Athletes in action at the New York Marathon (© Getty Images)
World Athletics has today released its 2022 Label Road Race calendar, a schedule comprising almost 200 races in more than 40 countries across each of the sport's six areas.
The calendar kicks off with the 10K Valencia in the Spanish city on 9 January and concludes almost 12 months later on 31 December with the traditional New Year’s Eve races in Madrid, Spain, and Bolzano, Italy.
While the schedule remains subject to change given the ongoing uncertainty created by the global coronavirus pandemic, more races are expected to join the Label programme once it is confirmed that they will take place.
The three-tier programme, introduced in 2020, comprises three Labels: a World Athletics Label, a World Athletics Elite Label and a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label.
“Despite the continued uncertainty around global travel and on mass gatherings in some parts of the world, the number of events that have chosen to be part of the World Athletics Label Road Races programme in 2022 exceeds 200 – another all-time high – but some of the events need additional confirmation given the global pandemic,” said World Athletics Road Running Manager Alessio Punzi. “This speaks volumes of the vitality of the running industry and of the optimism of operators worldwide.
“Over the last two years alone, millions of people around the world have taken up running as a way to manage their physical and mental health – many of them will pin a race bib to their vest for the first time in 2022. We are grateful to all the race directors and their teams for their determination and tenacity. Staging marathons has never been easy, but in this day and age its complexities are mind-boggling. Now, more than ever, every race's starting line is a testament to its organisers' resilience and sheer passion for the sport and the community they serve.”
The World Athletics Label is available to all officially sanctioned road races that have taken place for at least two consecutive years prior to 2022 with an international measurement certificate in place. For first-time Labels in 2022, a World Athletics technical consultant will be appointed to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
World Athletics Elite Label races must have a prize money structure in place that awards at least the top eight finishers, with minimum winner's prizes of US$ 12,000 (marathons) and $5000 (other distances), per gender.
The World Athletics Elite Platinum Label is only available to races that had been granted Platinum status in 2021, irrespective of whether the race took place or not.
Through choosing to have a World Athletics Label, race organisers also show a tangible commitment to clean sport by funding a dedicated road racing out-of-competition testing programme, managed by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
New Normal the key theme at 2022 Global Running Conference
The role of running events in a changed world will be the main focus at the World Athletics Global Running Conference in Bangkok on 24-25 February 2022.
All Label road race organisers are encouraged to attend, either in person or virtually, to hear insights from fellow race organisers. A series of technical workshops, including one on road race course measurement, will also be staged in cooperation with the Athletics Association of Thailand and the Asian Athletics Association, to train international and national race officials, further contributing to the development of the sport.
Registration for the conference, which will also incorporate the 2022 Aims Symposium, will open in January.