Six months from today, recreational runners from all over the world will have the chance to participate in the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 for the first time. On Saturday 30 March 2019, Denmark will be hosting this spectacular event, where the very best runners in the world, along with recreational runners, will embrace the raw and elementary DNA of the cross country discipline.
The course is a true championships course: rough, tough and spectacular. The grassy roof of Moesgaard Museum, the hilly surroundings, a mud pit and a section of water are all included in the two-kilometre loop, which also includes passing through a 50x20-metre fan zone tent.
”The IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships carries a historic tradition without equal in the sport of athletics,” said competition director and CEO of Danish Athletics Jakob Larsen.
“Cross country running is where we grew from as a sport, it is the historic ‘Blue ribbon’ event of distance running, and it is where the winner is ‘the toughest of them all’. As organisers, we aim to present a course worthy of such a race, we aim to attract spectators to create a buzzing venue, and we want to encourage the spectators to get up and close, feel the intensity of the race, and spark an interest in cross country running. A very important part of this is letting ordinary people take part in the event – to let them join the actual championships race or run in the tailor-made mass race distances on the championships course. This is a very important part of what we do together with Aarhus and Sport Event Denmark.”
The concept clearly appeals to the average runner. In a recent open course training session, more than 50 runners from the Mikkeller Running Club Aarhus tested the course.
“It was good, fun and I enjoyed it,” said Ben Rowlinson from the UK, who along with his colleague Arran Wood was in Denmark on a business trip and joined the WXC19 training session on Tuesday in Aarhus.
“I think it’s going to be quite a tough course, but also fun for the spectators to see all the runners and cheer them on. My favourite bit was the hill behind me – running on top of the museum. It’s a nice way to finish. It is right here, where all the action happens in six months,” Wood added.
“It’s going to be tough but also lots of fun – and it is so beautiful out here. Everyone should come out here for the race in March,” said Katherine Grasberger, who was visiting from the US state of Virginia.
Four different distances
Recreational runners will be able to participate over four distances at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019.
The 2k sprint: Everyone is welcome! For beginners the course may be tough, but it is ‘only’ two kilometres – and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to try an original World Cross Country Championships course. For more experienced runners this is a unique chance to go full speed on the championships course, including the steep 100 metres atop the Moesgaard Museum.
The 4x2k relay: Pick friends that you don’t get to see enough of. Or pick whoever you know will want to take part in the party of a lifetime. Or teammates that are built for speed or just for having fun with you. Or, how about inviting the family to a different kind of running experience that they are likely to never forget? Or you can go solo for all four laps.
The 4/8/12k: All the best from cross country and trail running in one race. The classic recipe for cross country has been spiced up with just the right amount of slick grass, mud, challenge zones, single forest tracks, gravel roads and water passages on a course set to bring you the best of both cross and trail – served to you in the middle of a giant World Cross Country Championships party.
10k championships race: Want to race with the best of the best? Here’s your chance. Everything is included in this unique experience: you start in the elite race, with access to the same start and finish area and same official call room before the start. This is an opportunity to measure yourself against the top runners from nations all over the world.