Welcome of IAAF president
Lamine Diack, IAAF president
On behalf of the IAAF, I am happy to write this message of support for the organizers of the 26th edition of the WMRA World Championships which takes place in the beautiful town of Kamnik, in the Slovenian Alps, and will mark the peak of a busy 2010 season for international mountain racers. Kamnik was founded in 1229, when it was an important trading post on the road between Ljubljana and Celje. This makes the town one of the oldest in Slovenia and I am certain that the world’s top mountain runners will be warmly welcomed and find all the necessary conditions to compete at the highest level.
The IAAF is very happy to continue strongly supporting the WMRA, representing the world of mountain running, and this partnership is underlined by the fact that the “World Trophy” – the most important mountain running worldwide event – was renamed the WMRA “World Championships” with last year’s edition (the 25th) a notable success.
I am also glad to see that this sport is moving outside its traditional heartlands to new parts of the world. In 2009, Africa held its first official Mountain Running Championships as part of the Obudu Mountain Race in Nigeria, and this spirit of global development matches that of the IAAF.
Mountain running requires the athletic virtues of endurance and speed, but something special as well, in the sense that instead of a stadium, men and women are able to compete in harmony with some of nature’s most marvelous landscapes.