2018 Most Competitive Fields


Each year a few races attract a large number of elite runners. In this analysis, we have examined the races in which those who received votes for Runner of the Year competed. Giving the runners of the year 40 points, the runners-up 39 points, and so on, we have devised a system for determining which races had the most competitive fields. (Note that this analysis does not include foreign runners who are not eligible for runner of the year.)


Men  (No. of Runners)

  1. Western States 100 (11)
  2. Run Rabbit Run 100 (5)
  3. Lake Sonoma 50 (4)
  4. Desert Solstice 24-hr (2)
  5. Bandera 100K (2)
  6. JFK 50 (2)
  7. Leadville 100 (2)
  8. Quicksilver 50K (2)
  9. (tie) UROC 100K (2)
  10. (tie) Way Too Cool 50K (2)


  1. Western States 100 (8)
  2. Lake Sonoma 50 (5)
  3. Chuckanut 50K (4)
  4. Behind the Rocks 50 (3)
  5. HURT 100 (3)
  6. Speedgoat 50K (3)
  7. Way Too Cool 50K (3)
  8. Leadville Trail 100 (3)
  9. Run Rabbit Run 100 (3)
  10. Desert Solstice 24-hr (2)

31 men and 38 women received votes in the Ultra Runner of the Year balloting. But there was very little head-to-head competition among those receiving votes, especially among the men. Only Western States, Lake Sonoma, and Run Rabbit Run had three or more men and women each who received UROY votes competing.

The races listed above had the largest number of runners who received UROY votes competing against each other. Where multiple races had the same number of runners they are ranked by number of votes received by the runners participating.

(Note: The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 would typically be near the top of these lists but was canceled due to fires in 2018.)


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