The 2019 IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships will allow recreational athletes to compete alongside the elite ©LOC

Organisers in Denmark have marked six months to go until the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus on March 30. 

The event will feature a new format pledging to show off the "DNA" of cross country.

The Championships will allow the world's best runners and recreational athletes to compete together, on a two kilometre loop course featuring the grassy roof of a local museum, a mud pit, a water section and even a trip through a 50x20 metre fan-zone tent.

"The IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships carries a historic tradition without equal in the sport of athletics," said competition director and chief executive of Danish Athletics Jakob Larsen.

"Cross country running is where we grew from as a sport, it is the historic blue ribbon event of distance running, and it is where the winner is the toughest of them all.

"As organisers, we aim to present a course worthy of such a race, we aim to attract spectators to create a buzzing venue, and we want to encourage the spectators to get up and close, feel the intensity of the race, and spark an interest in cross country running."

In a recent open course training session more than 50 recreational runners from the Mikkeller Running Club in Aarhus tested the course.

Runners like those who took part in the session will be able to participate over four distances at the Championships, a 2km "sprint", a 4x2km relay, the 4/8/12km race and the 10km championship race.

The latter will also feature elite athletes and will give those recreational runners who take part access to the same start and finish areas plus a call room before the race, as their elite counterparts.