Mountain running worldwide a focus of WMRA meetings
Representing Italy (Bruno Gozzelino, President), France (Pierre Weiss, acting General Secretary), USA (Nancy Hobbs, Treasurer), Bulgaria (Galia Puhaleva, Council member), Germany (Wolfgang Munzel, Council member), Slovenia (Tomo Sarf, Cuncil member). Turkey (Erhan Basoglu, Council member) and Poland (Andrzej Puchacz, Council member) and, but more importantly the sport of mountain running internationally, WMRA&rsquo,s eight-member council covered an aggressive agenda in three days of meetings.
On charge IAAF, Paul Hardy, General Director, attended to the whole WMRA Council meeting, instead Essar Gabriel, IAAF General Secretary, gave a IAAF contribution at the meeting explaining the IAAF policy and program for next future.
At the WMRA Council meeting was present also Dobromir Karamarinov, as European Athletics Representant.
The agenda was packed with a myriad of topics from contracts to promotion, and included a recap of 2014 events as well as a focus to the future of the sport.
In addition to the full council meetings, several working groups met during this weekend.
In these sessions, finances and budget were addressed, as were regulations for the various WMRA-supported competitions.
" "New regulations about competition: a thorough assessment of the regulations for competitions to include the WMRA World Mountain Running Championships, the WMRA International Youth Cup, the WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and the WMRA/WMA World Masters Mountain Running Championships were discussed. Numerous updates were made to the documents, which will seek final approval electronically by the WMRA Council in the coming weeks, except - of course - the WMRA World Mountain Running Championships regulations that need approval by next WMRA Congress 2015.
WMRA Council decided that new regulations will be operative for all WMRA events starting on year 2017, also if some new rules could work starting since on next year, 2016.
17th World Cup 2015: Details of the World Cup 2015, a series of independently organized events, which started in 1999 as the WMRA Grand Prix, are still under review with a new program on tap for the coming year including events in Europe (with possible new Nations like Spain) ,and potentially one event in the United States.
WMRA Council&rsquo,s goal is to stage final calendar of World Cup 2015 enter the end of February.
In the next time, as soon as possible, WMRA will circulate to all Federations and potential LOC of World Cup races a letter with regulations of 17th World Cup 2015 and condition for sending application ,with any other useful info.
2015 - 2016 &ndash, 2017 - 2018 WMRA competitions: after a recap of a successful 2014 event calendar, the Council reviewed a report from technical delegate Tomo Sarf who visited Betws Y Coed, Wales, 2015 host of both the masters and the world mountain championships. The back-to-back events on the weekends of September 12 and 19 respectively, will include a full week of mountain running activities. Planned as part of the program are coaching seminars, which the WMRA has agreed to partner with the local organizing committee to promote and support.
In addition to previously awarded competitions for 2015, including venues in Switzerland for the Long Distance with the Zermatt Marathon, and Bulgaria for the Youth Cup, the Council confirmed at this weekend&rsquo,s meeting in Monaco, Podbrdo, Slovenia to host the 13th WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships on June 18, 2016. A bid from the Czech Republic to host the 11th WMRA International Youth Cup in 2016 was considered and, pending course evaluation and approval, the bid will be confirmed.
The World Mountain Running Championship in 2016 will be hosted by Bulgaria which was approved by the WMRA Congress in September 2014. The event will be held on an uphill course in Sapareva Banya on September 4. On hand at the meetings in Monaco to discuss the event was Bulgarian Federation President Dobromir Karamarinov who, along with Bulgarian WMRA council member Galia Puhaleva gave a report about plans for the event. European Mountain Running Championships was already fixed on July, 2nd in Italy, at Arco (Trento), instead WMRA is waiting more info about the other Area Continental Championships (NACAC, CONSUDATLE and AAC).
Looking ahead to 2017, there is interest from Sesto Pusteria, Italy, to host the 33rd World Mountain Running Championships which will be run on a course with both uphill and downhill terrain (whereas in even-numbered years, the course for this event is a mostly uphill route). For the Youth Cup, there was interest from Austria and Slovenia. The WMRA/WMA Masters Mountain Running Championships received declaration of interest from Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
RFEA is interest also for staging the World Mountain Running Championship in 2018, like Canada.
Anti-doping matters: from a separate anti-doping meeting with IAAF Officials, it was deemed that the sport of mountain running has a positive trend &ndash, in a good way. This is the result of statistics gleaned from three years of tests and data collected specific to mountain running. In 2014, all doping control tests were negative from WMRA mountain running competitions. This is not to say that anti-doping will take a back stage in this niche area of athletics, but rather remain as an important aspect of the sport with continued testing and analysis of data.
Development of mountain running: despite very small budget, WMRA always goes on developing discipline of mountain running worldwide. Interesting and important contacts are on progress with some Nations (like for sample China and Spain) or Area Continent (like for sample NACAC) or other Athletics Association (like for sample AASSEE or CISM or Commonwealth) in order to stage mountain races in some part of the world where this beautiful discipline of athletics still not exist or is a the beginning of the development.
WMRA website, Facebook, Twitter and newsletter: in an effort to provide a better social media platform, the Council discussed an overhaul of the website with the hopes of better integration with its Facebook and Twitter channels. In 2014, there were 81,680 unique visitors to the WMRA website with the biggest traffic in the month of September which is the time of the World Mountain Running Championships. Statistics for the Facebook page, which debuted in January 2014, has nearly 2800 followers. Twitter, which also debuted last year @WMRAMountainRun presently has more than 500 followers.
Another avenue of promotion is the annual newsletter, of which nearly 2,000 will be produced and distributed by spring in hard copy fashion. A .pdf version will also live on the WMRA website.
Miscellaneous: during a joint session with the International Association of Ultrarunning (IAU), led by the IAAF&rsquo,s General Secretary Essar Gabriel, a connection between mountain, ultra and trail running was discussed. As such, there has been a decision by the IAAF that this niche area of sport &ndash, trail running &ndash, is indeed a branch of athletics. In 2015, a definition of trail running will be developed, with the potential of a new rule to be considered by the IAAF Council and Congress during their meetings in April and August respectively. If accepted, this new rule would be part of the IAAF Competition Rule Book. A task force has been created, chaired by David Bedford, IAAF Road Running Commission Chairman.
A new partnership between the U.S.-based Council for Responsible Sport and Athletics For A Better World powered by IAAF was discussed. This global effort is designed to stimulate social and environmental responsibility programs at competitions of all levels from fun runs to world championships. The WMRA pledged its commitment to this effort.
Conclusion: the next meeting of the WMRA Council is scheduled in Betws Y Coed for morning Thursday September 17, two days prior to the World mountain running championships.
The WMRA Congress meeting will follow on Friday, September 18.
Edited from Bruno Gozzelino and Nancy Hobbs (WMRA)
Source of the pictures (Nancy Hobbs, WMRA):
on front page:
- ,a moment of WMRA Council meeting,
on second page:
- Essar Gabriel, IAAF General Secretary,
- WMRA and IAU Officials together in a meeting.