For the first time, Spain will host the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships (WMTRC) — two years from now.
One of mountain running and trail running’s biggest events will take place in Aragón, Spain, in September 2025, bringing together 1,700 athletes from 70 countries. With organizers anticipating an economic return of about 30 million Euros, it represents a big win for this mountainous community in northeastern Spain.
“This event will showcase the breathtaking beauty of the Pyrenees while providing a platform for athletes to display their skills and compete at the highest level,” the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) said in a news release.
Once this year’s championships conclude in Tyrol, Austria, the torch will be figuratively passed to Spain in 2025. It will include five races, as well as a festival that will last all summer “to promote the mountain range,” the WMRA wrote.
“We are excited that the third WMTRC will take place in Canfranc, Spain, in 2025 in the beautiful Pyrenees — a paradise for mountain and trail running,” said ITRA President Janet Ng, IAU President Nadeem Khan, and WMRA President Tomo Šarf in a joint statement.
Why The Pyrenees?
The new format of bringing all the mountain running and trail running world championships together was introduced in 2021. It now happens every other year. These combined races started with Chiang Mai, Thailand, and continue this year in Austria, before arriving in Spain in 2025.
Aragón won the right to host the championships by proving its experience successfully handling other big sporting events in the past. Those include Canfranc-Canfranc, a famous mountain running event with 16 editions of history.
Many local governments and organizations participated in Spain’s bid to host the event. They include the Government of Aragón, the Canfranc Town Council, the Huesca Provincial Council, the Higher Sports Council, and the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA).
Canfranc: A Proven Running Space
The Canfranc-Canfranc race has been a pioneer among mountain races around the world, the WMRA said. That’s not just because of its high standards in financing and rules, but also World Anti-Doping Association controls, the same used at other world championships events and the Olympics.
It takes place in — you guessed it — Canfranc, a municipality in the Aragón Valley, and it’s not the only event to feature amid the area’s beautiful mountain landscapes. The WMRA World Cup landed for the first time in Canfranc in 2021 and returned the following year.
This year, the area will once again host two events in the WMRA World Cup, with uphill and classic mountain running races. And in 2024, Canfranc-Canfranc will host the World Masters Mountain Running Championships, a dress rehearsal for the 2025 WMTRC.
But First, The 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Austria
The announcement of the 2025 WMTRC in Spain immediately precedes the 2023 edition, which takes place starting on June 6 in Innsbruck, Austria.
iRunFar is shortly en route to the event and will be reporting on site all week. Stay tuned!