This joint statement by WMRA, ITRA and IAU follows on from the online conference on 3rd November 2021 hosted by World Athletics on mountain and trail running where the Thai Tourism Authority and ourselves updated Member Federations and other interested participants on the status of the 1st World Mountain and Trail Running Championships (“WMTRC”).
As per our last update on 19 August, we had previously hoped to hold the 1st WMTRC in Thailand in February 2022. This would have only been a short postponement from the original date in November 2021 which would have been easier for Member Federations already planning for taking part in the event.
Unfortunately, given the ongoing uncertainty of the current situation in both the host country and worldwide, we have reluctantly had to come to the decision to make a final postponement of the event until November 2022.
This decision has only been made yesterday, 2 November, since full details for the re-opening of Thailand to international tourists (i.e., the policy backdrop on which the existence of the Championships depends) were only announced on 1 November.
Taken as-is, the current policy doesn’t allow for the event to happen in the way we feel it’s right for the sport. Athletes from certain countries, as well as unvaccinated athletes, may have had to be subject to long quarantines if not unable to enter the country.
While there likely is scope for exemptions, to work them out would further extend the timelines for a decision, and we have decided to stand by our commitment to inform Federations of the plans at the very beginning of November, without further delays.
In addition, we have not yet been able to access the host region of Chiang Mai for site visits as the country has been reopened for quarantine-free visits only on 1 November 2021 (and not on 1 October, as initially planned).
The following provisional dates will apply for the Championships in November 2022.
Age limits will now be shifted to 2022.
All other details – flights, travel, hotels, travel subsidy plan, prize money etc remain as previously detailed
We will confirm dates for the event along with provisional details of the trail and mountain courses soon and provide final confirmation as soon as it is possible following the necessary technical site visit.
We’d like to stress that Chiang Mai, Thailand remains the host for the inaugural WMTRC. Our desire to bring the sport to new territories remains strong, and we have total confidence in the abilities of the LOC, which we would like to thank for all the ongoing work in very difficult circumstances. We look forward to working with them even more closely in the next 12 months.
World Athletics gave an update at the webinar on the bid status for WMRC 2023 which will be in a similar format to that for 2021/2 with a similar schedule for the championship races. We look forward to receiving the full bids in the next months
The WMTRC Partnership
3 November 2021