Short history of ultra multi-events in track and field
In 1981, the city of Helsinki (Finland) prepared to organize the 1st IAAF World Championships in Athletics for August 1983. During this preparation, the Finnish decathlete Risto Karasmaa had an idea : why not to combine all athletics events in the same competition ? He asked to his club (Helsingin Tarmo) to organize a 20-events combined and they were agreed. Thus, the 1st Icosathlon was organized the 26th and 27th of September 1981 in the Eläintarha stadium of Helsinki. Nine men started but only five finished this competition. The 1st Icosathlon's winner was the Finnish Aro Kari with 9'557 points.
In 1983, the competition was in the national calendar and there was also the 1st women's Tetradecathlon. The 1st Tetradecathlon's winner was the Finnish Terttu Rissanen with 6'954 points.
Competitions continued to be held annually in Finland, with the 10th competition in 1990, being officially recognized as the first World Championships. Originally an annual competition, the World Championships became biennial, held on odd years, with European Championships held on even years.
ULTRA MULTIEVENTS IN TURNHOUT
In 2012 and 2017 Turnhout hosted the World Championships Ultra Multi-events. We are proud to announce the World Championships Ultra Multi-events 2023 will also be held in Turnhout. Again the venue will be the “Stadsparkstadion” situated very near to the city centre.