The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) is an international governing body overseeing the sport of running over mountainous terrains. The association, originally named the International Committee of Mountain Running, was formed in 1984 with the objective to provide the opportunity for the world’s best mountain runners to take part in well-managed and officially recognised races, testing their abilities on difficult high-altitude trails. Mountain running is a discipline of athletics and for that reason WMRA is also in partnership with World Athletics, the world governing body for indoor and outdoor athletics, road running, cross-country running, and race walking. WMRA has a ranking system in place for each race with the mission statement to find the most consistent and best performing all-round mountain runner. There is a top ten ranking for men and women. The organisation is based on Monaco.
Running has always formed part of humankind’s existence and although the general need centuries ago would have been different to our modern times, the desire for humans to test abilities is greater than ever before. Mountain running has no shortage of interest in the sport as it is effectively practiced on every continent and in nearly every country in the world. WMRA made it possible for athletes to race within safer environments, receive official recognition for their talent, and push boundaries to areas that were once thought impossible. A typical mountain running season starts in April and finishes in November, with most events staged all over Europe. Events outside of Europe normally feature in the United States and Argentina. One of the biggest objectives for WMRA is to grow awareness of the sport and this is often done by encouraging nations not normally on the world circuit, to stage their own events.
Some of the biggest races on the annual calendar include the World Championships, the World Long Distance Championships, the World Cup Circuit, the World Masters Championships, and the International U18 Cup. Prospects look bright for the sport as WMRA pursue partnerships with the Trail Runnings Association (TRA) and the International Association of Ultra Running (IAU). The desire is to bring the many disciplines of the sport together and take it to all nations in the world.