CROSS AND MOUNTAIN RACING (1903-2022) BROTHERS SEPARATED AT BIRTH
CROSS AND MOUNTAIN RACING (1903-2022) BROTHERS SEPARATED AT BIRTH. Siblings separated at birth. Our CROSS COUNTRY section celebrates today the 110th anniversary of the first Olympic Cross in Stockholm.
The program for Paris 2024 was about to recover it, but it will be time to wait a little longer. Today we review the shared history, as well as the current top athletes that compete in both disciplines.
CROSS AND MOUNTAIN RACING (1903-2022)
BROTHERS SEPARATED AT BIRTH
CROSS COUNTRY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, SINCE 1973.
Cross Country was born from the nineteenth century in the United Kingdom, having in 1903 the first major international championship, with also British origin, baptized as “International Cross Country Championships”
The Cross Country discipline soon exploded and was an Olympic sport in three editions, 1912-1920-1924. Unfortunately, it later lost weight and was left out of the Olympic program, although for Paris 2024 a lot of work was done to recover it.
The first “modern” World Cup was held in 1973 under the World Athletics (back then IAAF) and today its official name is the World Athletics Cross Country Championships.
Its next edition will be in february 2023 in Australia, after two postponements due to COVID that seek to guarantee a truly global event, where the best athletes from around the world can compete.
As the photo above shows, that pioneerIng Olympic Cross, from the years 1912-1924 brings us images that could be, almost, of a mountain race disputed yesterday. And that the top photo in nothing less than the last Olympic Cross until today, cellebrated in 1924 with gold for Paavo Nurmi.
It is true that, over time, the cross born in the nineteenth century as a wild run through the countryside and the British hills settled. It went on to look for friendlier and more accessible surfaces, which would also allow more public and generate more business in less time.
This of adapting to faster and more intense tests for the Olympic program is a very common phenomenon, as we have seen with the new sprint test in mountain skiing or speed climbing.
Both had success in changing and are already in the current Olympic program, from which cross country is still excluded. In fact, it was his great performance in speed climbing that made Alberto Ginés’ Olympic gold possible in 2022.
CROSS COUNTRY 2022: BACK TO THE ORIGINS AND WORLD CROSS COUNTRY TOUR
Fortunately, in recent times the leadership in World Ahtletics of an expert in the field such as Sebastian Coe has sought to recover that spirit of the pioneering cross: Uneven surfaces, broken rhythms, falls, earth, rock, roots, mud… they mean much more fun, toughness and technical challenge for today’s athlete. And for the public.
Hence, increasingly, the great talents of mountain races go through the cross, either as a first training school, or as a stage of each season where to gain spark in shorter races but even more explosive than pure mountain races.
The World Cross Country Tour was born this 2021-22 in the image and likeness of circuits as veteran as the WMRA World Cup that since 1995 groups between 7-16 races of the highest level around the world. In the World Cross Country we have 14 races, of which eight are Spanish.
WORLD MOUNTAIN RACES: MOUNTAIN RUNNING WMRA, SINCE 1985.
Although in its sporting origin, cross country, fell running and mountain running were almost equivalent, the evolution of cross country to short-distance races in areas easily accessible to the public separated it from mountain races.
The history of mountain racing in the Iberian Peninsula began in 1904 with the Vignemale Trophy. It was the first mountain race in the Pyrenees. In 1905 the Championnat de Canigou was played. Mountain race with 8kg mini carrying.
Mountain races enter Spain through the Basque Country where the Pagasarri 1913 Trophy already has bibs, teams, regulations and prizes. It will be followed in 1914 by the Cursa Resistencia Sant Llorenc de Munt in Catalonia and in 1916 by the Cercedilla – Siete Picos, pioneer in the Plateau.
However, it was not until 1985 when the first world mountain races was born, organized by the World Mountain Running Association. That first World Cup took into account the experience accumulated by the Cross Country World Championships since 1973.
Since its birth that 1985 in the Italian Alto Trentino, that WMRA Mountain Running World Championship illuminated a route that with 15k / D 1082m claimed longer races, in the middle of the mountain and with more unevenness than any modern cross. Siblings… yes, but with a very own personality and marked each one.
Over time, that original modality of Mountain Running was joined by pure climbs (Uphill) and half marathon races onwards (Long Distance). The last great WMRA international event was the Nations Cup that we brought you live from Chiavenna, with the Spanish team RFEA achieving a meritorious fourth place.
The official WORLD MOUNTAIN TRAIL RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIP of world athletics will add to the three classic events of Mountain Running WMRA the ultra 80km of the IAU-ITRA World Championship born in 2015. It will be played in its four modalities, after two postponements as in the case of Cross Country, the next NOV22 in Thailand.
WMRA MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP 2022, SINCE 1995
For the 2022 WMRA World Cup, each of the three modalities has four races on the circuit and its own champion. There will also be a Combined champion who will be the best mountain runner in the total of the three.
In fact, as it happened in 2021, Spain hosts the Classic World Cup final in Canfranc Canfranc and the Long Distance World Cup final in Zumaia, with Chiavenna as the last test, with the Vertical and Combined final. WMRA WORLD CUP CALENDAR 2022 FULL.
IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ,
CLICK THIS BUTTON TO SUPPORT US IN PATREON.COM/MAYAYO