Since the early 2000’s, Trail running has gained many followers around the globe. However, for years, the sport had not achieved full recognition. That's why more than 150 concerned members of the international trail running community gathered in 2012 to create a strong basis for trail running and to affirm its core values.
September 3, 2012: 1st ''Assises Internationales du Trail''
On September 3, 2012, 150 trail running enthusiasts from 18 countries gathered in Courmayeur, Italy. Race organizers, equipment manufacturers, elite athletes, coaches and media shared their collective experience with the goal to structure and secure their sport. Indeed, trail running, born in the United States in the late 70's, was still not officially recognized as a sport at the international level.
It was the first time that so many members of the trail running community had gathered for such a purpose. The sessions enabled participants from all over the world to become aware of the diversity of their views and the need for trail runners to organize themselves as a discipline in its own right, while taking into account the varied approaches of all continents.
The 1st Assises Internationales du Trail has initiated a concerted dialogue with the aims of:
- guaranteeing the health and safety of runners and all those involved in trail running
- affirming, preserving and defending the core values of trail running.
5 working groups to structure the discipline
Since 2014, 50 volunteers from 13 countries on five continents have continued the work initiated during the 1st Assises Internationales du Trail.
5 working groups, composed of race organizers, athletes, coaches, representatives of sports federations, equipment manufacturers and the media have united their cultures and their points of view
to accompany this evolving discipline, with the following results:
- the shared, international definition of trail running
- the drafting of an ethical trail running charter to assert the values of the discipline,
- the implementation of a health policy to promote a doping-free sport and protect the health of runners,
- the development of a reasoned management of high level athletes,
- the elaboration of the rules for a uniform international ranking.
July 2013: The birth of ITRA
The 5 working groups created the need for an association that brings together all trail running participants around shared values and principles, and from around the world. This is how the International Trail Association (ITRA) came into being in July, 2013, inspired by a passion for trail running and the enthusiasm of its 14 founding members.
The founding members of the ITRA are:
- Didier CURDY, Statistician, creator of the ITRA performance index
- Arnaud DE STAEL, Deputy Secretary-general of the EcoTrail de Paris®, hypnotherapist and teacher in hypnosis and PNL at the Institut Français d’Hypnose Ericksonienne
- Jean-Marc GARCIA, Member of the Hors Stade national commission of the Fédération Française d’Athlétisme
- Carlos GARCIA PRIETO, Trail-running passionate, founder of Ultrarun.es (trail-running database in Spain) and trail-designer
- Bernard LANDREIN, President-founder of the Ultra Marin Raid du Golfe du Morbihan (9 editions)
- Nicolas MERMOUD, Founder of the running brand Hoka One One, athlete (3rd UTMB® 2007, 1st and holder of the race record on Trailwalker 2011 mix), native of Les Contamines-Montjoie
- José Carlos SANTOS, Trail-Runner and President of the Association Trail-Running Portugal
- Alessandra NICOLETTI, Race director of the Tor des Géants®, President of VDA Trailers (organisation of the Tor des Géants®, Gran Trail Valdigne, Gran Trail Courmayeur, Arrancabirra®, Winter Eco Trail)
- Fabrice PERRIN, Operations manager Ultra-Trail® World Tour
- Jean-Charles PERRIN, Creator and organiser of the EcoTrail de Paris®, in charge of the development of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®
- Catherine POLETTI, Organiser and Race director of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®
- Michel POLETTI, Technical director of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, organizer of the Trail des Aiguilles Rouges
- Pierre SALLET, Director of the association Athletes For Transparency (AFT)
- Hervé SIMON, Organiser of the Trail Drôme Lafuma
The International Trail-Running Association is open to all players in the field of trail-running and wishes above all to be a place for meeting, listening and exchanges.