The wikipedia page for ITRA says:
International Trail Running Association (ITRA) is the governing body for trail running. It was formed in 2013, emerging from the 1st International Trail Running Conference held in 2012. Trail running was first recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics) in 2015 as a discipline of athletics.
ITRA is a non-profit organization, and they present themselves as follows:
"Born in July 2013, the ITRA (International Trail Running Association) aims to give a voice to parties involved in trail running in order to promote its strong values, its diversity, the safety of races and the health of runners, as well as to further the development of trail running and ensure a constructive dialogue between the national and international bodies with an interest in the sport."
ITRA maintains a race calender based on voluntary registration by race organizers. ITRA calculates both 'mountain points', 'finisher level' and awards 'ITRA points' for all the approved races in their race calender. The runners who finish such races are also awarded an 'ITRA Score', and the ITRA score contributes toward the runners' ITRA Performance Index.
- Finisher level: Indicates the lowest ITRA Performance Index that a runner needs in order to finish the race (within the cut-off time limit)
- Mountain level: Indicates, on a scale from 1 to 14, the 'difficulty' of the trail, explained as follows by ITRA: "The level of difficulty (Mountain) is based on data relating to altitude (minimum, maximum and mean), to the gradient percent and to the longest uphill."
- ITRA points: Expresses the endurance difficulty on a scale from 1 (easy) to 6 (very hard). The ITRA points also decide which category's performance index will be affected by the runners' ITRA score.
For a period up until 2021, the ITRA performance index and the ITRA points were used by UTMB in relations to applications to run their races. This contributed to a well updated database of ultra-trail races in the ITRA race calender. From 2022 UTMB has established their own performance index. Some other race organizers still use the ITRA scores and performance indexes for their purposes.
The ITRA performance index is a tool for ranking athletes based on their performance level. The performance index can be used to compare the level of different trail runners around the world and is built on a scale up to a maximum of 1000 points. The top of the scale corresponds to the theoretical best possible performance.
The ITRA performance index is calculated by obtaining the weighted mean of up to the 5 best scores achieved by a runner over the previous 36 months (for the general index or the index by category). A weighted mean is used to give more importance to the most recent results compared with older ones. If a score from one race is much lower than scores that runner achieved in other races then this result will not be used in calculating the performance Index. This also applies to a DNF result.
If you want to check your own ITRA Performance Index, you can use ITRA's 'Find a Runner' service.
Starting in 2023, ITRA also organizes the ITRA National League.
The ITRA National League is an initiative, open to ALL trail running enthusiasts, aimed at growing the sport at a national level.
Runners who want to participate in the National League must run and finish 3 national league races within the same country between 1st January 2023 & 31st December 2023.
Ranking is done both overall, per gender and per age group. Ranking is defined by sum of the 3 best ITRA scores obtained in national league races (for the same country).
Find out more, discover and follow your ranking throughout the year in the dedicated ranking pages which will be made available at ITRA National League.