The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) concluded three days of meetings on January 12, 2014, in Monte Carlo, Monaco, where the organization is headquartered.
Led by president Bruno Gozzelino, the eight-member council plus honorary member Pierre Weiss and IAAF Officials Paul Hardy and David Okeyo reviewed agenda items including a recap of competitions held in 2013, upcoming competitions, administrative details, as well as regulations governing the WMRA’s various activities (honorary member Raimondo Balicco was the only absent council member).
The WMRA Working Group had updated the rules and regulations documents for competition and revised some aspects of the Constitution and these were agreed by council with some decisions to be given final approval by Congress in September.
David Okeyo had been encouraged by the excellent work of the council and confirmed the continued support of the IAAF acknowledging that mountain running was “growing very fast”. He praised the council members for giving their free time to run the sport and for producing such a vast amount of activity with a small budget to achieve it.
The WMRA Youth International Cup will be held in Italy, Arco di Trento on the 29th of June and this competition will be certainly a success.
The WMRA’s signature event, the World Mountain Running Championships will also be held in Italy on September 14, in Casette di Massa, an area famous for its marble quarry. The quarry will be part of the course for this year’s events which include both junior and senior competition and will attract teams from 40, or more countries. The WMRA’s technical delegate to the Championships, Tomo Sarf, visited the venue in December, and provided a detailed report to the Council including photographs and proposed routes for the competition. The final route is being reviewed and will be available to teams in the coming weeks to assist with their training plans.“The proposed course is quite a technical one,” said Sarf, “Much is single track trail, with just a few asphalted road sections,” said Sarf. “The quarry will be part of the course and this provides an interesting running experience.”
In 2014, the WMRA has events in Europe, as well as North America. The Pikes Peak Ascent will host the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge on August 16th, in Manitou Springs, Colorado, with eight to ten international teams expected to compete.
The WMRA/WMA Masters World Mountain Running Championships will be held in Telfes, Austria on the 6th September.
Dates for the 16th WMRA Grand Prix were announced with a prize structure to mirror that of 2013. The six-race series kicks off in June, and includes venues in Austria, France, Slovenia, and Italy, with the final event to be held at Smarna Gora, Slovenia, in October.
In other matters:
- WMRA Director of Marketing Erhan Basoglu had secured a new three year sponsorship agreement with Turkish company AROMA Bursa Fruit Juices and Food Industry Inc.
- There had been fantastic cooperation between WMRA and the IAAF Anti – Doping Commission and some excellent work had been undertaken during the year.
- Meetings had taken place in an IAAF working group to look at the possibility of trail running becoming part of the IAAF umbrella and good progress had been made.
- A decision was made to start a presence for the WMRA using social media. “Many mountain runners are young people who rely on social media for information,” said Paul Hardy, IAAF liaison to the WMRA, “Getting information out using social media can boost your awareness.” After some discussion, the Council unanimously approved the development of a Facebook presence. Richard Bolt, U.S. Mountain Running team leader who has experience with social media as well as extensive knowledge about the sport of mountain running, was contacted from Monaco to see if he would set up the Facebook page. Bolt agreed, and created the page at this link, more than 700 “likes” have already been received.
The next WMRA Council meeting will be held in September in Italy as part of the World Championships programme.
Edited from Adrian Woods (WMRA)
Source of the pictures:
On front page (by WMRA):
- WMRA Council members and IAAF Official at the meeting.