For the first time in its history, AIMS, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, is conferring a so far one-of-kind honorary prize with the title: "Marathon of the Decade" - and the recipient is the real,- Berlin Marathon.
AIMS is thus giving recognition to the important achievements of the Berlin Marathon with is unparalleled series of world records over the past decade. Six world records from 1998 to 2008 document the high quality of the Berlin event - a performance never before achieved by any other marathon event.
September 20, 1998 - Ronaldo da Costa (BRA), 2:06:05
September 26, 1999 - Tegla Loroupe (KEN), 2:20:43
September 30, 2001 - Naoko Takahashi (JPN), 2:19:46
September 28, 2003 - Paul Tergat (KEN), 2:04:55
September 29, 2007 - Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), 2:04:26
September 28, 2008 - Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), 2:03:59
AIMS not only took the quality of the top performances into consideration for this decision, but also the incredibly high number of runners (from over 100 countries) who compete. With more than 35,000 finishers last year, the Berlin Marathon ranks second in the world in participation.
The awards ceremony took place on Tuesday, July 7, in the Berlin City Hall in the office of the governing mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit.
Francisco Borao / Valencia, vice-president of AIMS, who attended in lieu of the Japanese president Hiroaki Chosa, delivered the prize to the governing mayor together with the General Secretary of AIMS, Hugh Jones / London. The prize symbolically recognizes the fact that the Berlin Marathon serves as an important international figurehead and ambassador for the city of Berlin throughout the world. Rüdiger Otto, as the managing director, and Mark Milde, who is responsible for signing the top athletes for the Berlin Marathon, received the prize from the mayor.
The Berlin Marathon began in 1974 under the direction of Horst Milde (Race Director until 2004) with 286 runners in the Grunewald Forest; in 1981, the race "moved" to the city with the start at the Reichstag; starting in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall - with a then record number of 25,000 runners (the limit at the time) - and the live television broadcasting in Japan, the marathon joined the ranks of the top events.
The fast and flat course in Berlin and the enthusiasm of the spectators, together with the perfect organization are the most important factors in fostering Berlin's reputation as a city for runners.
"For AIMS, the Berlin Marathon is an excellent event, which we are proud of, which has written international sport history through its success, and which provides an excellent example of how through good cooperation with the institutions in a city, sport can positively affect the lives of its citizens," stated the president of AIMS, Hiroaki Chosa, in his congratulatory greetings to the mayor and to the Berlin Marathon.
For further information, contact AIMS Board Member Horst Milde at: email@example.com.