The World Athletics Heritage Plaque for the San Sebastian International Cross Country
Yesterday, in the City Hall of San Sebastian, Spain, the World Athletics Heritage Plaque, which was originally awarded to the San Sebastian International Cross Country in 2019, was officially presented to the race.
The World Athletics Heritage Plaque is a location-based recognition, awarded for “an outstanding contribution to the worldwide history and development of the sport of track and field athletics and of out of stadia athletics disciplines such as cross country, mountain, road, trail and ultra-running, and race walking”.
The Cross Internacional de San Sebastián, which has been staged since 1956, was awarded their plaque on 4 November 2019, a few months before the pandemic hit Europe.
On that occasion it was World Athletics Council Member Anna Riccardi who, on behalf of World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, announced the award. Yesterday, at a press conference ahead of this year’s race on Sunday 7 November, it was fellow Council Member Raul Chapado, President of Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), who officially handed over the plaque to the race organisers.
Among those in attendance were Goizane Alvarez (Sports director of Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa), Ramon Goikoetxea (Presidente of Gipuzkoan Athletics Federation) and Martin Ibabe (Councillor of Sport of San Sebastian City Hall).
During its history, the Cross Internacional de San Sebastián, which is part of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour, has attracted many of the world’s greatest distance runners. Emil Zatopek, Alain Mimoun, David Bedford, Rosa Mota, Haile Gebrselassie, Derartu Tulu and Dorcus Inzikuru are among the many all-star long distance running names to have been victorious there.
The plaque will be permanently displayed in the offices of the organising committee, Gipuzkoako Atletismo Federazioa, Anoeta Pasealekua, 5. 20.012, Donostia-San Sebastian.
Chris Turner for World Athletics Heritage