The 1st IAAF World Road Running Championships were held in Debrecen, Hungary on 8 October 2006, the women's race starting at 11:00 and the men's race at 13:00. This was the first time the title of World Road Running Champion had been competed for, with this competition replacing the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in the international sporting calendar. Over 160 athletes from 42 nations took part in the two races.
As well as individual honours, there is also a team event where the times of the first three runners home from each country are added together to produce the team standings. Only nations with at least three competitors entered in the race are eligible for this competition.
The race was notable for having the first disabled athlete to take part in a world championship athletics event. Mark Brown, who was competing for Gibraltar, lost his left arm in a traffic accident in 1981.
The total race distace was 20 kilometres, and consisted of four laps around a 5000 metre course. The race started and finished in front of the main building of the University of Debrecen (pictured left) on the northern edge of the city, and travelled in a clockwise direction around nearby parkland.
The runners started on Egyetem Square, outside the University, before heading around the circular Nagyerdei Avenue. Most of the course followed Nagyerdei Avenue, with two detours onto the roads inside the circle, passing the thermal baths and the Aquaticum Thermal & Wellness Hotel, before rounding the boating lake, passing the Nagyerdõ Stadium and the Hunguest Nagyerdõ Hotel. The race then headed back to Egyetem Square to complete the lap.
Maps of the route and the start/finish area are available from the official race website, via the links below.
|1||Zersenay Tadese||ERI||56:01 (CR)|
|2||Robert Kipkorir Kipchumba||KEN||56:41|
|8||Mubarak Hassan Shami||QAT||57:33|
|1||Kenya||Robert Kipkorir Kipchumba (2nd)|
Wilson Kebenei (3rd)
Wilfred Taragon (5th)
|2||Eritrea||Zersenay Tadese (1st)|
Yonas Kifle (10th)
Tesfayohannes Mesfen (21st)
|3||Ethiopia||Deriba Merga (6th)|
Tadesse Woldegebrel (7th)
Demssew Abebe (20th)
|4||Qatar||Mubarak Hassan Shami (8th)|
Essa Ismail Rashed (14th)
Gamal Belal Salem (16th)
|5||Uganda||Wilson Busienei (4th)|
Martin Toroitich (13th)
James Kibet (24th)
|1||Lornah Kiplagat||NED||1:03:21 (WR)|
|9||Souad Aït Salem||ALG||1:06:11|
|1||Kenya||Rita Jeptoo (3rd)|
Edith Masai (5th)
Eunice Jepkorir (14th)
|2||Ethiopia||Dire Arissi (4th)|
Teyba Wako (10th)
Ashu Rabo (17th)
|3||Japan||Kayoko Fukushi (6th)|
Yurika Nakamura (7th)
Ryoko Kizaki (19th)
|4||Romania||Constantina Tomescu (2nd)|
Luminita Talpos (16th)
Lidia Simon (28th)
|5||Russia||Gulnara Vygovskaya (12th)|
Natalya Kurbatova (13th)
Irina Timofeyeva (15th)