North American Rules


To be accepted as a valid marathon or ultra, each run must meet the definitions listed below: For credit as a marathon, the runner must complete the full distance of 26.2 miles or 42.125k. An ultra must be 31.1 miles or 50k or more. Both marathons and ultras count to arrive at the lifetime or yearly total. Completion of at least one 26.2-mile portion of an ultra may be counted as a marathon, if the race director so designates this as such. Similarly, if permitted by the race director, completion of a minimum distance of 31.1 miles (50 k) in any ultra event may be considered as an ultra. However, if the race director and race rules do not accept those shorter distances as an event, then it cannot be counted as such. Each event shall count as one run, that is, a six day race is one run even though 26.2 miles or more has been run each day, an ultra of more than 52.4 miles shall count as one run, not two. Organized stage races, however may be counted as one event completed for each segment of at least 26.2 miles when held on separate days. Only one event per day may be counted. For a marathon/ultra to count, it must have had advance publicity, preferably in a running publication such as one or more of the national, international or regional running magazines. The event must be announced as a marathon or ultra. Running a 10k race four times plus 2.125k does not qualify as a marathon event, nor does running a half-marathon twice. A marathon must be a marathon. The event shall have an announced race director or running club who supervises and takes responsibility for the event, and is available to certify the runners completion of the marathon. The event shall have a minimum of 5 starters and 3 finishers going the marathon or ultra distance. A marathon shall be run without interruption except for natural events such as a thunderstorm on the established course. In example, it is not acceptable to run 5 miles a day for 5 plus days. A marathon/ultra distance completed during an ultra shall be counted even though the runner may not have run for a period during the total period of time. A run temporarily interrupted by natural events, etc., can be counted if at least 26.2 miles has been completed, and it was allowed by the race director as stated under (C.) above. Each member shall retain information to substantiate the run, such as certificates, running numbers, entry blanks, names of other runners participating or witnessing their run, signature of the race director, etc. (Also a log of events providing date, name, location, finishing time, distance, participants, finishers, comments on the event such as weather, is optional.) A marathon that has a route that runs into two states cannot be counted as two states. IT COUNTS AS ONE. It is recommended that the second state be run in another marathon rather than running it twice and counting the other state. The run must either start or finish in the state being counted. In an advertised triathlon, in which the run is 26.2 miles, this marathon run is considered valid and countable. Completion of an officially certified distance of at least 26.2 miles in a time-specified event, such as a 12- or 24-hour run, will be accepted. Regardless of the actual distance covered, this even will be counted as a marathon -- either regular marathon or ultra depending on the distance certified.