How difficult is it? - Maverick route rating explained
When entering a trail race online it can be daunting to understand just how difficult the route might be. In order to help you gauge the level of challenge, we have created a Maverick route rating scale. The scale goes from 1 - 5, where 1 is the least challenging and 5 is the most challenging.
Our route rating scale is a stand-alone scale and is not related to the ITRA scoring system or any other trail events company scale. Our ratings have been constructed in relation to other Maverick events and are, therefore, ‘relative’ to other Maverick events only.
Using our knowledge and experience of running each route we have assessed the technical difficulty of the course and the relationship of elevation gain to distance. We have looked at the average trail conditions for the time of year we will be holding the race, as well as considering previous years' finisher times in order to allocate each event with a rating from 1 - 5.
In order to remain consistent throughout, we have applied the Maverick route rating scale to the longest distance route each event has to offer.
Below are the icons you will see on each event page indicating the rating that has been awarded. We have gone into further detail about the 5 rating points as well as given examples from the 2022 calendar that would have been rated at each point on the new Maverick route rating scale.
In a nutshell - Fast & flat, full steam ahead.
2022 Race Examples - New Forest Original & Forest of Dean Original
A bit more info - The route largely allows for fast and carefree running. The majority of the trails used will be wide fire tracks that are typically clear of hazards and technical features. There will be minimal elevation gain, with any inclines and declines being interspersed into the route and you shouldn’t need to break from your normal stride pattern.
Finisher time expectations - We would expect your finishing time to be very similar to the pace you would run on a flat road route.
In a nutshell - Lumps & bumps, cruising speed.
2022 Race Examples - Chilterns X-Series & South Downs Way X- Series
A bit more info - The route will be predominantly on well-kept and well-trodden trails. There may be some technical features but these will be simple to negotiate. There will be some noticeable hills but nothing that will slow down your pace to a complete standstill.
Finisher time expectations - We would expect your finishing time to be slightly slower than the pace you would run on a hilly road route and certainly slower than on a flat road route.
In a nutshell - Significant climbs, runnable ascents & descents.
2022 Race Examples - Peaks X-Series & TRIBE Run Free+
A bit more info - The route will largely be on narrower trails which are often singlefile. There will be technical components that will require thought and for you to break from your normal stride pattern and pace. There will be big climbs that for most will require you to make the decision of whether to save vital energy and walk up the steepest parts.
Finisher time expectations - We would expect your finishing time to be somewhat slower than the pace you would run on a hilly road route. Don’t be disheartened if you are some distance away from your Personal Best! For a Maverick trail marathon with a rating of 3, we would expect a 3-hour flat road marathon runner to complete the route in around 3 hours 45 minutes / 4 hours.
In a nutshell - Chunky elevation, walk uphill when needed, go cautiously on the descents.
2022 Race Examples - Exmoor X-Series & Jurassic Coast X-Series
A bit more info - Whilst the route will be on official footpaths there will be sections which are technical and challenging. These routes will be made increasingly more challenging by expected adverse weather conditions due to the time of year the event is due to take place. Poor visibility, precipitation and cold temperatures will add to the difficulty of these routes. There will also be significant climbs throughout the race that will almost certainly require runners to walk. Some runners may also choose to utilise their running poles.
Finisher time expectations - We would expect your finishing time to be considerably slower than the pace you would run on a hilly road route. For a Maverick trail marathon with a rating of 4, we would expect a 3-hour flat road marathon runner to complete the route in around 5 hours. Again don’t be disheartened to see a much slower pace than you would see on the road, these types of routes are a different kettle of fish.
In a nutshell - Technical, some scrambling, and full focus required on the ups and downs.
2022 Race Examples - Lake District X-Series
A bit more info - These routes are the hardest we offer and with their extreme technical elements and gnarly elevation gain, it isn’t difficult to see why. The trails will be challenging whether you are running uphill, downhill or along the flat (if you can find any). Due to the time of year, our events with a rating of 5 take place then adverse weather conditions could certainly add to the obstacles presented.
Finisher time expectations - We would expect your finishing time to be more than double that of a road race of the same distance. For a Maverick trail marathon with a rating of 5, we would expect a 3-hour flat road marathon runner to complete the route in 6 hours 30 minutes. It’s a tough day out, but one that will stick with you for a long time. Often described as ‘type 2 fun.