Tyrol, Austria Presents the 2023 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships

Announcement written by Egon Theiner for the 2023 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships local organizing committee. Photos by Florentin Haunold, Roast Media.

On 13 September, the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships (WMTRC) were presented to the Media. The championship will take place in Innsbruck and Stubai on June 6-10, 2023, which will make Tyrol, Austria the international centre for mountain and trail running. The press conference held at Villa Blanka in Innsbruck in anticipation of the 2023 WMTRC drew a great deal of interest from the media.

The organizing community Innsbruck-Stubai was able to assert itself against strong international competition and brought the 2023 WMTRC to Tyrol. The International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) under the coordination of World Athletics justified the award for the Tyrolean regions with their excellent reputation as a leading alpine sports region, the professionalism of the application documents submitted and the proven experience in the organization of major events.

Alessio Punzi, Head of Running and Mass Participation of World Athletics (WA) on the award of the 2023 WMTRC to Innsbruck-Stubai: “The selection process was not easy, as all four international applicants met the needed requirements. In the end, however, we and our colleagues from the IAU, ITRA and WMRA were convinced by the unique mountain landscape of Tyrol, the special combination of urbanity and alpinism as well as the great know-how in the disciplines of mountain running and trail running.”

Alexander Pittl, the founder of the Innsbruck-based “Laufwerkstatt” and initiator of the “Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival” (largest running event in Austria and third-largest in the DACH region) is in charge of implementing the world championships both technically and organizationally. Pittl is considered a pioneer in mountain and trail running in Tyrol and provided information about planned routes and distances: “We will expect around 1,400 active athletes from at least 60 nations, who will be competing for the 16 titles and medals to be awarded – men and women, individual and team. There will be a total of four runs along really beautiful routes, including a “Vertical” in Stubai, a short trail over 40 km and a long trail over 80 km as well as the classic race as a spectacular ‘up-and-down’ race in Innsbruck. The exact routes are currently being worked out.”

Photo by Florentin Haunold, Roast Media.

Tyrol’s Deputy Governor Josef Geisler was delighted that the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023 had been awarded to Tyrol: “The staging of this major event will further strengthen Tyrol’s international profile and position as the leading sports region in the Alps. Mountain running and trail running are particularly environmentally friendly outdoor sports in harmony with nature, which stand for the sustainable development of tourism in our country.”

Innsbruck’s Sports counselor Elisabeth Mayr agrees: “With this major sporting event, Innsbruck can present itself as a ‘city in the mountains’. We don’t have to expand or rebuild anything, we show what it is: a city in the heart of Europe, embedded in a unique mountain world.”

Karin Seiler, Managing Director of Tirol Tourist Board, is also convinced of the added value that the hosting of the World Championships brings to Tirol: “From a tourism perspective and above all from a brand perspective, mountain sports in Tirol are part of our DNA. The mountain is firmly anchored in the Tyrol brand, so the Mountain and Trail Running World Championships fit in perfectly.”

Photo by Florentin Haunold, Roast Media.

The hosting regions offer perfect framework conditions for the different disciplines. The Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck impresses with its unique combination of event infrastructure and hotels in the immediate vicinity of the mountains. The Stubai, on the other hand, scores with its top hotels and the spectacular natural landscape.

“The World Championships will bring together the elite of trail and mountain runners from all over the world in Tyrol, who will run through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe,” athletes like Kristin Berglund, Ida-Sophie Hegemann and Florian Grasel are excited about their possible participation. “Even if it gets very sweaty, we are really looking forward to experiencing the freedom and closeness to nature of our sport in the exciting atmosphere of the World Championships!”

According to Mario Gerber, chairman of the Innsbruck Tourist Board, the planned running routes in and around Innsbruck will offer numerous sporting and visual highlights for athletes and spectators. “One route leads through the picturesque old town of Innsbruck and then climbs steeply over numerous meters to the “Höll” at the Hoetting quarter. There will be beautiful sporting pictures from our alpine-urban state capital out into the world,” says Gerber enthusiastically. Spectacular routes are also being worked out in the Stubai, according to the chairman of the Stubai Tourist Association, Adrian Siller, at the press conference.

Photo by Florentin Haunold, Roast Media.

[Editor’s Note: U.S. team selection criteria for the 2023 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships will be announced in the coming weeks. For the latest information about U.S. team selection, other MUT world championship opportunities and U.S. national championships, check out our USATF MUT webpage.]

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