WATCH: Race locally and win with new trail-running challenge
Follow Kilian Jornet's lead and keep your races close to home in 2023Photo by: La Cloche Silhouette Trail. Photo: Ethan Frank
An initiative hosted by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) aims to encourage athletes to race locally and provides a new ranking system to encourage competition.
The National League aims to connect all ITRA member races in one country in one national league. “This allows healthy competition between all athletes in each country and supports local races,” ITRA shares on their website. “It can help us all to reduce our carbon footprint whilst we continue to enjoy the beauty and adventure of trail racing.”
The ITRA National League is made to be inclusive–listing all the athletes from all over the world in a general national ranking, by age category. The ITRA National League will start on Jan. 1, 2023, and will end for the year 2023 on Dec 31. Trail runners will be ranked each year from January 1 to December 31. Races can be any distance, and it’s simple to sign up.
The challenge aligns with pro runners taking public steps to encourage sustainability and reduce carbon emissions. Legendary ultrarunner Kilian Jornet took to social media to share why he won’t be running the 2023 Hardrock 100, in Silverton, Colo., a race he took both a win and course record on in 2022.
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Norway-based Jornet wants to reduce his carbon footprint: “Travel to the U.S. has an important carbon footprint, and in the last years I’ve committed to reducing my professional and personal environmental footprint, and when it comes to travel, reducing to only one intercontinental travel per year.”
All finishers who have achieved at least 3 results in the ITRA National League member races (in the same country) will automatically be listed in the ITRA National League ranking of the current year. If you raced more than three times within your country, your top three results will be chosen.
To read more about the ITRA National League or to sign up, head here. If you’re a race director and would like to have your race included as an ITRA event, head here.