Western States Endurance Run – History of UTWT and UTMB Collaboration
The Western States Endurance Run (WSER) has for many years been a part of trying to grow the sport of ultrarunning throughout the world. This involvement included participation in the Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT) from 2014 to 2021 as well as participation in the UTMB World Series starting in 2022. WSER is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with its own governance, goals and non-profit status. It is a completely independent organization with fiduciary responsibilities conducted solely by its board of directors.
WSER’s agreement with UTWT was to reserve six spots in Western States for elite athletes from outside North America to gain entry through the UTWT series of races around the world. WSER’s agreement with UTMB has been for Western States finishers to acquire “stones” for automatic qualification in the UTMB lottery for the UTMB World Series finals event in Chamonix, France. In addition, some of the Western States HOKA Golden Ticket qualifying races provide elite athletes double qualification into both Western States and the UTMB World Series finals in Chamonix, France. Western States’ partnership with UTMB includes collaboration on “best practices” in race management areas such as safety, timing, live broadcast, and media. In addition, in partnership with WSER and the Tevis Ride, UTMB/Ironman contributed significant funding for the Mosquito Fire Trail restoration work that allowed the Western States and Tevis Cup events to be held in 2023.