Focus on sustainability and legacy at World Mountain and Trail Running Championships

March 10, 2023

The 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships (WMTRC) are set to take place in Innsbruck-Stubai, Austria, in early June – with sustainability and legacy being central topics for the event organising team.

Alexander Pittl, Head of the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships’ organizing committee, said “Considering all the various environmental protection initiatives like the ‘Global Climate Strike’ on Friday, March 3, it is obvious that climate protection seems to rank high for our society.

We want to take a stand and shine a light on this sensitive and important matter by emphasizing topics such as recycling, regionality and community.”

He continued, “Trail running is one of the most sustainable athletic disciplines per se, seeing as it only uses existing natural resources. There won’t be any permanent new structures erected for the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships. Rather, we will make use of existing hiking trails, which, together with our partners, we are going to restore and make safe for future use.

Recycling and waste prevention
Major events can cause large amounts of (plastic) waste. At the WMTRC 2023 Innsbruck- Stubai the organising team is planning on counteracting waste, for example by using recyclable banners, which will prevent a total of 2,170 m2 of waste.

In addition, there won’t be any plastic cups at any of the catering stations. As is common in running, athletes will carry their own water bottles or cups, which is expected to save several thousand disposable cups.

Focus on regionality
The organising team are carefully choosing regional partners and businesses wherever possible… ‘Generally speaking – and in compliance with any legislative requirements – the motto is to keep it regional before going national before going international.’

It is our mission to ignite a love for nature and a passion for being active,” Pittl added. “It is important for us to see the local population celebrate the world championships, for them to experience it as a celebration of sports and to actively participate, be it as volunteers or as spectators. After all, the WMTRC is not just made up of a select few but of a community of many.

We are hoping the athletes will be a source of inspiration because it is our mission to ignite a love for nature and a passion for being active in as many people as possible.

Sustainability areas that the organizers are focusing on include:

  • All signs used for trail signage will be recycled.
  • A temporary trail made entirely of natural materials (sand, soil, stones, roots, woods) in the heart of Innsbruck’s old town will be erected just before and dismantled right after the event.
  • Athletes will be transported by shuttle buses in order to reduce individual transport. Additionally, the organising team will cooperate with public transport providers.
  • Visitors are called upon to make use of the Austrian rail service (at reduced rates) to visit Tyrol and take (hop-on-hop-off) buses to get to various points of interest.
  • There will be provisions for waste reduction, waste separation and recycling systems.
  • The organisers aim to make use of reusable crockery wherever hygienically and logistically possible.
  • In order to prevent the use of disposable cups, all volunteers will receive aluminum bottles that can be refilled at specifically installed hotspots as well as existing sources.
  • Vegetarian and vegan menu options will be available for everyone.

The World Mountain and Trail Running Championships (WMTRC) is set to take place in Innsbruck and Stubai, in Austria, from June 6-10, 2023. The WMTRC is overseen by event partners – the International Association of Ultrarunners, the International Trail Running Association and the World Mountain Running Association, alongside World Athletics.

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