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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Race date for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (IND) changed

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (IND) will take place on Sun 20 November 2016, not Sun 27 November 2016 as previously published.

Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon EDP | Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon Vodafone RTP

Race date for Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon EDP | Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon Vodafone RTP (POR) changed

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The Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon EDP | Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon Vodafone RTP (POR) will take place on Sun 2 October 2016, not Tue 18 October 2016 as previously published.

Jakarta Marathon

Race date for Jakarta Marathon (INA) changed

The Jakarta Marathon (INA) will take place on Sun 23 October 2016, not Sun 30 October 2016 as previously published.

Marathon Symposium tackles doping

The 9th AIMS Marathon Symposium held in Athens addressed the subject of “Doping threats in distance running”. The first speaker at the Symposium was to be Kyle Barber, Medical & Anti-Doping Intelligence Officer at the IAAF, who submitted his apologies.

The keynote speaker at the Symposium was Prof. Yannis Pitsiladis (MMedSci., PhD, FACSM) from the University of Brighton, speaking on the topic of “A Holistic Anti-doping Approach for a Fairer Future for World-class Sport: The SUB2 Marathon Project”. Professor Pitsiladis commented “Frequently the research behind detection is insufficient. The sport needs to have serious investment in research into doping assessment rather than token efforts.” Prof. Pitsiladis highlighted research he had carried out into the form of blood doping with EPO, a project that compared athletes in test situations using EPO in trials in Glasgow, Scotland and compared athletes in the same test circumstances training at altitude in Kenya, Africa. The results showed significant increase in performance by all athletes in both locations when using EPO and also showed the challenge of detecting it as traces disappeared within 48 hours.

When asked about the temptation to dope Prof. Pitsiladis talked about many athletes see it as a way of escaping poverty.

Prof. Pitsiladis has a project to help the first runner to run a doping free sub-two hour marathon, the majority at the conference felt it was not a question of ‘if’ but “when’.

The second half of the Marathon Symposium saw presentations on the theme of “Race Organisers, Coaches & Athletes Battle against Doping”. “A Runner’s View” was given by former London Marathon winner and General Secretary of AIMS Hugh Jones. Following Hugh was Mark Milde, Race Director of the BMW Berlin Marathon who spoke on the topic of “Preventive Action Plans Towards Doping Threats”.

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “Doping is a huge challenge in all sport around the world. I am delighted that such highly respected speakers have come to the AIMS Symposium to share their knowledge and experience with our attendees.”

100 km del Sahara

100 km del Sahara cancelled

The 100 km del Sahara planned for March 2016 in Argentina has been cancelled.

The race organisers said in a statement on their website “The re-scheduling of the flight connections from Italy to Argentina applied by Aerolineas Argentinas, involved all our previously booked flights, causing a forced re-scheduling of our own event. Unfortunately this change didn’t fit the arrangements of the local logistical services already fixed since a long time.”

Changes to race dates

The following changes to race dates have been announced, which supercede the calendar printed in the last edition of Distance Running:

The Vadodara Half Marathon (IND) will take place on 7 February 2016, not 13 December 2015 as previously published.

The Mauritius Marathon (MRI) will take place on 24 July 2016, not 17 July as previously published.

The Petra Desert Marathon (JOR) will take place on 3 September 2016, not 4 September as previously published.

The Runatolia Marathon (Half + 10km) (TUR) will take place on 6 March 2016, not 13 March as previously published.

Eliud Kipchoge and Mare Dibaba receive Marathon Runner of the Year awards

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It’s been a highly successful last 12 months or so for Eliud Kipchoge with victory in three marathon classics of Chicago, London and Berlin. And 2015 became even better for the Kenyan without running a single step when he was awarded the men’s prize as Marathon Runner of the Year at the AIMS Gala in Athens on 6 November. Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba was awarded the women’s prize after a year in which she won the world title in Beijing among an equally impressive list of accomplishments. This was the third annual edition of the Best Marathon Runner of the Year Awards, organised by The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), held as ever in Athens around the time of the Athens Marathon the Authentic.

The AIMS membership of more than 380 organisers of running events voted Kipchoge and Dibaba the winners. The period under consideration for the voting was from the beginning of October 2014 to the end of September this year.

Since the start of the judging process, Eliud Kipchoge has clearly established himself as the best marathon runner in the world. He turned 31 the day before the AIMS Gala and could look back on a tremendous year, winning such perennially high quality races as Chicago, London and Berlin. In every one he achieved world class times as well, breaking the 2:05 barrier as a matter of course. The summit in terms of time came six weeks ago in Berlin, where he ran his personal best of 2:04:00 which remains the fastest time in the world this year.

