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Is UTMB a threat to grassroots trail running races?

"I really dislike the fact that we're lumping this idea of commercialization and professionalization together. They are not needed to be together. They're lumped together because the money makes the connection cloudier, but we don't need it.

We've been professionalizing this sport just fine for about four decades. We don't need money to do that. Money's come in, of course, since the beginning and it will keep coming in and we'll keep professionalizing it, but I would guess 95% or more of this sport has zero monetary stakes in the professionalization of this sport.

It's just disposable income. You're spending your money and your vacation time to come have an experience because this is a lifestyle sport, and it's manifested in a tangible way with these grassroots races. They're these community endeavors where people come together to create a theater for us to have an experience.

And when you add this level of money that Ironman is giving UTMB to acquire races, it's a categorical threat to that."

- Caleb Efta, High Lonesome 100


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