Puerto Vallarta by UTMB is a UTMB World Series event featuring several different races of differing distances, complexities and total elevations.
The host city of Puerto Vallarta is on on Mexico’s Pacific west coast. An idyllic location, it is surrounded by beaches and the Sierra Madre mountains, making Puerto Vallarta instantly one of the world’s most picturesque ultrarunning events.
The event features races in the 20k, 50k, 100k and 100 mile categories, offering runners the chance to collect the running stones they need to have a chance to compete at the following year’s UTMB. Puerto Vallarta also features a shorter, 10k event.
Here is our full guide to learning everything you need to know about this UTMB World Series event, from the dates to the routes and how to enter.
Date, start time & live tracking
For the 2022 edition, the longest race, the 100-mile ‘Wixárika’, takes place on October 28, with the 100k ‘Hikuri’ and 50k ‘Nakawe’ the following day on October 29. The 20k ‘Ereno’ and 10k ‘Pata Salada’ then takes place on October 30.
Live tracking will be available on the UTMB Live website here.
Puerto Vallarta by UTMB Route
Wixárika is the longest of the routes, extending 178K from the start point in the town of San Sebastián del Oeste to the finish in the centre of Puerto Vallarta.
It has a total elevation of 6450 metres, with the highest single point coming early in the race, the opening 7k forcing runners to climb to the 2500 metre peak at La Bufa.
The terrain is varied, taking athletes through the Sierra Madre mountains, the surrounding jungle and down to meet the Pacific Ocean.
Hikuri roughly follows much of the Wixárika route, picking up the trail the town of Mascota. It is 93k long with a total elevation of 3440 metres.
Nakawe both starts and finishes at Puerto Vallarta’s boardwalk, taking runners out of the city into the jungle and mountains before bringing them back to the Ocean. It is 47k long and has a total elevation of 2200 metres.
The 26k Ereno does the same, both starting and finishing at the boardwalk. It has an elevation of 1300 metres.
Whilst it provides no running stones, the 8km Pata Salada route gives more runners the opportunity to enjoy racing through some of the beautiful landscapes surrounding Puerto Vallarta, both starting and finishing in the city. Its total elevation is 580 metres.
Puerto Vallarta by UTMB Facts, Tips & FAQ
The Puerto Vallarta event was designed especially for the UTMB world series from 2022.
In the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta is known for its stunning beaches and access to the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain range.
It has three rivers that run through the municipal area, from the Sierra down to the Ocean, which many of the routes overlap, cross and follow at various points. The rivers are the Cuale, Pitillal and Ameca.
Wixárika is translated to ‘Deep Hearted Person’, representing how the route is designed to take competitors through ancient Mexican and Wixárika heritage, a people indigenous to the region.
Hikuri means ‘the wise man’, Nakawe ‘mother water’, Ereno ‘sea foam’ and Pata Salada ‘salty feet’, a colloquial demonym for people from the coast.
How to qualify and enter the Puerto Vallarta by UTMB
You can reigster for any of the Puerto Vallarta events here. Prices vary depending on if you are a Mexican national or foreigner.
For the Wixárika, competitors must have a UTMB index in the 50k, 100k or 100 mile categories, but there are no such restrictions on any of the other races.
There are four running stones available for the 100 mile Wixárika, with three available for the 100k, two for the 50k, one for the 20k and none for the 10k.
Puerto Vallarta by UTMB records and past winners
The first edition of the Puerto Vallarta by UTMB will take place on 28-30 October 2022.
Puerto Vallarta by UTMB kit list
Different kit is mandatory or optional for each race, varying depending on the individual races. The full lists for each race are available here. Here’s the kit list for both the Wixárika and Hikuri races:
- Pack destined to transport obligatory equipment throughout the race
- Mobile phone
- Runners must be accessible/traceable at any moment before, during and after the race.
- Must have international roaming that allows use in Mexico
- Load in your memory the security numbers of the organization, do not encrypt your number and do not forget leave the battery fully charged.
- Keep the phone on, airplane mode is prohibited and could be sanctioned with disqualification.
- LiveRun app installed and activated.
- An external battery is preferably recommended.
- Personal beaker 150 ml minimum (bottles or flasks with lids are not accepted).
- Minimum 2 liters water reserve. At some aid stations, it will be mandatory to leave with 2 lts. of drink, depending on the section to be covered or the weather conditions.
- Plates and cutlery to eat. At the aid stations, no material is provided to be able to
- Supply of water of 1/2 liter minimum.
- 2 headlamps or lamp in good working order with spare cells/batteries for each lamp. – Recommendation: 200 lumens or more for the main lamp.
- Survival blanket of 1.40m x 2m minimum.
- Self-adhesive elasticated bandage which can serve as a bandage or strapping (minimum 100 cm x 6 cm).
- Food reserve: Recommendation: 800kcal (2 gels + 2 energizing bars each of 65g ).
- Jacket with hood which will withstand bad weather in the mountains and made with a waterproof and breathable membrane (eg. Outdry).
- The jacket must, imperatively, be fitted with an integrated hood or one which is attached to the jacket by the original system designed for that purpose by the manufacturer.
- The seams must be sealed.
- The jacket must not have sections of fabric which are not waterproof, but air vents fitted by the manufacturer (under-arm, in the back), since they do not damage in any obvious way the impermeability, are accepted.
- It is the runner’s responsibility to judge, with these criteria , if their jacket fits the regulations stated and so bad weather in the mountains, but, during a check, the judgment is made by the person in charge of the check or the steward.
- Cap, bandana or Buff®.
- Long-legged trousers or race leggings or a combination of legging and socks
- which cover the legs completely.
- Long-sleeve shirt or a combination of short-sleeve shirt and long sleeves which cover the arms completely
- Set of Rules Puerto Vallarta By UTMB
- Light running gaiters.