2022 Virtus World Cross Country Championships (USA)

We are proud to announce that the United States has been awarded host of the 2022 Virtus World Cross Country Championships. This International event will feature the best distance runners with intellectual impairment from around the globe, including Paralympic Games Track & Field athletes. Competitors will race on a renowned Cross Country course in Mission Bay Park along San Diego’s beautiful shoreline with team accommodation at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.

We invite all Virtus Member Countries to complete our Interest Form below:
VIRTUS MEMBER COUNTRY INTEREST FORM


ABOUT THE EVENT

Aerial view of Mission Bay Park in San Diego (click for full size)

Event Name: 2022 Virtus World Cross Country Championships

Event Dates: November 16-20, 2022

Venue: Mission Bay Park, San Diego, CA

Distances: Exciting two-day format with Short Course (2k women/4k men) and Long Course (6K women/8k men) races.

Accommodation: Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center

Sanctioning Body: Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport

Championships Director: Tracy Sundlun

Event Organizers: Everything Running & Athletes Without Limits (USA Virtus Member)

Course Description: Located just outside downtown San Diego, Mission Bay Park (map) consists of over 4,235 acres in roughly equal parts land and water with 27 miles of shoreline. The Cross Country Course is a Spectator-friendly European-style 2,000-meter grass loop along East Mission Bay Park, which has been used for many past USA Track & Field National championships including the recent 2022 USATF Cross Country Championships. Average course width is 10 meters (with a few sections where the course briefly narrows to about 5 meters.) The first half of the loop is primarily flat and very fast while the second half includes a series of five small hills. [PDF Course Map coming soon]

Accommodation: The Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site, rests on a 155-acre complex adjacent to Lower Otay Reservoir. The Training Center has sport venues and support facilities for most Olympic and Paralympic sports and offers support to athletes including housing, dining, training and recreational facilities.

Fields & Categories: Awards will be given for Senior Women, Senior Men, Youth Girls and Youth Boys fields across three Virtus categories (II1, II2, II3) for para athletes with Intellectual Impairments as well as an open category for non-disabled and other competitors.

Event Guide Cover ImageEvent Packet:
Entry packets with team costs will be distributed by Virtus directly to Virtus Member Countries. The general event guide can be viewed online at this link.

SCHEDULE:
  • Nov 16: Teams Arrive
  • Nov 17: Training/Recovery; Explore San Diego
  • Nov 18: Course Preview at Mission Bay Park Venue; Technical Meeting
    O
    pening Ceremony at Accommodation/Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
  • Nov 19: Short Course Race: Women 2K (1 Lap) Men 4k (2 Laps)
    Medal Ceremony at Mission Bay Park Venue
  • Nov 20: Long Course Race: Women 6K (3 Laps) Men 8K (4 Laps)
    Medal Ceremony at Mission Bay Park Venue
    Awards Banquet at Accommodation/Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
  • Nov 21: Teams Depart
REGISTRATION/ENTRY:
  • International Virtus athletes with intellectual impairment must apply for Virtus eligibility and enter the event through their country’s Virtus Member Organization.
  • Virtus National Team managers should complete our Virtus Member Country Interest Form. We will invoice 1st and 2nd entry based on information provided.
  • A separate online registration form for the Open Category will go live in late June (no Virtus eligibility required.)
  • U.S. athletes with intellectual impairment interested in competing as part of Athletes Without Limits National Team should complete our U.S. Athlete Interest Form and apply for eligibility if you’ve not already done so.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

Athletes must have Virtus International Level eligibility in II1, II2 or II3:

  1. Virtus II1: Intellectual Disability (T20 Class in Paralympic Track)
    All athletes with an IQ of 75 or lower and significant limitations in Adaptive Behavior with onset prior to age 22.
  2. Virtus II2: Additional Impairment
    Athletes with intellectual disability with additional impairment, such as Trisomy 21/Translocation Down Syndrome or other additional physical or visual impairment.
  3. Virtus II3: Autism (IQ 76 or higher or does not meet Virtus-II1 criteria)
    Trial group for athletes with Autism who do not meet the IQ and/or Adaptive Behavior criteria used for the II1 group, sometimes referred to as ‘High Functioning Autism.’
  4. Open (Non-Disabled): This event will also feature an open category for non-disabled runners to compete. (Virtus member nations may enter athletes who only have Virtus National-level eligibility in the open category.)
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Championship Director: Tracy Sundlun
Partnering to host this event is Championship Director Tracy Sundlun and his team of experts at Everything Running. Tracy’s leadership comes with unrivaled depth of experience and accomplishment within sport.

In addition to coaching more than 100 Olympians and managing the 2016 US Olympic Mens Track & Field Team, he has been director of many US National Championships and is co-founder of the famed Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Race Series. He and his team of experts have put on high-level events for years — most recently the 2022 USA Track & Field Cross Country Championships presented by Toyota.

About Athletes Without Limits:
Partnering with to host this event is Athletes Without Limits. As the US member of Virtus, Athletes Without Limits provides the opportunity, support and advocacy for high performance US athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their highest potential in sport, and in life. Founded in 2009 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, Athletes Without Limits works closely with the USOPC and national sports federations, build US national teams for international competitions and advocates for greater inclusion across the sporting landscape.

Co-founder and president of Athletes Without Limits, Barry Holman, serves as Secretary General of the Virtus Governing Board. Co-founder and Executive Director of Athletes Without Limits, Julie Holman, has helped hundreds of U.S. athletes through the Virtus/Paralympic Eligibility process (including every U.S. Paralympic Track & Field, Swimming and Table Tennis athlete with intellectual impairment since inclusion in 2010). Both have previously hosted and fielded U.S. Teams at numerous Virtus World Championships since 2009.

About Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport is the International governing body for elite athletes with intellectual impairments. It is a member of the International Paralympic Committee and has over 80 member countries that represent and serve more than 500,000 athletes. Virtus holds world and regional championships across 15 summer and winter sports. Every four years the Virtus Global Games bring together over 1000 athletes to compete in 10 Olympic sports in the largest celebration of inclusion and athletic excellence. Virtus is the sanctioning body of the 2022 championships.

Official Event Website: www.athleteswithoutlimits.org/2022-virtus-world-cc


CHAMPIONSHIP GOAL:
To create a World Championship event that respects the
dignity of elite athletes with intellectual impairment and creates
an inclusive environment that showcases ability and excellence.