The following survey is designed to gather feedback from our mountain running community & gauge interest in equalizing race distances for men and women at the USATF Mountain Running Championships (USMRC).
Please note the following important issues are beyond the direct control of the US Mountain Running Team (USMRT) staff and the USATF Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running Council:
- Equal race distances at the World Mountain Running Championships (WMRC). Current distances are codified in the WMRA constitution.
- Equal representation of men’s & women’s team. Currently only 6 men & 4 women can be entered to race at the WMRC.
In recent years USMRC distances & race profiles have been designed to mimic courses at the World Mountain Running Championships (WMRC) where men run 12k and women run 8k. Previously there has been consensus that this resulted in teams which were better prepared for the World Championships. Note that this difference does NOT mean race organizers, the US Mountain Running Team (USMRT) staff or USATF MUT Council feel women are any less capable than men. We support equality for male & female athletes but have an obligation to respond to the wishes of the majority of elite athletes and to fielding the best possible teams for the WMRC.
Race distances & gender representation at the WMRC can only be changed by proposals presented to the WMRA Council and voting by the 40+ member federations at the annual WMRA Congress meeting. Changes at the most recent WMRA Congress resulted in equal representation for junior athletes at the WMRC. The junior women’s team allocation was raised from 3 to 4 athletes with the top 3 scoring; equal to the junior men’s allocation.
The WMRA also organizes a Long Distance Championship where equal sized teams of men & women race the same course. This distance varies year to year but is generally a 1/2 marathon up to a marathon in length.
While we don’t have the ability to unilaterally make changes to the World Championship event, we do have control over the date, format & location of the USATF Mountain Running Championships (USMRC).
Thank you in advance for completing this survey.
US Mountain Running Team Staff - Richard Bolt, Ellen Miller, Paul Kirsch and Nancy Hobbs
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