With just 90 days to go before the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023 Innsbruck-Stubai, the major sports event is present at the world’s leading tourism fair, the ITB Berlin. Ultra-trail runner and WMTRC ambassador Esther Fellhofer is attending with WC organizer Alexander Pittl, and during a press event organized by Tyrol’s tourism board, Tirol Werbung, she is happy to share her excitement while also giving some insights into the event, which will be held from June 6 to 10, 2023.
(f.l.) territorial council in charge of economy and tourism Mario Gerber, Tirol Werbung CEO Karin Seiler, ultra-trail runner Esther Fellhofer and WMTRC 2023 organizer Alexander Pittl.
International representatives from the tourism industry are meeting again at the ITB Berlin for the first time after a three-year hiatus caused by Corona. The Tyrolean tourism association Tirol Werbung, which, along with Innsbruck Tourism and the Tourism Association Stubai Tirol, is one of the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships’ three partners, presents Austria’s largest sports event of the year to an international audience.
The World Championships in Tyrol
”Mountaineering is part of our country’s DNA. It is not every day that we can host World Championships right on our doorstep, which is why it is all the more exciting to be able to welcome the mountain and trail running scene’s elite in June 2023. Images of the event will be broadcast all over the world,” says Mario Gerber, territorial council in charge of economy and tourism, and adds: “The event plays an important role for the region as whole, but even more so for the tourism industry and economic sector. Come June, we are expecting to welcome 66 nations, some of them with large delegations, in Tyrol.”
While affirming this, Tirol Werbung CEO Karin Seiler also explains why Tyrol is the perfect choice as a venue. “The Innsbruck-Stubai region’s application was successful thanks to many years of experience in staging major events but even more so thanks to its topographical specifics. Innsbruck will welcome the athletes with its unique combination of alpine and urban flair in addition to an event- and accommodations infrastructure that is unparalleled in an alpine setting, while Stubai boasts a top-notch hotel industry on top of spectacular scenery.”
Tyrol as a mountain and trail running destination
Esther Fellhofer is an ultra-trail runner and if everything goes according to plan, she is going to compete on the longest distance, the Trail Long (85 km) at the WMTRC. During the Tirol Werbung press event at the ITB on March 8, International Women’s Day, she provides some insights into the sports event that is set to take place in the heart of the Alps.
“It is a special honor to have the world’s best athletes come to Tyrol and to have the WMTRC 2023 take place on home ground. More than 1,500 athletes from 66 nations will be competing, which is a fact that speaks for itself. The event is going to be an important one for all the participating nations as well as the mountain and trail running scene, and every single contest will be of an exceptionally high standard,” Fellhofer says.
A major event under the banner of sustainability
Topics such as legacy and sustainability take center stage for WMTRC 2023 organizer Alexander Pittl and his team. Even though trail running may be one of the most sustainable athletic disciplines per se - after all, running in nature relies on existing resources only - major events come with an associated risk of large amounts of (plastic) waste.
By pointing out just one of many factors, Pittl explains that “we are abstaining from using plastic cups at any of the catering stations; rather, the athletes will bring their own bottles and cups, as is common practice in mountain and trail running. This alone is going to save several thousand disposable cups.”
The World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023 will take place in Innsbruck-Stubai from June 6 to 10. with an expected number of 1,500 participants from 66 nations. In the run-up, the Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival (IATF) will take place from June 1 to 4.