The 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships are heading to Austria the World Mountain Running Association have announced today.
The Championships will take place in Innsbruck and Stubai in the West of the country in early June 2023.
The joint application from the Innsbruck Tourism and the Stubai Tourism Associations fended off strong international competition in the bidding process.
The bidding process was overseen by the International Association of Ultrarunners, the International Trail Running Association and the World Mountain Running Association, alongside World Athletics.
The Championships will see up to 1,400 athletes from 60 countries competing across four different events: uphill mountain running, classic up and down mountain running, short trail and long trail. Junior athletes will compete in classic up and down mountain running.
World Athletics President Seb Coe described the Championships as an “exciting opportunity.”
“We are thrilled that the 2023 edition of the World Mountain & Trail Running Championships will be taking place in the Austrian region of Innsbruck-Stubai. This global running festival will gather elite trail and mountain runners from across the world as they run through some of the most spectacular scenery Austria has to offer. We are also pleased to be working in close partnership with World Mountain Running Association, the International Association of Ultrarunners and the International Trail Running Association on the delivery of this event. We all share the ambition of promoting running at every level and in every form – and this is an exciting opportunity to showcase a different kind of racing challenge for distance runners and for them to come together to celebrate their common passion for our sport,” Mr Coe said.
Innsbruck was considered to be an ideal location for the Championships due to its excellent hotel industry and infrastructure as well as its proximity to the mountains. Local organisers are promising “breath-taking routes” for the Championships such as trails along the “Kalkkögel” to Neustift up to the “Elfer” while routes across Innsbruck’s old town and the legendary “Höll” are in preparation. The exact routes that will be used are yet to be confirmed.
“Innsbruck can present itself as a ‘city in the mountains’ with this major sporting event. We don’t have to expand or rebuild anything, we show what is there: a city in the heart of Europe, embedded in a unique mountain world,” Georg Willi, the city’s Mayor said.
He like many other athletes, coaches, and spectators will no doubt be eagerly awaiting the start of these Championships.