New event will feature half-marathon and 5km championships and could include other distances such as a road mile in future

A new global road running event will be launched by World Athletics for 2023.

The World Athletics Road Running Championships will include the existing World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and will also feature a world 5km championships as a new event.

It could potentially include other distances such as a road mile in the future, too.

“Road running has become an increasingly significant part of our sport over the past 20 years and it deserves greater recognition within our World Athletics Series events,” said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon.

It is envisioned that mass races will be held alongside the elite championships to allow recreational runners to be part of a global festival of road running.

“The growth in popularity of half-marathons, including our own world championships, as well as community 5km events like parkrun, indicates that there is a need for more high status road racing events,” added Ridgeon. “We also think this will be a commercially desirable concept for host cities, partners and broadcasters.

“With the establishment of the World Athletics Road Running Championships, the whole global community of recreational runners, which numbers in the millions, will be able to come together to celebrate their passion for putting foot to the road.”

The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, to be held in Gdynia, Poland, on October 17, will be the only World Athletics Series event to be held this year due to the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday World Athletics also announced that in another change to the global calendar, the World Athletics Cross Country Championships will move from odd years to even years in 2024 to align with the Olympic Games.

World Athletics announced at the end of July that it had proposed the inclusion of a cross country mixed team relay for 15 countries in the programme for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

READ MORE: Cross country proposed for Paris 2024 Olympics

The 2021 World Cross Country Championships, to be hosted by Bathurst in Australia, has already been postponed until early 2022, as a consequence of the international travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic forced our hand in moving Bathurst from 2021 to 2022 but ultimately, this will allow us to make a smooth transition to the even years for our future cross country championships, so we can build momentum towards, hopefully, the return of cross country to the Olympic Games,” Ridgeon said.

The host of the 2024 World Athletics Cross Country Championships is yet to be selected.

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