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 http://i-tra.org 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

END

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?

International Trail Running Association

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March 29th 2013 – Press Release

Constitution of five working groups with the aim of the creating the
International Trail-Running Association

The world of trail running has evolved very fast. New demands are constantly being made in this rapidly expanding sport. The stakes are more and more important for all the players: organisers, athletes, equipment manufacturers, teams… The organisation of an international association for the discipline, gathering the largest number of participants as possible and recognised by all, seems to be necessary, so as to federate them all with a common policy and shared values, so as to collaborate with and influence the decisions of the IAAF (International Athletics Federation)

Act 1 – The International Trail-Running Conference

On September 3rd, last year, in Courmayeur (Italy) the first International trail-running conference was held, the objective of which was a discussion with all the actors of the discipline, which is in full evolution, and to try to determine in the shorter or longer term the convergent policies.
It brought together people from different aspects of the discipline: federations, brands, runners, media, race organisers, a total of 150 people from 18 different countries. It was the first time that so many players in the field of the trail had met to express their points of view.

It gave all the participants the chance to discover all the diverse points of view, and the necessity for trail-running to be organised as a full discipline. It also highlighted the need to take in to account the approach taken by the American, Asian and Oceanic continents even if the initiative was introduced on a European scale.
The organisation of 5 working groups was proposed so as to pursue the discussions.

Act 2 – Constitution of five working groups

Today fifty players in the world of trail running coming from 13 countries* and 4 continents realised the implementation of five working groups which had been defined and then set to work for 2 months. They are equipment manufacturers (Hoka, Salomon, The North Face®, Garmin…) race organisers (Western States 100 mile, TNF Lavaredo Ultra-Trail, Olympus Marathon, Tor des Géants®, Eco-Trail® de Paris, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® ), specialised media (ultrarun.es, Irunfar.com, Spiritotrail…), association for anti-doping, high calibre athletes, coaches, statisticians… The French Athletics Federation (FFA), the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), the National Committee for Trail-Running in South Africa, the Portuguese Trail-Running Association, and the Belgian Royal League of Athletic’s Trail-running commission all participated in these working groups.

* Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal,, South Africa, Spain Switzerland, Turkey, United States of America.

The five working groups themes:

– Definition of trail – objective: to draft a definition of trail-running for runners and the public in general so that everybody understands the characteristics of this sporting discipline. This definition will respect the practice of trail-running all over the world and in all diverse natural environments (plains, sea, mountains, desert…). They will organise the categories taking in to account the distances without judging the value.
– Ethical charter – objective: to draft an ethical charter which expresses the values of trail-running shared by all the players in the field.
– Management of high calibre athletes – objective: to develop recommendations for the relationship between organisers, top athletes and equipment manufacturers regarding the parity of premiums, whether for engagement, commitment or performance, offered by the organisers to the runners etc.
– Health policy and anti-doping – objective: to propose a « Health Policy » to protect, to the maximum, the good physical health of the participants in trail-running events, applicable and financed by the organisers of these sporting events.
– International Ranking – objective: to put an international ranking in place based on the system devised by Didier Curdy*. This group is examining the reliability of the system, sporting regulations, categories, legal aspects and funding, and all other aspects involved.
(*) Didier Curdy is a trail runner who is passionate about statistics; he has been working on this project for several years.

Act 3 – Working methods

These working groups have a web-site http://www.trail-running-association.org on which five private forums were created. These pages are exclusively reserved for the working groups so that the members of the groups may work peacefully together and express their points of view freely from the four corners of the globe. One person from each group is responsible for regularly posting a synopsis of their group’s work on the forum so as to inform internet users so that they also may express their points of view.
Act 4 – The next step: the creation of the International Trail-Running Association

The 5 working groups will continue to work throughout March.
The work of these groups will serve as the basis on which to create, this spring, the International Trail-Running Association which will be open to all players in the field of trail-running and will aim:

– to develop and promote trail-running as a complete sport, accessible to all;
– to promote its sporting ethic;
– to represent its members at an international level;
– to maintain constructive relationships and collaborate with the national associations of trail-running and the national and international federations;
– to promote the organisation of continental or world trail-running championships
– to contribute to the safety and health of the participants.
A forum on the web-site: http://www.trail-running-association.org has already been created to allow everybody to express their points of view.

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