As the athletics family continues to grow with an expansion into new territories, 2021 will be a major milestone year for the sports of trail and mountain running with the inauguration of the IAAF World Trail and Mountain Running Championships, a result of a unique partnership between the IAAF and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and World Mountain Running Association (WMRA).
At a joint press conference on Tuesday, August 28, ahead of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in Chamonix, France, both organisations announced that they would join the Monaco-headquartered athletics global governing body, marking the beginning of a new era for two of the largest running communities in the world.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “Running is the most natural thing in the world and we want to encourage people around the world to run in whatever environment they most enjoy.
“As the global federation, it is our ambition to bring all runners together under one umbrella and this process will reach a significant milestone in 2021 when we will host the first combined IAAF Trail and Mountain Running World Championships. It is new and exciting territory for us, and we look forward to offering new opportunities for distance runners to compete in the spectacular settings and on the challenging courses that traditional mountain and trail events offer.”
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the world governing and rule making body for the sports of athletics, which encompasses track and field, race walking, road, cross country, mountain, trail and ultra-running.