IAAF President Seb Coe has praised the innovative plan for the World Cross Country Championships in 2019 during a visit to the host city Aarhus, in Denmark.
The course for the World Cross Country Championships, will be set on and around the grounds of the Museum of Moesgaard, a Danish regional museum dedicated to archaeology and ethnography, and will include running across the museum’s sloping grass roof.
“It is really, really exciting because it will showcase our sport in an innovative, modern, exciting setting but also show that cross country is a tough sport, and it returns it to what I will describe a traditional cross country course with the surrounding landscape,” said Coe, after a tour of the proposed course during a meeting with organisers.
See drone footage of the Museum of Moesgaard:
Coe, members of the Danish Athletics Federation, representatives of the City of Aarhus and Sport Event Denmark also discussed various options to help boost the event’s visibility nationally and internationally.
“We will put cross country running on the agenda and we will invite Danes and recreational runners to participate in the celebration of cross running in the days leading up to the championships – and at the world cross country championships race day,” said Jakob Larsen, director of the Danish Athletic Federation. “At the same time we will be introducing a nationwide school Olympics cross country-tournament with the finals in the same week.”
The Danish vision and concept has already attracted considerable attention from both the IAAF and the running community at large, organisers said.
“There is great focus on how Denmark intends to plan and stage the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2019, especially internationally,” said Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, the national sporting event organisation partnering with the City of Aarhus to stage the event.