World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga 2023 press conference
In today’s press conference in Riga, Latvia, the president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe announced that by hosting the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships, Riga becomes a symbolic world capital of road running in 2023. He invited everyone to the upcoming world running festival in Riga from September 30 to October 1. The World Athletics Road Running Championships will be the most significant athletics and mass sports event in the history of the Baltic States. Running enthusiasts, schoolchildren, and families with kids will be for the first time running alongside elite athletes and world champions.
Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics: “By hosting the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships, Riga is to become a symbolic World Capital of Road Running in 2023. I invite everyone to Riga to take part in world’s first global running festival – World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23.”
A unique experience for Latvia - two world championships in one year
2023 will be a unique year for Latvia and Riga, where two World Championships will take place. Already in May, hockey fans will be able to follow the World Hockey Championship and the Latvian national team, while at the end of September and the beginning of October, every runner will be able to take part in the World Athletics Road Running Championships.
Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis: "The fact that the first World Athletics Road Running Championship will take place in Riga in the fall is another proof that we in Riga can, want and know how to create and host world-class events. The World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga will be the most important athletics and mass sports event in the history of the Baltic States, as well as one of the leading athletics events in the world in 2023.
I have decided to personally invite the mayors of the capitals of the member states whose citizens have currently registered the most for the World Athletics Road Running Championships to a friendly run in Riga. This means that we are sending out invitations to the mayors of London, Berlin, Warsaw, Oslo, as well as Vilnius and Tallinn. We hope for the response of the mayors, and we are sure that their positive responses will further attract fan of running to Riga."
Aigars Nords, head of the organizing committee of the World Championships: "By taking on the organization of the World Athletics Road Running Championships, our big goal is to mark Riga on the world running map forever - we will continue to receive dividends from the World Championships over the next years, when marathon tourists from all over the world will continue to flock to the 2023 World Running Capital and Rimi Riga Marathon”.
A world championships for all those who are passionate about running
Neither the World Hockey Championship nor the European Basketball Championship in 2025, no matter how ambitious and nationally important these events are for Latvia, gives the opportunity for everyone to participate. The idea of forming a team of friends to play against the Canadian national team is just impossible, while all runners are allowed and are invited to participate in the same event on the same roads and courses with world-class athletes and Olympians.
Minister of Education and Science Anda Čakša: "The uniqueness of the World Athletics Road Running Championship lies in the fact that, not only in Latvia, but throughout the world, this is the first world championship in which everyone can take an active part not as a supporter, fan or an active observer, but as an officially registered participant."
The Minister is pleased that the World Athletics Road Running Championships will also include events dedicated to kids and schoolchildren - small sprint distances and the School Cup for 5 km and mile participants. Similar to the Rimi Riga Marathon, the most athletic Latvian and Riga schools will also be determined in the World Championships.
Jelena Prokopcuka passes the baton to the talented Agate Caune
At the World Athletics Road Running Championships, Latvia will be represented by the "Latvija Pasaulē" team, which was created with the support of DPD Latvija and the advice of the Latvian Athletics Association. The team will also include one of the most talented young stars, Agate Caune, who has already proven herself on the world running scene, achieving both new personal records and taking significant places among the leaders in the European U20 championships.
On the other hand, Jelena Prokopčuka, Latvia's best marathoner of all time, has finished her active sports career and symbolically passed the baton to Agate. Jelena will take part in the mass start of the half-marathon together with recreational runners and her running students.
Jelena Prokopcuka, two-time winner of the New York marathon and Latvian record holder in the marathon distance: "I can officially announce that in this event I will participate in a mass race for the first time! I've retired from big sports, but that doesn't stop me from continuing to inspire! I will help those who will commit to their first half-marathon during the world road running championships in Riga in the fall!"
Jelena Prokopcuka will be the main coach of the "My First World Championship" program created by the organizers, and will train participants who are just starting out in running and who really want to compete in the championships.
Official championships running t-shirt and mascot
The World Athletics Road Running Championships is a great way to showcase Latvian art and culture to the world and tell about it. The organizers of the Rimi Riga Marathon continue their annual tradition of putting one of the works of Latvian artists specially created for running on the running shirt of the World Athletic Road Running Championships. This time, after evaluating the works of old masters together with the head of the Latvian National Art Museum Māra Lāce, the work "In Spring" by Vilhelms Purvītis, the most important artist in the history of Latvian art, was selected for the official running shirt. On the other hand, the official championship medals will be created, inspired by Niklāvs Strunke's work.
Niklāvs Strunke and the Cubism of his time were also a source of inspiration, creating the official mascot of the World Athletics Road Running Championships - the Riga Rooster. The National Library of Latvia and the Riga Rooster are represented in the logo of the World Athletics Road Running Championships, symbolizing the two banks of the Daugava and uniting them through this running festival and logo. The Riga Rooster will be present at various Latvian and global events and will invite everyone to participate in World Athletics Road Running Championships, in which anyone can be not only a supporter, but also a participant.
Registration for the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga
You can register for the mile, 5 kilometers and half-marathon distances of the World Championship in Riga below.