There’s a big new event to look out for: World Athletics, the global governing body for track and field (formerly known as the IAAF) has announced that it will launch a new global event in 2023, aimed at elite and recreational runners alike.
The World Athletics Road Running Championships will definitely feature a half marathon championships (a version of which already exists), a world 5km championships, and possible other events such a one mile race on the road.
While it can be a fantastic experience to spectate and watch the elites blow by doing their stuff at high speed, those with a sensitive FOMO trigger will be pleased to know that the plan is to run mass races for recreational runners alongside the elite events, so as many people as possible get to experience what World Athletics hopes will become known as a global festival of running.
In a statement, World Athetics CEO Jon Ridgeon said: ‘Road running has become an increasingly significant part of our sport over the past 20 years and it deserves greater recognition within our World Athletics Series events.
‘The growth in popularity of half marathons, including our own world championships, as well as community 5km events like parkrun, indicates that there is a need for more high status road racing events. We also think this will be a commercially desirable concept for host cities, partners and broadcasters.
‘With the establishment of the World Athletics Road Running Championships, the whole global community of recreational runners, which numbers in the millions, will be able to come together to celebrate their passion for putting foot to the road.’
The announcement of the first host city for the inaugural Road Running Championships is a little way off, however, with World Athletics having yet to ask for expressions of interest. Here’s hoping some of our UK cities decide to throw their hat into the ring.
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