It is what it is: a challenge.
It won't be long before the Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival (IATF) and the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships (WMTRC) go over the stage. I spoke in advance with Alexander Pittl, organizer of the IATF and OC chief of the WMTRC.
Of course, he is constantly on the move, so close to two grandiose events that merge into a trail running and mountain running festival: for athletes, officials, sports fans and families.
How are the preparations for IATF and WMTRC going?
Alexander Pittl: "The preparations for these two events are of course in full swing. The IATF starts on Thursday, June 1, with the K7 Night Trail and the K7 Business Trail. On Saturday, June 3, the main competitions will follow, and on the following Tuesday, the Opening Ceremony will kick off the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships. Afterwards, the individual competitions will take place over four days. The event is correspondingly large. The festival lasts ten days. We have over 30 expo exhibitors here. That means the preparation phase is very intensive."
The festival goes on for ten days. We have over 30 Expo exhibitors here. That means the preparation phase is very intensive.
What are the biggest challenges?
"The biggest challenge was that we were only awarded the contract for the World Championships in Innsbruck and Stubai about a year ago. That is a very, very short time for planning and organizing an event of this magnitude. For the implementation itself, we first had to build up our core team, which now consists of 20 people.
In addition, an unusual amount of snow fell in Innsbruck, Stubai and Tyrol in April and May, and it was also much too cold for this time of year. Although we have started relatively early to activate our previously planned alternative routes, we had to intensify the calculations where to run and how. And even now we are permanently checking what we can run or not run. This was and is an additional challenge, considering that we have over 4,000 participants at the IATF and another 1,600 athletes and officials in the course of the World Championships. That's a big crowd in addition to the many spectators we expect."
What is the importance of trail running in Innsbruck?
"I believe that trail running has a great but underestimated importance in Innsbruck. One indication of this is that many of the world's best athletes live in Innsbruck. This is due to the ideal training conditions. You have the playground right on your doorstep and then you also live in a vibrant, dynamic young city where there is also a lot of attraction in the city life itself. This combination is probably the basis that Innsbruck has this importance in the scene. In my opinion, however, this importance could become much greater by supporting a settlement of industry in Innsbruck."
Why is Innsbruck an ideal city for the sport of trail running?
"It's because of the alpine-urban seconds access to the mountains. This is what makes Innsbruck so unique and interesting for people who practice the sport of trail running."
The alpine-urban seconds access to the mountains makes Innsbruck so interesting for trail running.
What does the supporting program of the events look like? What can spectators expect, what can visitors do?
"The supporting program of the events is great. We have a huge expo and an alpine fair at the theater forecourt. There are over 30 major exhibitors here. Everyone who is a big name in the scene is here. In the old town we have set up a Citytrail. There we imitate a trail to try out the sport, where you can also test the exhibitors' products. In addition to a rally through the Expo, you can experience the superstars of the scene up close at autograph sessions.
On stage we offer live streams of all races as well as talks and musical entertainment. On the Innsbruck Alpine evening a mega DJ will be on stage. At the World Championships, Gregor Meyle and Tim Bendzko will play as highlights. So visitors can already expect a great program in the venue itself. This is also the case in the Stubaital, where there is also the Cheering Bus. This allows the spectators to follow, watch and cheer on their athletes from hotspot to hotspot in a hop-on hop-off concept. Thus, we bring the cheering crews at the IATF and the WMTRC sustainably from point to point.
And of course we also want to inspire people to discover trail running for themselves. After all, what's healthier than exercise and especially exercise in nature?
Athletes will then be part of the Leave-no-Trace media campaign, where every athlete will try to leave only their footprint if possible and behave in a sustainable way."
With this, we are both with our questions and answers Latin still far from the end. But the blog post should not extend over 112 kilometers ...
In short, we'll end here and look forward in advance. We read us then again with fresh photos and impressions after the brilliant events!
Meanwhile: Keep on running & cheering & dancing & eating, because there are also food trucks waiting with culinary delights ..
Many thanks to Alexander Pittl for the interview!
World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023
The World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, WMTRC for short, will take place in Innsbruck-Stubai from June 6 to 10, 2023.
All competitions guarantee spectacle. And at the Race to Höll on June 6 you can also prove your top form.
Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival 2023
Already from June 1 to 3 the Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun FestivaliATF for short, will take place. The eighth edition of this ingenious event runs as a world championship edition.
The festival program is sensational.
Simple syllables and stunning sentences are sensible solutions. I write about moving experiences in the ever changing mountains and valleys from spring through winter.