With 'Running for All', European Athletics strives to be an active part of the running movement in Europe, supporting runners and race organisers across its 51 Member Federations.
As a cornerstone of Running for All, European Athletics has developed, with the help of leading running experts, a set of safety and quality standards for public road races.
With the support of the athletics federations of all European countries, these standards serve to confirm and maintain the expected requirements.
They also stand to encourage positive partnerships and relationships between everyone involved in running – runners, clubs, organisers, European Athletics, national athletics federations, local authorities, service providers and the media.
European Athletics promote and administer the standards system at european-running4all.org, with its own recognisable brand, to create a welcoming, inclusive and informative community for runners and organisers alike.
"With the number of people taking part in organised running activities growing rapidly, we see the need for a system to assess and publicise the quality of mass participation races," says European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.
"Every runner has their own reason for taking part, and their own hopes and expectations for the quality and safety of the public mass participation races they enjoy. Every race organiser wants to show they have the same concerns for quality and safety so they can attract the entrants they need to make the event worthwhile. At present, only limited regulations exist in some European countries, and they are not always universally understood.
"Our aim is to encourage and endorse as many races as possible. And we need to engage with a participant group that is by far the largest in our sport but one that is not always clearly linked to athletics. That’s what we mean by Running for All."
INTRODUCING THE STANDARDS
The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.
The standards: Three levels of standards encompass all types and sizes of races.
1 Star – The race fulfills guaranteed minimum requirements of safety and security for athletes during a race with a small number of runners.
3 Star – The race guarantees a good level of safety and security, and offers runners a satisfactory level of quality of services for a race with a large number of runners.
5 Star – The race guarantees a comprehensive level of safety and security, and high quality services, for a race with significant numbers of runners.
How we set the standards: We assess races on a total of 54 categories that cover:
- Administration and finance
- Environmental and social responsibilities
To ensure legitimacy and credibility, and to make sure the standards take account of the needs of today’s runners and race organisers, we have consulted:
- Race organisers
- European Athletics Member Federations
- Competition and medical experts
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT RUNNING FOR ALL
“To be confirmed as a quality road race by European Athletics should be a goal for all road race organisers on the continent. Running activities are ever-increasing, and there is a need for a Europe-wide system that ensures runners are able to make well-informed choices when deciding on an event by ensuring its legitimacy and credibility. We are pleased to be an active supporter of Running for All.” – Brendan Foster, Founder, Great North Run
“We encourage all AIMS race organisers in Europe to be certified by European Athletics as a Quality Road Race so that they are recognised across the continent as race organisers that respect safety and quality standards.” – Paco Borao, President of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS)
“With road running more popular than ever, it is very important that runners can enter races with full confidence that they will be guaranteed a safe and high quality experience. European Athletics Running for All will give athletes across Europe a platform from which they can select events. This will allow them to be the best that they can be and provide race organisers with clear standards of quality for their events to meet.” – IAAF President Sebastian Coe
RUNNING FOR ALL – BETTER FOR ALL
For runners across Europe, or any international visitors wishing to take part in an event, the European Athletics Quality Road Race mark is a guarantee and an assurance the race organisers respect the safety and quality standards and have been assessed accordingly.
The Running for All web portal, accessible in a number of European languages, acts as a central point of information with a calendar of certified races. With the opportunity to leave race reviews, Trip Advisor-style, it also acts as a long-lasting and growing source of peer-to-peer knowledge and advice.
For race organisers, the European Athletics Quality Road Race mark stands for credibility, and provides reassurance for runners, host political authorities, Member Federations, service providers, sponsors and other partners.
It offers additional promotion of the event, the chance to increase and maintain participation levels, and sets certified races apart from events without the standard.
The Running for All web portal acts as the channel to apply for certification and use of the brand in promotional materials, as well as an additional promotional channel for the event. It offers an international portal in a number of European languages for runners to access useful information.
For Member Federations, they will be involved in the monitoring and approval system for race certifications, and will appoint certifiers for the 3-star and 5-star races. They will promote the system to race organisers, clubs and runners.
This brings closer links to all involved in running and running events within the federation’s country, and additional publicity for the federation and its other initiatives. It also opens up the opportunities for potential partnerships and educational initiatives.
For European Athletics, the aim is to be a recognised partner in mass participation running, and to be recognised as the natural authority for the running movement. As the owners of the online platform and monitoring system, we are responsible for the education and support of certifiers, and the liaison point between Member Federations and race organisers.