|Mountain Running Courses
races take place over an infinite variety of distance, ascent, descent
and terrain and it is what makes the sport so fascinating. There are
courses to be found that suit every ability and age group.
Mountain races cover the whole range of distances and difficulty from
short 15-minute sprints to long several hour treks over many mountain
Many races in the Alpine region take place in ski resorts where there
are high-level facilities and ski lifts for transport down. Here the
races start in the resort and finish at a high level – called uphill
only races. In many other regions interest in the event centres on the
mountain village or town where the race starts and finishes, usually
there are no high level facilities – there are referred to as
uphill/downhill races. These races often consist of more than one lap
and are especially suited to regions where the mountains are small and
could better be described as hills.
There are also races that have considerable descent but finish at a high level – a mixture of both of the above courses.
All mountain races take place on terrain that is very variable,
normally utilising established walking tracks. The course is marked so
that all competitors follow the same route. Some countries (Gt.Britain
for example) allow runners to choose their own route between check
points so there is an element of orienteering skills required in these
Championship courses have closely defined parameters which must be
observed. IAAF rule 250.10 defines the distances and heights for men,
women, and juniors for both uphill only and uphill/downhill courses.
These are a useful reference when preparing selection races for a