Australia's Sarah Schiffmann leads the U20 women's race at the World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 (© Getty Images)
World Athletics and World Masters Athletics have reached a historic agreement that will see masters championships held for the first time alongside the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, next year.
The World Athletics Council approved the proposal last week while confirming the competition timetables for both Bathurst and the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Yangzhou 2022.
World Athletics, World Masters Athletics and the Bathurst Local Organising Committee will work together to organise the inaugural World Masters Cross Country Championships (short course) on the weekend of 19-20 February 2022.
"We have worked hard over the last few years to develop closer relationships with the various sectors of the global running community, including recreational running, mountain and trail running, and parkrun, because that makes our athletics community stronger, so I’m delighted to announce this new initiative in cooperation with World Masters Athletics," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said. "We look forward to welcoming passionate runners of all ages and abilities to Bathurst next year for what promises to be a unique festival of cross country running."
World Masters Athletics president Margit Jungmann added: "We are excited to offer this new opportunity for masters athletes around the world to come together and celebrate their love of running and competition, and to join with the best cross country runners in the world to test themselves on the scenic Mt Panorama course at Bathurst in Australia. We are pleased to be working with World Athletics to make this a uniquely memorable event for all the masters athletes who attend."
Originally scheduled to take place in March 2021 before the Covid-19 pandemic led to its postponement, the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst will now be held on 19 February 2022. The timetable is as follows:
14:35 U20 women’s 6km
15:15 U20 men’s 8km
16:25 mixed relay
17:05 senior women’s 10km
18:05 senior men’s 10km
The World Masters Cross Country Championships will include a mixed 4 x 2km relay, tentatively scheduled before the World Athletics events on Saturday, 19 February, and a series of age group races on Sunday, 20 February.
World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Yangzhou 2022
The timetable for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, scheduled to take place in Yangzhou, China, on 27 March 2022, is as follows:
9:30 women’s race
10:00 men’s race, followed by mass race
As with previous editions, there are no entry standards for the competition. A maximum of seven athletes may be entered by a member federation, but only five can start the race. The top three finishers for each member federation will count towards the team competition.
For the fifth successive edition, the World Half Marathon Championships will feature a mass race, giving thousands of recreational runners the chance to run in the footsteps of the best athletes in the world.