AIMS GLOBAL ANNUAL AWARDS PRESENTED
IN THE HOME OF THE MARATHON, ATHENS, GREECE
Eliud Kipchoge and Jemima Sumgong win the 2016 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 Jemima Sumgong were tonight recognised as the male and female recipients of the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award for 2016.
Their outstanding achievements were given global recognition tonight (Friday 11 November 2016) at the at the fourth annual AIMS Best Marathon Runner’ (BMR) Awards Dinner Reception held in the birth place of the Marathon in Athens, Greece. The AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Receptions Dinner Reception was held as part of the 21st AIMS Congress this year (details below).
Eliud and Jemima were selected by an expert panel on behalf of AIMS Members, made up of 410 of the world’s leading and most prestigious distance races from over 110 countries and territories.
Due to a previously arranged racing engagement, Eliud was unfortunately not able to attend the Best Marathon Runner’ Awards Dinner Reception.
This is the second consecutive year that Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) has been recognised with the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award. Eliud, 31, has continued his excellent form from 2015 into 2016, winning two of the biggest marathon events in the last 12 months. In April 2016 he won the London Marathon for the second consecutive year, setting a new course record of 2:03:05. He then followed that up by winning his first – and Kenya’s second - ever Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janiero, winning the marathon in a time of 2:08:44.
Jemima Sumgong (31) has also enjoyed a very impressive year. Despite falling, she recovered to win the London Marathon in April this year in a time of 2:22:58. She then travelled to Rio for the Olympic Games and again was the outstanding athlete of the event, winning Kenya’s first gold medal in the women’s marathon, setting a time of 2:24:04.
Eliud Kipchoge commented “I am delighted to receive this award for the second year in a row. I really enjoyed receiving the Best Marathon Runner Award last year in Athens and I am very pleased to have been recognised by AIMS and their members from around the world again. It is a great honour to receive this award.”
Jemima Sumgong comments “It is so special for me to be recognised in this way by AIMS, their members and sponsors. I would like to thank them for awarding me in recognition of my achievements this year. I have been delighted with my form this year and this is a wonderful way to have my efforts recognised by the people at the top of organising my sport at the highest level.”
AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “Jemima and Eliud are clearly the outstanding performers of our sport in 2016. I am delighted that AIMS 410 races from over 110 countries have recognised the achievements of these very impressive athletes in the spiritual home of the Marathon Movement, Athens.”
There were several other awards presented at the Best Marathon Runner’ Awards Dinner Reception. The awards and winners are as follows:
AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award
The AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ethiopian Marathon Legend Haile Gebrselassie in recognition of his unparalleled career of success as one of the most decorated distance runners in history. It would be impossible to give equal coverage to each of Haile’s incredible achievements but they can be summarised thus; Haile won two Olympic gold medals (both in the 10,000m) and won many marathons around the world including four in a row at the Berlin Marathon. He also has an impressive collection of gold medals from indoor and outdoor athletics World Championships. Throughout his career he has set World Records in a variety of distances from the two miles to the marathon.
Haile Gebrselassie comments: “I am very happy that AIMS and their members and sponsors have chosen to honour me in this way and to spend a wonderful night with my friends in the marathon community in the home of the Marathon, Athens, Greece.”
AIMS Green Award
The GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon from Sweden received the ‘AIMS Green Award’ for 2016 in recognition of their long term investment in environmental practice. In 2012 and 2014 they received environmental diplomas and in May 2016 became one of the first races in the world to receive ISO 20121 certification. ISO 20121 is a management system standard that has been designed to help organizations in the events industry improve the sustainability of their event related activities, products and services.
Bo Edsberger, Race Director of the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon comments: “We are honored to receive this award from such a renowned organisation as AIMS. We were very proud to receive ISO 20121 certification earlier this year and to receive the AIMS Green Award is another great success. We would like to thank AIMS, their members and sponsors for recognizing us and our sustainable work with this great award.”
