Ten thousand spectators got a firsthand experience of the world's best runners through the craziest cross country championships ever. Blue sky and a mild breeze in the early Danish spring.
The Moesgaard Museum provided its grassy rooftop as part of an epic and challenging course at this weekend's world championships. The event turned out to become a game changer with a festive celebration of cross country embracing both the elite and recreational runners. Massive media coverage and an once-in-a-liftetime experience for the runners, volunteers, organizers, technicians, reporters and others who assisted.
The organizers conclude upon years of preparations that the goal of taking the event to a higher level was reached:
"The World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus proved that in Danish athletics we have something to offer to the rest of the world. By doing things our way, rather than trying to copy the biggest and best in a traditional sense, we have again demonstrated that we can stage world-class events. Yesterday was epic, not just on the course, but also everything else, from my colleagues and the many volunteers to the thousands of spectators who contributed to the party, the championships became exactly the experience we had believed in, worked on and hoped for," says director of Danish Athletics, Jakob Larsen and continues:
“The reactions from the outside world are unambiguous: Cross country has entered a new era with Aarhus. If they are right, in a few years we may be able to look back and say that ‘it all started in Aarhus.’ I want to thank both the Municipality of Aarhus and Sport Event Denmark for their support and commitment to these World Championships. Without them, we would not have been able to pull it off. Similarly, I would like to thank Mikkeller for the collaboration. It is rare for a title partner to fit in so well with the project. Finally, without the support and massive help from the International Athletics Association, IAAF, yesterday would not have been possible. We have learned a lot from the collaboration with IAAF, which we will use in the years to come."
"Finally, I would like to express my unreserved respect and gratitude to both the federation’s board, my colleagues and the many volunteers who, from day 1, have believed in the project and yesterday delivered. It was a truly unique experience. Thanks for that, " Jakob Larsen concludes.
The partners, Sport Event Denmark and the Municipality of Aarhus, are also very pleased with the Saturday's event. Director of Sport Event Denmark, Lars Lundov says:
"The World Cross Country Championships were all we had hoped for and more. In the most beautiful sun and with the presence of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Denmark set new standards for the cross country. It became a World Championship for both the elite, the recreational runners and the spectators. We are already talking about the evilest, most beautiful and incredible course. Some have even started to dream about the return of the cross country to the Olympic program as especially the TV production at these championships has shown the great potential of the discipline."
”It was a huge honor to be allowed to open the World Cross Championships, I am impressed by the well organized event, and fantastic venue, which showed Aarhus at its best, It became an event both the city and the international sports world will be proud of for many years. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the fantastic event and, in particular, the many volunteers, “ says the mayor of Sport, Culture and Citizens Services Rabih Azad-Ahmad.
FACTS ON THE WORLD CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019
NAME: IAAF / Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019
DATE: March 30, 2019
PLACE: Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus
ORGANIZERS: The Danish Athletics Association, Sport Event Denmark, The Municipality of Aarhus.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Aarhus2019.dk/eng