra Running Event Rules
Updated 2/27/03.
Changes for 2003-2004 are shown as underlined.


  • All conditions of eligibility are governed by the PA/USATF LDR Guide, published on the PA website. Section 4 (“Eligibility and Representation”) addresses basic requirements. Paragraph 4.6, in particular, affects ultrarunners who compete in other PA Grand Prix events.


  • Divisions for individuals scored in the Grand Prix are as follows (for men and women separately):

Note: race directors of individual Grand Prix events may utilize different divisions for their event’s award structure.

  • Divisions for teams scored in the Grand Prix are as follows, irrespective of the age of team members are MEN, WOMEN, MIXED


  • Runners may run as many races as they wish, but will finally be scored in no more than seven (7). They will be scored for every event in which they earn points, but only their seven highest scores will be the ones finally added to determine their Grand Prix total. Only five of these may ultimately be in races longer than 50 K. Moreover, if an athlete scores in more than one 100-mile race in the Grand Prix, only the higher of his scores will ultimately be used.
  • The basic individual scoring (points per place) for each Grand Prix event will be as follows:
    1 20 40 15
    2 17 31 12
    3 14 24 9
    4 12 19 6
    5 10 16 3
    6 8 14 1
    7 6 12
    8 4 11
    9 2 10
    10 1 9
    11 8
    12 7
    13 6
    14 5
    15 4
    16 3
    17 2
    18 1


  • Teams will compete on the same basis as individuals: they will be scored for every race in which they qualify for points, but in the end only their seven (10 for 2000-01) highest scores will count towards their Grand Prix total. Only five (5) of these scores may be in events longer than 50 K. Finishing places will be determined by ranking the cumulative times of each team’s top three finishers in each team division. The basic team scoring (points per place) for each race is on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for places 1 through 10.


  • The total score credited to both individuals and teams is a product of the placement points (see Rule 3) multiplied by the distance factor (formerly the “difficulty rating”), which is simply an arithmetic function of the race’s distance, regardless of surface condition, topography, or elevation. 50 K’s (including the Quad Dipsea) are assigned a 1.0, and all other distances/events are assigned factors as a ratio of their distance relative to the 50 K (rounded for simplicity). For duration ultras, the multipliers shall be 2.0 for 12-hour runs (same as 100K) and 3.3 for 24-hour runs (same as 100M).


  • An event may enhance its scoring potential for competitors by offering prize money. For every $1,000 offered in a Grand Prix race, the event’s “distance factor” multiplier will be increased by 0.5, up to a limit of 1.5 (for a $3,000 purse), although there is no restriction on the amount of prize money that a Grand Prix race may offer.
  • This provision (scoring enhancement) applies only in cases where a prize purse is sequestered for PA competition exclusively. A Grand Prix race may offer its prize purse as it pleases (including to USATF members from other regions and/or to all-comers), but the scoring enhancement factor would not apply in cases where non-PA athletes are eligible to receive cash awards from the purse.


  • Bonus points are awarded for age-division course records (excluding first-year events) under the following procedure:
    (a) race directors have final authority on the issue of what constitutes a course record; in particular, if a race uses smaller age groups than the ten-year GP divisions, the RD may designate such groups’ records for GP bonus points;(b) bonus points will be awarded only for breaking an existing record, unless (i) the event’s course has been changed and (ii) the RD determines that the change has made the course materially easier, in which case the improved mark will be credited as an establishment of a new record but not the breaking of an existing one, and no bonus points will be awarded;(c) points will be awarded at 25% of the division’s basic first-place points (see Rule 3), except for those races that have been staged at the same venue for at least ten years without a material course change as defined by subsection (b)(ii) above. In such races bonus points shall be awarded at 50% of the divisions basic first-place points. Regarding multi-distance events, each race is considered separately for the purposes of this rule, but the historic Grand Prix status of any given race is irrelevant.


  • In “duration” ultras, runners must complete the following minimum distances in order to be scored:
  • 12 hours 50 Miles
    24 hours 75 miles
    48 hours 200 K
    6 days 300 miles


  • For athletes in the Super Senior and Veteran divisions, the standards are reduced as follows:
  • 12 hours 40 Miles
    24 hours 60 miles
    48 hours 100 miles
    6 days 200 miles



  • Athletes may not score points in a younger division, and will be scored only in that division corresponding with their race-day age. However, an exception may be made for athletes graduating to an older division during a GP season. Such athletes may petition in writing to continue to be scored in the division in which they began the season (for the remainder of that season only). Such petition shall be submitted to the designated Grand Prix scorer (see below)–or other designated individual–and must be postmarked prior to their first Grand Prix race after their graduating birthday.


  • A minimum of $2,000 in total prize money will be awarded to top divisional scorers at the end of the Grand Prix season. The specific prize breakdown is reevaluated annually by the Ultra Subcommittee in light of the relative participation levels in each age group. The only constant factor is the equal split of the total purse between men and women. Beyond that, the “number of scoring runners” and the “number of scored finishes” per age group will determine the split among each gender’s divisions.
  • Prize money is distributed to individuals only, not teams. In order to be eligible to receive Grand Prix prize money, individuals must score in at least three events. This requirement does not apply to “hardware” awards (e.g., plaques), but may apply to “merchandise” awards.


  • Each age-group Grand Prix (season) champion will receive a 50% discount on entries into the following season’s Grand Prix races, provided that the entrant submits his/her application by the pre-race entry deadline (i.e., the date after which a standard entry becomes a late entry with a surcharge). As long as the series includes the Western States 100, no discount is available for that race.
  • As with Grand Prix prize money (Rule 9), an age-group champion must score in at least three races in order to receive this consideration.


  • (a) Individuals: It is the responsibility of each event’s race director (not the Grand Prix scorer) to issue accurate results. Runners questioning the race results should contact the RD to seek clarification or rectify an error. The RD (not the runner) must report any amendment of the results to the GP scorer.(b) Teams: In order to be scored, teams must submit the names and times of their scoring members to the Grand Prix scorer (see below) within ten (10) days of the race. Team (club) membership number must be included.


  • At their own discretion, race directors may permit runners to start their race prior to the official start if such runners might legitimately have difficulty meeting the event’s stipulated cut-off times en route (if they were to start at the official time). Such early starters will be eligible to be scored for their finish provided that the early start occurs at a singular “official” time and that all early starters’ names are recorded and so notated in the results.
  • In fairness to the intra-race integrity of age-group competition, any runners who elect the option of an early start shall be timed and placed (in the official results) after runners who started at the official hour, regardless of their actual elapsed time on the course.


13. ULTRA CONTACTS: Visit the USATF Pacific’s Contacts Page for Ultra Committee Chair and Ultra Grand Prix Scorer