AIMS Social Award
The AIMS Social Award for 2016 was presented to the Munich Marathon for their project ‘Laufend integrieren’, which roughly translates as ‘constantly integrate’. This project has sought to help refugees integrate into German culture by setting up running groups for refugees and local Munich runners. They also employed more than 100 refugees around the race weekend preparing the race packages, handing them out and stewarding the route. Finally, bracelets branded with ‘Laufend integrieren’ were sold at the sports expo. The money raised from the bracelets in addition to donations from sponsors meant the Munich Marathon donated €30,000 to the social authority for Munich to distribute as they see fit.
Gernot Weigl, Race Director of the Munich Marathon comments: “We would like to thank AIMS, their sponsors and members for recognising us with the AIMS Social Award. We are delighted at the success of our ‘Laufend integrieren’ project so far and look forward to continuing the success in years to come. The response from our new friends from abroad and the local people has been moving to see. This project has hopefully helped people understand the massive social challenges that many of the people arriving in Germany have had to face as they seek a new, safer life.”
About the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Dinner
The purpose of the BMR Awards Dinner is to:
I. Announce and honour the best male and female Marathon runners of the year through the AIMS BEST MARATHON RUNNER (BMR) Award. The BMR Award replaces the AIMS World Athlete of the Year Award.
II. Recognise and honour exceptional Marathon figureheads and personalities for their contribution to the development of the Marathon movement.
III. Publicise and promote the best practice and initiatives of AIMS members (410+ race organisers) through the establishment of special environmental and social awards.
IV. Enhance the role, programs and services of AIMS.
AIMS is a member based organisation and since being established in 1982 has grown to a membership of more than 410 of the world’s leading distance races, from over 110 countries and territories. AIMS Members come from every continent on the planet. The three key objectives of AIMS are:
1. To foster and promote distance running throughout the world
2. To work with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) on all matters relating to international road races.
3. To exchange information, knowledge and expertise among members of the association
For further information on AIMS please visit: www.AIMS-worldrunning.org
About the 21st World Congress of AIMS – 10-12 November – Athens, Greece
The 21st World Congress of AIMS is being hosted by the ‘Athens Marathon, the Authentic’ at the Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre Hotel between November 10 – 12. The weekend will include many events including the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards, the Athens Marathon Expo, the Athens Marathon Opening Ceremonies & Marathon Flame Lighting inside the Marathon Tomb. The weekend finishes with the 34th edition of the ‘Athens Marathon. The Authentic’ on Sunday 13 November. The Congress will also mark the 120th anniversary of the Olympic Marathon race, held for the first time at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
The Congress is co-organised by the ‘Athens Marathon, the Authentic’ and the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), Greece’s governing body for athletics.
To apply for AIMS membership today click here. To find out more about AIMS and the benefits of being part of our organisation, please visit our website.
NOTES TO EDITORS - IMAGERY
Please find enclosed the following images. These images have been kindly provided free of copyright for your use by Francis Kay of Marathon-Photos.com. Details of the images with names of those in each image presented left to right are as follows:
Eliud Kipchoge with his AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award. (As Eliud was unable to attend, this is an image from the 2015 Dinner, where Eliud was also honoured with the BMR Award). This image is available for download by clicking here.
Jos Hermens, agent of Eliud Kipchoge who accepted the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award on Eliud’s behalf. This image is available for download by clicking here.
Jemima Sumgong with her AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award. This image is available for download by clicking here.
Sofie Fagerlund, Sustainability Manager, and Bo Edsberger, Race Director of the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon with the AIMS Green Award. This image is available for download by clicking here.
Haile Gebrselassie with the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award. This image is available for download by clicking here.
Gernot Weigl, Race Director of the Munich Marathon with the AIMS Social Award. This image is available for download by clicking here.
Group photo of the winners: Sofie Fagerlund (AIMS Green Award), Gernot Weigl (AIMS Social Award), Haile Gebreselassie (AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award), Jemima Sumgong (AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award), Jos Hermens (AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award on behalf of Eliud Kipchoge), Bo Edsberger (AIMS Green Award). This image is available for download by clicking here.
Haile Gebrselassie, winner of the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award alonsgide Jemima Sumgong, winner of the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award. This image is available for download by clicking here.
For further information, please contact:
Peter McLean, Director of Public Relations
Association of International Marathons & Distance Races
C/o PMPR Excellence Ltd,
Windsor House, 15 Kirklee Terrace,
Kelvinside, Glasgow, Scotland, G12 0TJ