09 November 2016


Belfast has received official blessing as the host city for next summer’s World 24-Hour Running Championships.

At a ceremony during the closing of the European Championships in Albi, southern France, the ‘baton’ was handed over for a Championship that will be staged in Victoria Park on July 1 and July 2 next year.

It is expected that more than 40 nations consisting of the world’s best ultra runners will travel to the city from as far away as New Zealand,Australia and Japan with the biggest contingent expected to come from the USA.

Ed Smith, Chairperson of the Organising Committee , took possession of the World flag from the President of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), Dirk Strumane.

During the ceremony he also handed the Belfast shield to  Albi’s representative Didier Thiriot in acknowledgement of their staging of the European Championships.

Ed Smith says: “ I learnt much from just observing at the European Championships. Belfast now has much to live up to in delivering the 12th IAU World 24-Hr Championships. However, I am confident that we have a 1.7K course in Victoria Park that is fast, flat and will present the ultra runners with the best opportunity and some great local support to help  them achieve personal bests.”

IAU President Dirk Strumane says: “ Belfast presented us with a convincing bid and we are looking forward to a fruitful  and constructive co-operation.”