The women's race at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen (Getty Images)

World Athletics Half Marathon Championships

About the event

Road running’s international elite compete against the backdrop of the some of the world’s most attractive locations in this annual event. The championships were first held in 1992 as part of the UK’s Great North Run, the largest mass participation road race in the world. The event includes men’s and women’s elite races with individual and team honours at stake as well as a mass race open to the public. It is usually held on public roads in a major city, every even year.

History of host cities

2018 Valencia, Spain
2016 Cardiff, Great Britain
2014 Copenhagen, Denmark
2012 Kavarna, Bulgaria
2010 Nanning, China
2009 Birmingham, Great Britain
2008 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
2007 Udine, Italy
2006 Debrecen, Hungary
2005 Edmonton, Canada
2004 New Delhi, India
2003 Vilamoura, Portugal
2002 Brussels, Belgium
2001 Bristol, Great Britain
2000 Vera Cruz, Mexico
1999 Palermo, Italy
1998 Zurich, Switzerland
1997 Kosice, Slovakia
1996 Palma, Spain
1995 Montbeliard, France
1994 Oslo, Norway
1993 Brussels, Belgium
1992 Tyneside, Great Britain

Last event organised

IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018


Next event open for bid

 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships 2022 – Express your interest here  

Candidature process

Date of award 21/11/19
Consultation with the selected area and relevant MFs, to find potential host countries through M-Circular and Expression of Interest  
Deadline for Expressions of Interests received 15/03/19
Application Form, Budget, EOA, Risk Assessment and Guidelines sent to Bidding Cities 01/04/19
Calls between World Athletics and the bidding cities to clarify the documents, get update on process and highlight any issues April to June 2019
Deadline for submission of draft application 01/07/19
Initial Assessment sent to Bidding Cities 01/08/19
Calls between World Athletics and the bidding cities to clarify the documents received and answer questions Aug 2019
Bid Evaluation Panel Site Visit  
Final application form sent back with signed EOA, CRA, Budget, Risk Assessment 01/10/19
Final assessment provided to World Athletics Council 15/10/19
Bid Candidates present to World Athletics Council and Host City appointed 21/11/19


Host city rights


• Ticketing revenues (if relevant)

• Sale of official programmes

• Use of official event marks

• Use of VIK products/services for the organisation of the event where supplied by World Athletics partners

• Opportunity to secure national sponsors

• Opportunity to sell event-related merchandise


Host city requirements


• International airport within a two-hour bus ride of the host city


• 21.0975km course that complies with the criteria for an IAAF road world record

• All technical and functional areas, including athletes’ changing room, call room, mixed zone, post event area, doping control station, and technical information centre

• Warm-up area close to the start

• Adequate training opportunities, including running trails

• Installation of event venue decoration, at least one video screen and quality sound system

• Ensuring the event site is equipped with reliable and modern communication network, infrastructure and services

• Ensuring the venue is provided commercially clean

• Taking all available measures to minimise ambush marketing in association with the event

• Payment for timing services for a mass race


• Securing rooms for athletes, officials, World Athletics Family and media:

   · Athletes and team officials: 300 beds (50 single & 125 twin/double rooms) in 3-star accommodation;

   · World Athletics Family: 90 beds (70 single & 10 twin/double rooms) in 4-star accommodation;

   · Media: 40 beds in a range of accommodation standards up to 4-star;

   · Technical suppliers;

   · Accreditation staff.

• Full board accommodation (3 star) for all quota athletes (max 150 for a maximum of 3 nights), World Athletics competition delegates (max 10), timing company staff (72 room nights), results and information company staff (24 room nights), and accreditation staff

• Max US$120 charge per person per night for full board accommodation for non-quota athletes, officials and members of the World Athletics Family

• Negotiate a corporate rate with official hotels to be charged to additional World Athletics Family members

• Providing team meeting rooms


• Local transportation system for the event between hotels, venues, city centre, airports, main train stations and event-related social functions


• The host will use World Athletics’s accreditation system for the event, at a cost of US$2.50 per accreditation card to be paid to World Athletics

• Volunteers to staff the accreditation centre(s)


• Creation of all official event logos, mascot, poster and ‘event look’, in association with World Athletics and Dentsu

• Registration of event marks for the protection of intellectual property


• Payment for the host broadcaster (to be appointed by World Athletics) to broadcast the entire event

• Provision of all broadcast and media facilities, equipment and services, including media and press centres, telecommunication and other communication facilities, accommodation and transportation, press conference facilities (including simultaneous translation) and accreditation services


• Temporary event offices and storage facilities for World Athletics, Dentsu and commercial affiliates in the venue and official hotels

• Provision of free internet connection to the World Athletics Family

• Assistance to World Athletics and Dentsu with the recruitment of local staff and volunteers where required

• Providing hospitality areas to the World Athletics Family

• Providing space at the event site for Dentsu and commercial affiliates to exercise their franchising, display, demonstration and selling rights

• Providing sufficient and adequate space for Dentsu and commercial affiliates to set up their own hospitality programmes


• Development and implementation of a security plan including security personnel to protect and safeguard the event site and security and protection for members of the World Athletics Family


• Medical and doping control services for the event, including approximately 12 urine tests, including a minimum of six EPO or other additional special analysis (e.g. IRMS), and approximately 50 blood tests

• Medical support for all accreditation holders for all incidents occurring during their stay in the host country

The following are the minimum requirements requested by World Athletics for the Doping Control Station but must be adapted to the anticipated number of doping tests to be conducted:

• An experienced Doping Control Staff including:

   · Experienced, authorised doping control officers;

   · Assistants to witness the urine collection; and

   · An appropriate number of escorts for the athletes’ notification.

• Facilities and materials:

   · A waiting room with adequate seating (15-20 people), a variety of refrigerated sealed drinks and, if possible, TV screens;

   · A working room equipped with the necessary furniture for four people attending the sampling procedure;

   · WCs adjoining the working room, at least two toilets (male and female);

   · Sampling material approved by the World Athletics Medical and Anti-Doping Commission and World Athletics Doping Control and Notification Forms;

   · Transportation for the athletes back to the hotel at the end of the control; and

   · Provision of facilities for blood testing at the athletes’ hotel(s) accommodation location before the competition.


• The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships host will be responsible for organising and funding two additional events – a professional street mile race, and a mass participation 5km race


• All social functions, opening and closing ceremonies, official receptions, and other official functions and programmes


• The government of the host country must sign a declaration committing their support for hosting the World Half Marathon Championships. This includes financial, visa, work permit, customs, and security commitments.


• Payment of all taxes, duties or other governmental levies imposed on World Athletics, Dentsu or commercial affiliates, including for the importation of products and equipment into the host country, airport taxes for accreditation holders, local taxes on tickets, and advertising in connection with the event

• Payment of any taxes that the host country’s government may levy on any prize money

• Ensuring that the World Athletics Family obtain all necessary public authorisations, such as work permits, visas and customs clearances


• Promotion and marketing of the event in coordination with World Athletics and Dentsu, and producing and implementing a promotion and communication plan in relation to the event, including city dressing, venue dressing, media communications, and digital strategy


• Obtaining the necessary insurance policies for the event, including cancellation, public liability, comprehensive business insurance, and any other necessary insurances, with such policy limits as approved by World Athletics


• Provision of regular progress reports to World Athletics and Dentsu

• Maintaining accurate and complete books of account in relation to all financial transactions, and provision of a final financial report post-event 


All rights and requirements outlined in this document are for indicative purposes only and are subject to change.