We recognize that as our sport grows, increasing commercialization and a desire to monetize the sport’s popularity may be inevitable, and indeed, for better or worse, UTMB and the 'Ironmanization' of our great sport might be the unavoidable future. But while we certainly understand why many runners want to run UTMB, these aren’t the values that we think represent the best of our sport or that we wish to further. —from "Why we won’t pay: UTMB, ITRA and the 'pay for points' racket"
A great, short read about why many of the biggest 100-mile (and other) ultra races in the country don't and aren't going to pay for their courses to be UTMB qualifiers: "Why we won’t pay: UTMB, ITRA and the 'pay for points' racket"
This was something we (Matt and Kerri) repeatedly faced while working at Rainshadow, and something the two of us also felt strongly about not doing, not because we didn't want runners to be able to use races to qualify for other races they wanted to run, but because the process was blatantly cumbersome and expensive (especially when organizing so many races each year, and as each race requires its own fee and application to be a qualifier). We didn't think we needed to be padding UTMB's pockets (that isn't what this sport was ever meant to be about) to cater to a specific subset of runners, but we felt even more strongly that it was unfair to expect races to pay for qualification status, and that runners' race fees could and *should* be put to better use for the greater ultra community and for the events themselves.
We agree that it seems unlikely that trail running will ever be as simple or as unencumbered by sponsorship and commercialization as it once was, but here's to always being able to appreciate (ultra and other) trail events for their inherent camaraderie, inspiration, and exhilaration—regardless of "points" earned or received.