Series FAQ

How do you qualify for the XTERRA Trail Run National and World Championships?

There is no qualifying process! These races are open to one and all, even if you have never competed in an XTERRA Trail Run before. Of course, if you want to earn a FREE entry to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, you need to win an age-group championship in  your respective region, and the best way to do that is to enter as many races as possible in your area.

What is the XTERRA Trail Run Series?

We have races across the country throughout the year that are open to all runners. Check out our schedule.

If an event is offering both a 5k and a 15k, do you get points for either distance?

No, just the longest distance race of the day gives points.  So if there is a 5km and a 15km then only the 15km would be the points race, and the 5km would be just for fun.  If there’s a 10km and a 21km, it’d be the 21km that will score points.  Some events offer three distances, such as a 5km, a 10km and a 21km. In this case, only the 21km race would be the points race. The lone exception is when an event hosts both a full-marathon (42km) and half-marathon (21km) on the same day. In that case, both distances would count for points.

The theory behind this is to get the best runners to enter the longest distance offered at each race, rather than having some of the quality runners “hold back” by entering a shorter distance knowing that they could still score points.

Can I compete in just one trail run, or must I compete in the entire series?

You can do just one, or you could do them all (good luck!).  The thing to know is that you score points every time you finish in the top 15 at a race.  Points are added up within each Series, and if at the end of the year you’ve got the most points in your age group you’ll be declared the Series Champion and earn free entry into the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship.

Do I get any points for simply completing a trail run even if I am not in the top 15 in my age group?

Nope.  Just the top 15 in each age group earn points towards their Series championship, but truly everyone who gets out there and races is a winner. 

What if I have a really bad race? Is there any way I can drop those points?

Possibly. If the series you are in has four or more races, you are allowed to drop your lowest points from one event. For example, if you compete in four races in your series and place first, second, third and fourth in the four races, you will be allowed to drop the fourth place finish and the first, second and third will count toward your final points. You must, though, complete all races offered within the series for this to apply. Please note, in a 3 race series this rule does not apply- all 3 races will count.

Can I sign up for any series or just the closest to my region?

You can race in any event and in any Series across the country that you want to.  You can also win a Series crown even if it’s not near where you live.  For example, if you live in California but raced in and did well at all three races in Florida, then you could be the Florida Series champ.

If I have to miss a race in my series, can I substitute a similar race in another region to add to my accumulated points?

No.  Only races in the Series count for that Series title chase. The theory is you’ll be competing against the same guys/gals during the course of the year so by the end, a clear-cut Series champ emerges.

What steps do I need to take to sign up for a trail running series, and what are the deadlines? Do I sign up for all races in the series at the same time?

Every Series follows a different schedule, so deadlines vary by region. Just go the schedule, pick your races, follow the links to the registration page, and sign-up.  Some Series may offer discounts to racers who sign-up for all the races at once.  It’s worth looking into if you plan on doing them all.  Most races will accept race day, onsite registration, but some sell out so you should sign-up early.  It just depends on the race.

Are there any training programs in my area for the trail runs?

Very good question.  Almost all of the Series organizers have training runs prior to their races, and even if they don’t they’ll be able to point you in the right direction to find one.  So, look online to see who  the race director is for your Series/Region and drop them an email to see what they know.

Are maps of the course available ahead of time?

Many of the race organizers have course maps posted online, but not all.

Why do some Series have only three races, while others have as many as seven? And does that make any kind of a difference going into the national and world championship events?

Each Series schedule is set by the director of that specific series. Due to time and permitting issues, some Series can schedule more races than others. In the end, a Series Champion is a Series Champion, and it doesn’t matter if you did it in three races or seven.

I noticed on the schedule that there are a couple trail runs that aren’t part of a Series, do you get points for those races?

No. There are many of these “independent” races on the schedule, such as the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run and the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Run. There are no points awarded at these races, but they are some of the most fun and challenging races on the schedule.

Is there prize money for any of these races?

Yes, the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship annually offers a $10,000 prize purse, and the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship awards $5,000. The top seven men and women receive money at the XTERRA Worlds, while the top five men and women receive money at the XTERRA Nationals.

Are there any international Series?

Yes! XTERRA Trail Runs have gone global. Check out our schedule for trail runs around the world. Just like in America, all of these races are open to one and all.

If you have a question about the XTERRA Trail Run Series that we haven’t covered, please let us know what it is and we’ll add it to the list. 

Call us toll-free at 877-XTERRA1 or email