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Mountain running is a worldwide sport that is recognized by the International Association of Athletic Federations. A mountain running race is an athletic contest to see who can reach the finish of a defined course in the shortest period of time. Courses are clearly marked and runners follow a fixed course.

To qualify as a mountain running race as defined by the World Mountain Running Association, there are certain requirements for elevation change during the race. These requirements are set out in the table below. In alternating years, the World Mountain Running Championships feature all-up races (even years) and up-and-down races (odd years). For World Championship races, courses may deviate from the technical requirements by approximately 10%.

In Canada, a race may still be certified as a mountain race even if it does not meet these technical regulations as long as the course meets a minimum level of elevation change during the race. Races do not need to be in the mountains to be a mountain running race.

World Mountain Running Association Technical Requirements:

Mainly uphillUp & down
distanceascentdistanceascent / descent
Junior Women4 km400 m4 km250m
Junior Men8 km800 m8 km500 m
Senior Women8 km800 m8 km500 m
Senior Men12 km1200 m12 km750 m

The full technical regulations for the WMRA can be found here: Technical Regulations

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) recognizes and supports the discipline of mountain running. More information about mountain running can be found on the IAAF website here.

 
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