International Trail Running Association (ITRA) – Press Release

Introduced a few months ago, the International Trail-Running Association (known as the ITRA), is answering the necessity to organise trail-running as a full discipline and was registered as an association last July. Today, the website is active, members have started joining and visitors are able to obtain information… The association’s work doesn’t cease to grow and evolve, the principal motivation being to promote and to develop Trail-Running at the world level by addressing all players in the field.

This press release has been provided by the ITRA. It has been posted impartially to provide an informative resource to the trail and ultra community. Ian Corless


The ITRA is, today a real player in a discipline in full evolution. After two years of reflection, meetings and exchanges we can now talk about the end of the first act?

If Act 1 corresponds to the end of the set-up, yes… the first principles and basic values are well and truly in place… Today the ITRA, due to the preliminary work carried out by 5 working groups, can work towards the development of trail-running as a full sport,respecting the diversity of the cultures and venues, around the same ethical vision of the discipline.

Concretely different but important items such as the establishing of an ethical charter, an international definition of trail-running, a health policy, the management of high calibre athletes and an international ranking, have already been thought through at length and the conclusions are on-line on the website.

Today, the ITRA collaborates with national trail-running associations, national and international federations, and gets involved as a real partner in the promotion of a sports ethic leaning on strong values (authenticity, humility, fair-play, equity, respect, solidarity) alongside not only all trail-running players, but also the general public: the improvement in the quality of organisations and participants safety; facilitating preventive actions concerning health matters and the anti-doping fight; the implementation of an environment-friendly practice and the promotion of sustainable development within trail-running are the priorities. Today the ITRA participates in the organisation of championships and continental or worldwide trail-running circuits which reinforce the visibility of international trail-running.

Who is the ITRA aimed at? And what does it offer them?

The ITRA is open to all players in the field of trail-running, runners whether elite or not, organisers, brands… It wants to give ALL its members the best service by making available the means by which it can live up to expectations of all.

For all race organisers and associations it is the opportunity to join an association which has international representation, a guarantor for the seriousness and quality of the organisation. Help and advice, evaluation the quality of races and establishing a label of quality, health matters and fighting against doping, being put into contact with service providers, development of the member organisations and the optimization of communication,  recommendations for security … as well as other services will be put into action during 2014 in direct response  to clearly expressed opinions.

For brands and equipment manufacturers: Always with the will to gather all the players in the world of Trail-running, the ITRA wishes to take into account their opinion within its various commissions. The performance index published on the ITRA’s website will, from the beginning of 2014, help companies to promote their runners’ results and prize lists and therefore benefit from more visibility.

For the runners, the international performance index established from the results of the previous 2 years, and the year in progress, allows them to see their level in relation to the best athletes in the world. The database already lists more than 320 000 runners from the results of 3 500 races.

The implication of the elite athletes via a commission dedicated to them will mean that events can be organised to suit their requirements. The race Calendar will be available in 2014 and will be regularly updated to give a global vision and help runners to better managetheir season.

Being a member of the ITRA opens the door to participantion in the various debates and to very soon benefit from an individual page for personal information (photo, club membership, team….). Membership already gives access to better and more complete information upon consulting the performance index.

Annual membership costs 5€ for runners and followers, 150€ for associations and companies and for race organisers the cost is in relation to the size of their race starting from 30€.

What are the concrete actions today?

The ITRA is actually acting on several levels.

Security is the 6th sector of work taken on by the ITRA. Indeed, the level of safety during organised trail races world-wide is very varied between one country and another, one race and another. If certain countries like France have, at the initiative of organisers and due to the input of Fédération Française d’Athlétisme, special regulations adapted for trail-running, that is not the case in most othercountries. The ITRA’s security commission, created in October, is comprised of ITRA members or partners who have a lot ofexperience in the security sector. Its objective is to publish, in spring 2014, a text which will evoke recommendations and adviceallowing all organisers, whatever their nationality, to take the necessary precautionary measures and to set up a well adapted securityplan.

In matters concerning health, the association «Athletes For Transparency», an ITRA partner, is actually developing a unique Web service platform which will centralise all the runners’ necessary medical and sporting information. This service will not only allow the runners to follow their medical reports to facilitate their relationships with organisations and to share their training with the community, but also so that organisers can access the necessary information for the implementation of a prevention initiative regarding health.

The ITRA participates in the elaboration of trail-running circuits. A partnership has been made with the Ultra-Trail ® World Tour (UTWT) for the realisation of its ranking to be drawn from the performance index. Elsewhere the ITRA is also a partner of a new Spanish circuit, the Ultra-Trail® Spain Tour which has several races on offer of between 80 and 120km.

Finally in collaboration with the IAU (International Association of Ultra runners), the ITRA is working on France’s candidature for theorganistion of the 2015 Trail-running World Championships and is giving its support to the MaXi Race (86km, 5 600m ascent, aroundthe Lac d’Annecy – 74). The application has been validated by the FFA (Fédération Française d’Athlétisme) and the IAU’s decision isexpected in the next few days.

The ITRA’s objectives are ambitious and, with the vice-presidents Alessandra Nicoletti (ITA) and José Santos (POR), we arededicated to the idea that the ITRA, a non-profit organisation, becomes the reference for Trail-Running thought up by, and for, all theplayers in the field of the discipline


Provide us with your feedback 

  1. What are your thoughts about the ITRA?
  2. Does our sport need an ethical charter?
  3. Doping… does our sport have doping and do we need anti-doping?
  4. As a runner do you need to see your performance and how it compares to everyone else?
  5. Does the UTWT or other similar circuits appeal to you?
  6. What are the pluses?
  7. What are the negatives?

1 thought on “International Trail Running Association (ITRA) – Press Release

  1. 1.
    What is trail running about:
    – To run and enjoy nature without being restricted by rules, as they exist e.g. in track races.
    What is a trail race about:
    – To challange yourself, to give the best you can against a course, to run with your fellow runners, not against them

    What is the ITRA about:
    – making a business out of a low cost sport, as if copying the ironman association.
    – introduce all sorts of rules, standards, point systems, glorify the professional winners and exploit the enthousiastic hobby athlete.

    I know many athletes who left triathlon for trail running because it offered them a challenging endurance sport where they could take responsability for themselves, without bureaucrats telling them what to do and not to do.
    The ITRA is introducing into trail running everything that they thought to have left behind.

    2. No

    3. Just make sure you don’t pay prize money and then there will be no doping problem. Doping tests are expensive, so I prefer low entry fees to having doping test.

    4. Result lists are all I need. I don’t care about comparing myself to people running other races.
    Trail raes don’t complare, that’s why we like them! If you want to compare go and do track or road races. Trail running is not about winning, it is about giving all that you can give.

    5. Not really, it is something like the Ironman. It creates a class society amongst races and racers. No I want to be able to pick the races that I consider beautiful. I don’t want to be pressed into a circuit.

    6. –

    7. see above

    8. My question is: Who draws a profit from the ITRA
    Runners? Organizers?
    Didn’t we have a well established 100 mile race culture in the US for years without the need for an ITRA?

    What happens with all the money that the ITRA makes by charging for memberships, race evaluations, commercials? has anyone ever seen a financial statement of that assoc.?


    P.S. Do we really need a definition of trail running?

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