Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Keitany win the 2017 AIMS Best Marathon Runner (BMR) Awards 

The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) is delighted to announce that the Kenyan athletes Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Keitany were tonight recognised as the male and female recipients of the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award for 2017.

Their achievements were honoured in the birth place of the Marathon, Athens, Greece tonight (Friday 10 November 2017) at the fifth annual AIMS Best Marathon Runner (BMR) Gala.

Eliud and Mary were voted for by the AIMS Members, representing 435 of the world’s leading and most prestigious races from over 114 countries and territories, including the Athens Marathon, The Authentic, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Comrades, New York, Paris & Tokyo Marathons.

Eliud Kipchoge was unfortunately not able to attend the Best Marathon Runner Gala.

Remarkably, this is the third consecutive year that Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) has been recognised with the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award. Eliud, 33, has carried his exceptional form from 2015 and 2016 into 2017. In September, Eliud won the BMW Berlin Marathon (Germany), in a world-leading time of 2:03:32.

In May, Eliud took part in an ‘assisted’ time trial on the Monza Formula 1 track sponsored by Nike. The aim of the event was to break the two-hour barrier for a marathon, narrowly missing out in a time of 2:00:25.

This is the fifth time Mary Keitany (Kenya) has been presented with an award by AIMS, drawing her level in the history books with Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain).

Mary (35), was presented with the AIMS World Record award earlier this month in recognition of her women’s only Marathon world record breaking performance at the Virgin Money London Marathon (2:17:01) on 23 April 2017.

Mary Keitany comments: “I am honoured to be recognised with this award by the race directors of AIMS membership. I have been very pleased with my form this year and this award, in front of such a big gathering of the marathon community in Athens, the birthplace of our sport, is a great recognition of my efforts.

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “Eliud and Mary have truly set the standard in 2017. I am delighted to see their accomplishments recognised on behalf of our 435 members and sponsors in the home of the marathon in Athens, Greece.

There were several other awards presented at the Best Marathon Runner’ Awards Gala. The awards and winners are as follows:

AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award

The AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award was presented toThe Portuguese distance running legend Rosa Mota in recognition of her incredible career in distance running.

Rosa first came to international attention in 1982 at the European Championships where she won the first official international championship marathon for women, staged on the classic course from Marathon to Athens, Greece.

In addition to the Olympic gold won in Seoul, South Korea she won an Olympic bronze, World Championship gold and three European Championship golds throughout her career. She was also greatly successful in marathons around the world, winning the Rotterdam, Chicago (twice), Tokyo, Boston (three times), Osaka and London marathons.

Rosa Mota comments: “I am honoured to be presented with this award. I would like to thank AIMS and their members for recognising me in this way.”

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “We are very happy to welcome Rosa to Athens, the birthplace of the Marathon. Her achievements have been an inspiration to women and girls around the world for many years.

AIMS Green Award

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was presented with the AIMS Green Award for their commitment to environmentally friendly practices. For the 2016 event, the entire carbon footprint was measured and offset leading to climate neutral certification and IAAF Gold Label Status. In total, 331 tons of CO2e was offset by supporting three local South African charity projects – Wonderbag, Reliance Compost and Basa Magogo. The race also achieved a zero waste to land-fill policy in the 2017 race.

Janet Welham, Race Director of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon comments; “We are delighted to receive this award. Our aim is to be a global leader in sustainability. Hopefully we can be an example to others as to how to achieve zero waste to landfill and how to measure one’s carbon footprint, how to reduce it and how to become a climate neutral event. We would like to thank AIMS for recognising our efforts with this award.”

Paco Borao, President of AIMS comments: “The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a wonderful example of a race that has placed sustainability at the heart of their event. Their plans for the future are very exciting.”

AIMS Social Award

The Maratón de las Flores Medellín was the 2017 recipient of the AIMS Social Award in recognition of their support for social causes. In 2017, the race organisers committed to support United for Colombia, a landmine charity, a race organised by a breast cancer charity and Pasos de Felicidad, a movement of young runners raising money for disadvantaged communities. 

Gustavo Orozco Posada, Race Director of the Maratón de las Flores Medellín comments: “We are honoured that AIMS has chosen to give us this award. We feel very strongly about our social initiatives and we are delighted to receive the award in Athens at the BMR Gala.”

Paco Borao, President of AIMS comments: “I am very pleased that AIMS are recognising the Maratón de las Flores Medellín and their support of a wide range of important social causes in Colombia.”