Above: Tom and Tricha Blackburn of the Mooreabbey Milers Club (Galbally/Aherlow), representing IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association), being presented with the flag which will be raised at the opening ceremony of the championships in Clonmel next year
The World Masters Mountain Running (WMRA) Championships will be held in Clonmel from September 2-4 next year.
This is a very prestigious event that is held in a different country each year.
The committee, consisting of members of IMRA, the Irish Mountain Running Association who are affiliated with AAI (Athletics Association of Ireland) have worked hard and diligently to secure the bid for this event, so it was with great pride that they accepted the WMRA flag in Austria.
They now look forward to welcoming many top international mountain runners to Clonmel in 2022.
South Tipperary may not have the soaring heights of the mountains in the Alps but as the members of WMRA put it, “Clonmel will be equally challenging but in more technical and climate terms.”
The event will be held over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the athletes will usually start arriving a few days in advance, with race day being the Saturday.
The athletes are given a race package that will consist of their number, a tee-shirt, a participatory medal and they usually receive gifts of some local food and crafts.
On the Friday evening there will be a parade of athletes with their country’s flags and colours.
This will be followed by the opening ceremony with a display of Irish culture, dance and music, some speeches and the official opening of the event.
The race itself will be held on the designated mountain where there will be supporters, stewards and aid stations.
At the finish line there will be refreshments and massage beds on offer.
On race evening there will be the official pasta party celebration, which is usually a local dish.
The podium presentations, with the national anthems and flags of winners displayed, will be the highlight of the evening.
To finish there will be the closing ceremony with the passing of the flag to the following year’s host country.
On the Sunday morning it’s intended to hold an open race offering an opportunity to everyone to give the course a try.
There will also be prizes for this event.
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