The most important cross country event on the European calendar attracts the best distance running talents from across the continent in the U20, U23 and senior categories for both genders with a mixed relay the latest addition to the programme.
The next edition of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships will be held in Piemonte-La Mandria Park, just outside Turin, on 11 December 2022. This will be the fourth time Italy has staged the championships after editions in Ferrara (1998), San Giorgio su Legnano (2006) and Chia (2016).
At least two of the winners in Chia could be on the start-line in Piemonte-La Mandria Park on the second Sunday of December. At 16, Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen won his first of four U20 titles in Chia before graduating to senior gold in Fingal-Dublin last year. Turkey's Yasemin Can's era of dominance also dates back to Chia where she won her first of four successive titles in the senior women's race.
Leading Italian hopes in Piemonte-La Mandria Park include Olympic 5000m finalist Nadia Battocletti who has won individual gold medals at the last three editions of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, two in the U20 race and one in the U23 race, and recently crowned European 10,000m champion Yemaneberhan Crippa, a former two-time winner of the U20 title.
The championships will be held in La Mandria Park, a regional park and the largest enclosed park in Europe at approximately 3000 hectares and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first edition of the championships was held in Alnwick, Great Britain in 1994 while the 2023 and 2024 editions will be held in Brussels, Belgium and Antalya, Turkey respectively.