Iau executive council report to congress october 2006 – Seoul /Korea

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October 2006 – Seoul /Korea

Reference period : September 2004 – September 2006

In September 2004, the newly elected Executive Council put forward a number of strategic targets with the aim to turn the IAU structure into a modern and flexible organisation, capable to adapt easily to new circumstances whilst continuing its main aim to support ultradistance runners in their sport and provide top level competition.

After two years of government it is our duty to report to our Members about the progress that has been made, the shortcomings we have experienced and the goals we still want to achieve.

  1. Standardization of the major IAU competitions

The notion/concept “MIAUC” has been created to give our competitions their own identity and strengthen and recognise the standard of competition. . Thus far these are :

    • The IAU100 km World Cup under the patronage of the IAAF

    • The IAU 24H World Challenge

    • The IAU 100 km European Championship under the patronage of the EAA

    • The IAU 24H European Championship under the patronage of the EAA

    • The IAU 50 km Trophy

A uniform application form has been developed for all the MIAUC’s

A uniform Event Organisation Agreement has been developed for all the MIAUC’s

  1. Improving the quality of IAU competitions

The travel grant system has been refined to take account of the cost for delegations to travel to the competition venue and to stimulate the Federations to select their best athletes

The team competition is still in place but Federations are now also entitled to receive a travel grant when they send only one or two athletes
There has been a radical review of the IAU Handbook to clarify the separate technical and organisational guidelines .
The technical guidelines have been updated and revised and
Organisational guidelines have been reviewed and developed in more detail.
Protocol guidelines have been developed to streamline opening, award/closing ceremonies
A blueprint for the technical meeting has been drafted and put at the disposition of the LOC’s

  1. Uplifting the level of the major IAU competitions

In the past two years we have held the following successful IAU competitions :


Winschoten – The Netherlands

100 km World Cup

100 km European Championships


Palermo – Italy

50 km European Trophy


Brno – Czech Republic

24H World Challenge

24H European Championship


Lake Saroma – Japan

100 km World Cup


Wörschach – Austria

24H World Challenge

24H European Championship


Winschoten – The Netherlands

100 km European Championship


Palermo – Italy

50 km Trophy Final


Taipei – Taiwan

24H World Challenge


Torhout – Belgium

100 km European Championship


San Giovanni Lupatoto – Italy

24H European Championship

  1. Improving the operations of the IAU

The Executive Council meetings are conducted in a much more formal way than in the past to record IAU business. (agenda, draft texts, minutes)

Besides the Council meetings which usually take place at the venue of the MIAUC’s, we have, since 2005, added an extra annual meeting at the IAAF headquarters in Monaco. This is a joint meeting with the IAAF staff which enables us to exchange ideas about a various number of items. The timing (usually mid January) is perfect as this can be considered as the starting point for the new working year
There was a need to re-activate the existing Committee’s. The Technical Committee is operating well but we are struggling badly with keeping the records updated as the Record Committee is not functioning adequately.
Two new Commissions (Track and Trail) have been formed, both investigating the feasibility of staging particular MIAUC’s in their area
The IAU Handbook underwent a complete revision in order to make things much clearer for race organisers and athletes

  1. Improving the financial situation of the IAU

Thus far the IAU relies on the annual 10.000 US$ administration grant received from the IAAF. This year the new IAU Labelling system has generated some extra revenues but the aim is to increase our operational budget (which is anyhow very tight) by attracting our own sponsors. With this goal in mind a marketing strategy and a sponsor file have been developed. A couple of potential sponsors have been approached but so far without any success. Negotiations are underway with another potential partner, but the outcome of this initiative might not be known before 2008. We are also getting assistance from some of our federations in searching for sponsor opportunities.

  1. Improving communication

We need to reap the benefit from the use of the existing instruments to improve and facilitate communication between the IAU and the national governing bodies, the race organisations and the athletes

The website has been remodelled
New IAU Logo to increase visibility of our sport.
An electronic version of the IAU Newsletter has been initiated
The relations with IAAF, EAA, WMA, EVAA, WMRA have been strengthened
Contacts with the IAAF Press Department have been established
We keep our Member Federations informed about the IAU-activities
However there is considerably more to be done :

  • Considering the introduction of a Communications Portfolio

  • Establishing a worldwide network of “news agents” (an attempt that so far failed to be successful) in order that we can

  • Achieve our aim of maintaining our website operate as an up to date and informative communication tool.

  1. Supporting the aspiration to achieve ‘clean and correct competition’

An anti-doping policy has been developed in accordance with IAAF rules and regulations

We are exploring the possibility to establish out-of-competition doping testing with the support of the IAAF
The IAAF is examining the possibility of funding the cost for EPO-tests
A Race Labelling System has been put in place to ensure that the current IAU guidelines are observed (such as official recognition by the National Federation, correct measurement of the course). Only the results achieved in labelled races will be taken into account for the calculation of the travel grant and the ratification of world records and world best performances.

  1. Initiating activities to encourage the development of ultradistance running

Being aware of a number of existing prejudices/biases about long distance running, a survey has been conducted with the support of the IAAF amongst all their member federations about their general perception of ultrarunning. The prevailing concern was the impact (and the presumed negative effects) of ultra-long distance running on the human body. In order to put things into a better perspective we are very grateful that Dr. Armand Tomaszewski (physician to the French Athletic Federation, specializing in ultrarunning) is collaborating with us by staging a medical colloquium the IAU 100 km World Cup weekend in Korea.

The IAAF is showing interest for this project and we hope to repeat this initiative in the future, also (and maybe especially) for a non-ultradistance skilled audience
The creation of the IAU 50 km Trophy as a stepping stone for marathon runners to challenge themselves at a longer distance
The organisation of joint championships with WMA and EVAA

  1. Becoming a valuable partner in the ‘athletic family’

The ‘importance’ of an international governing body is somehow measured by the number of countries they represent. When the present Council was elected in 2004 the IAU had 38 members. In the past two years this number has increased to 42 as we could welcome 4 new members (Argentina, Austria, Estonia and Switzerland).

Although we will never succeed to equal the 212 members of the IAAF, we nevertheless will continue our efforts to convince more Federations to join the IAU.
We are maintaining excellent relations with the International Athletic Governing Bodies – the EAA and in particular the IAAF. We are very grateful to the IAAF for giving us the opportunity to use the IAAF Monaco address as our official IAU address for business.

  1. Looking for broader horizons

Exploring the feasibility of:

  • including ultra and mounting running events in the Commonwealth Championships

  • an Asian 50km or 100km Track Championships

  • an opportunity to stage the first demonstration 100 km event at the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

Ultradistance Runners consider big horizons and large ambitions and the IAU is no exception!

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