The world turned to the outdoors during covid-19, International Trail Running Association (ITRA) is positioned to embrace the tremendous growth as the global independent leader of the sport.
Many segments of society have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although trail running events ceased, the world went outdoors in record numbers for fresh air, mental and physical therapy and communing with nature. As people plan for reentry into “normal” life, trail running is positioned to see significant growth in new runners to the sport. And the global trail running’s, “North Star”, ITRA, has used the year of seclusion to prepare to embrace the new faces.
ITRA, an independent non-profit whose mission is to grow the sport of trail running and safeguard its values, has been quietly investing in new technology, partners and services during the past 12 months. Today it is sharing several of the initiatives, all designed to enhance the trail running community. Beginning in June, ITRA will introduce a fully independent technology platform that will make it easy for other service providers to join the collaborative and exchange their offerings. This will result in a one-stop-shop for new and enhanced services for runners and race organizers around the world.
Among the new ITRA initiatives are:
• Completely modernized technology platform for race listing, rating and ranking.
• Updated runner performance index which ranks nearly 2 million trail runners – women and men – around the world.
• New infographics about trail running’s growth, geography, gender, age, participation, etc. will be offered in the coming months.
• Upgraded ITRA website experience to make it easier to become a member, find pertinent information.
• The formation of a new medical and safety commission consisting of MDs and wilderness safety personal from numerous continents, providing guidelines and advice for runners and race organizers.
“ITRA’s role is to encourage the responsible growth of trail running while safeguarding its values”, stated ITRA president, Bob Crowley. “It was critical to first build our own platform, then offer compelling new services to runners and organizers across the globe. Ongoing investment in our technology and partnerships will assure we can scale with the growth and provide compelling and innovative services to our community.”
Crowley shared, “At first our members will notice subtle changes to our website. But the engine underneath has been completely transformed. This will enable us to introduce a plethora of new relevant services in the future.”
Leveraging the new platform, ITRA is planning to add numerous collaborations with providers of trail running-related products and services. Today’s announcement reveals three partners, Deutsche Ultramarathon Vereingung (GER), Trace de Trail (FRA) and UltraSignup (USA), all major providers of race listings, ratings and results.
“The partnerships with these outstanding providers, combined with ITRA’s own repository of global races and runners, enables ITRA to offer its members the world’s largest collection of trail runners and races”, comment Crowley.
“Our skills and information are very complimentary”, added Jürgen Schoch, initiator of the DUV statistics database. “We look forward to working side-by-side with ITRA to enhance both our services for the benefit of the trail runners everywhere.”
“We have enjoyed our partnership with ITRA over the past several years and are excited to strengthen our relationship with even more services for organizers and runners”, said Trace de Trail founder Cécile Lefebvre.
“We’ve witnessed the substantial growth of trail running in North America and are thrilled to combine forces with ITRA to bring comprehensive information and services to trail runners on every continent”, expressed UltraSignup partner, David Callahan.
“We are very excited to welcome runners from every continent, young and masters, every ethnicity, new to our community and veterans and share with them the resources they want and the values in which we believe”, Crowley concluded. “With the support of our unique and diverse community and thousands of race organizers, we are honored to continue to act as the ‘North Star’ for trail running; one trail, one heart.”