Will trail and mountain running ever make the major games grade?

Posted in At the Races by Matt Ward on Thu 15 Apr '10

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MST is not the first to ask if the likes of trail, mountain and cross country running will ever make it to the Olympic or Commonwealth Games. There are logistical hurdles to conquer, sure, but we think it about time that our great sport was recognised in these spheres…

In an age where lottery funding and athlete grants are everything to the aspiring elite runner the status of (lets say) mountain running would be greatly helped with major games status, and it would mean that the likes of Katie Ingram, and even Ali Brownlee, would not have to shun the sports that they clearly love in return for a move to an Olympic ‘programme’ of support in triathlon.

Course, there are those that will say that there is no money in fell and mountain running and we like it that way, and we may well agree on much of that sentiment, the sport is pure and untainted by the commercial money-grabbing and grubby tangle that riches sometimes bring. However, to help keep some of our talent pool intact, and to elevate the nature of the sport it is time to make strides in this direction – in our humble opinion.

As ever MST welcomes debate on this – it is the first day of The Debates after all!

Reactions so far
  1. A Keen Runner Apr 15, 11:49 AM

    I really hope it does happen in the near future. The bigger status and prestige will keep our best athletes in the sport and introduce a whole new range of people which is so important.

    Further more watching top level events is such a great motivator and will, I’m sure, inspire more people to achieve bigger and better things.

    We all want fell/mountain running to move forward and to improve and i think that making the major games is key to this happening

  2. Rene Borg Apr 16, 07:36 PM

    I live in hope for this one Matt. I believe cross-country featured on the Olympic schedule in days far gone (up until the 1930s, I believe).

    With the vast amount of running talent out there and so few disciplines up for grabs in relative terms (compared to the huge amount in biking and swimming, for instance), there should be room for more running events.

    To me mountain running also comes much closer to the original Greek ideal for the Olympics than many of the recent addition like say golf.

  3. Gwilym Williams Apr 17, 02:18 AM

    I hope it never happens. It would be a disaster for trail, mountain and fell running. You only have to look at the amount of cheating and unsporting behaviour in other sports to get an idea of how it would go. No thank you!

  4. Ian walker Apr 23, 08:19 PM

    I believe fell running and trail running should be left the way it is, done by people who do it for the shear love of it. Once you bring the Olympics in, you will bring in the drugs and the win at all costs mentality. And what happens when the Africans start to win everything. What ever funding money and support that is given out will soon try up just like what is happening in the World cross-country Championships. Where Britain and the US have decided that if they can not win they will not participate anymore.

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