In the early 2000s, a steadily growing and enthusiastic community formed around trail running. Indeed, what was missing was an official indicator as well as general conditions for the practice of the sport as a competitive discipline. In 2012, for the first time, 150 representatives of the international running scene came together in Italy’s Courmayeur to create a common foundation for the development of trail running and to define the values of the sport. Among those present were race organizers, brands, media, federation officials, trainers, and top athletes from 18 nations. Building on that, ITRA was founded in July 2013 as a non-profit organization.
Among the self-proclaimed tasks of the federation since then are the guarantee of safety and quality standards, the defense of ethical principles, plus holding and supporting national and international races. Similarly, further development of a unified structure, promotion and exposure of the sport and its athletes, and networking trail running stakeholders are the global focus. With criteria such as the Performance Index and the ITRA Score, the federation has for the first time created a system that allows an international comparison of courses and athletes. In 2015, World Athletics, the international governing body of athletics, with ITRA as its technical partner, recognized trail running as an official discipline. Meanwhile, ITRA has more than 2 million registered runners and more than 25,000 various races that comply with the corresponding guiding principles of ITRA.