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New Commonwealth Championships

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The first-ever Commonwealth Championships for ultra distance and mountain running will take place in Cumbria in 2009, it was recently announced by the International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU) and the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA).

 

Their joint proposal, which has been accepted by the Commonwealth Games Federation, is for two ultra distance events, a 100km road race probably involving scenic laps around Derwentwater and a 24-hour event in the centre of Keswick, plus an uphill only mountain race and an up/down mountain race in the Lake District.

 

The four events will be open to all 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. If they are successful, the disciplines could be added to the main Games from 2014.

 

The decision has delighted Norman Wilson, a former marathon running international who is now the European representative on the IAU and UK event coach for ultra distance running. He began campaigning for these events to be recognised by the CGF in September 2004 and commented: “If we get into the Commonwealth Games, it will open-up the possibilities for the Olympics. We are following the likes of synchronised swimming onto the major sports stages.”