Their project began in 2018 when the IAU 24H European Championships were promoted in Timisoara, the weekend was a total success and it was followed by a fantastic IAU 50 km World Championships in Brasov in 2019. For 2020 and 2021 we move back to Timisoara for the first 6hrs Balkan Challenge in 2020 and finally IAU 24H World Championships in 2021.
The concept of an ultra regional challenge is a new initiative led by the IAU. Following on from the first successful 6hr Nordic Challenge in 2019 in Finland and to be repeated in Copenhagen in Denmark 2020 we now have a 6hr Balkan Challenge.
The aims of the challenge concept are:
- To develop running beyond the Marathon.
- To provide a platform for aspiring ultra runners to taste international competition.
- To promote events where athletes can prove they warrant selection by their National Federation for a future IAU Championship event.
- To promote events which are fully inclusive and to raise the profile of ultra running across the globe.
The 6hr Balkan Challenge will incorporate a Team competition for both men and women where two IAU Balkan Challenge Trophies will be awarded.
In January, together with the Local Organizing Committee we will publish the General Information Sheet (GIS) and will send the invitations to the Athletics Federations of the Balkan countries.
More details will be announced on race website in January 2020.
The venue will be the same and I hope as many athletes as possible will come together in sporting friendship and camaraderie and compete in the first Balkan Challenge in Timisoara on the 23rd May 2020.
Walter Hill Jacek Bedkowski
IAU Representative for Europe IAU Director of Communication