“This is a really important day for me which will remain in my mind forever. This is the first time I’ve received such an award in my career,” reflected Eliud Kipchoge and added: “I should like to thank everyone who has helped me in the past 15 years – my coach Patrick Sang but also plenty of others.” He made no secret about his next goal: “Next year I want to win the gold medal in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio. Olympic gold is one medal I don’t have.” If he achieves that objective, the one after could well be the marathon world record, currently held by his compatriot Dennis Kimetto, of 2:02:57. “I hope that one day I will also be the world record holder,” said Kipchoge.

Mare Dibaba achieved the greatest moment in her career so far when the 26-year-old won the world title in Beijing in August. She and Kenya’s Helah Kiprop produced one of the most exciting home straight finishes in marathon championship history with the gold going to the Ethiopian by just one second. She also has enjoyed an impressive run of success in the marathon since 2014, becoming the Chicago champion and then ran the world class time of 2:19:52 for victory in Xiamen in China in January, the second fastest women’s time this year. There was more to come as she finished a narrow second in the Boston Marathon in April. “I’m very happy to receive this award, thank you very much,” said Mare Dibaba as she accepted her prize at the Gala, which was broadcast for one and a half hours live on national television and organised jointly by AIMS and the Greek Athletics Federation, SEGAS. “For the past year it has been our goal that the Gala should go ahead, despite the severe economic conditions,” said Kostas Panagopoulos, the SEGAS president.

Three further awards were presented by AIMS. The Green award for an event with the best environmental policy went to the Houston Marathon and the Lala Marathon in Mexico received the award for the best programme of social responsibility. The 1972 Olympic Marathon champion, Frank Shorter, received the lifetime achievement award. The American is recovering from surgery in the USA and his son Alex, also a marathon runner, collected the award on his behalf.

Race date changes

The Gammon China Coast Marathon (HKG) will take place on 31 Jan 2016, not 17 Jan as previously published.

The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon (GBR) will take place on 25 September 2016, not 2 October 2016 as previously published.

The Scottish Half Marathon (GBR) will take place on 18 September 2016, not 17 September as previously published.

Athens Marathon The Authentic

Athens at the heart of the Marathon

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Athens, the birthplace of the Marathon, will be the focus of attention for the international running scene for three days from November 6 to 8. Firstly the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) will honour the best marathon runners of the year with the 2015 AIMS Best Marathon Runner (BMR) Awards, at an international Gala to be held in the evening of Friday, November 6. The next day will be marked by the Opening Ceremony for the “Athens Marathon. The Authentic”. This is followed by the high point of the Athens Marathon itself, on Sunday, where the organisers expect more than 16,000 runners to participate.

This is the 3rd edition of the AIMS BMR Gala in Athens to honour the best runners of the year. The candidates were recently announced by AIMS and are the Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge and Gladys Cherono, the Ethiopian Mare Dibaba and Ghirmay Ghebreslassie from Eritrea. The winners in the male and female categories will be determined by a voting process currently taking place amongst more than 380 member races of AIMS. Winners will be announced during the BMR Gala.

The period under consideration for the 2015 AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award is from the beginning of October 2014 to the end of September 2015. During this time Eliud Kipchoge won three major marathons: Chicago, London and Berlin and a few weeks ago set the world’s fastest time of 2:04:00 at the latter event. Ghirmay Ghebreslassie overturned expectations by winning the World Championship race in Beijing in August. His gold medal was achieved after finishing sixth in Chicago and second in Hamburg in his previous races.

Gladys Cherono ran her debut marathon in January when she missed victory in Dubai in January by just one second, finishing in the highly impressive time of 2:20:03. She went one place better in her second attempt at the distance, running the fastest woman’s time this year of 2:19:25 to win the Berlin title at the end of September. This was also the fastest performance by a woman on an officially recognised course since April 2012. Mare Dibaba is the only other woman to have broken 2:20 this year. She achieved that feat with 2:19:52 to win the Xiamen Marathon in China in January. She won the women’s marathon at the World Championships in Beijing and her career includes victory in the 2014 Chicago Marathon and second place in Boston this April.

Four more special awards will be presented during the Gala, which is organised by AIMS and the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS): the Green Award, the Lifetime Achievement, the Social Award and the Popular Runner Special Award. It has already been announced that the Chevron Houston Marathon will receive the Green Award.

Saturday, November 7, will mark the traditional Opening Ceremony for the “Athens Marathon. The Authentic”. The Ceremony takes place inside the Archeological Site of the historic Marathon Tomb, the memorial site of the Battle of Marathon, where the Greek troops defeated the Persians in 490 BCE. The Athenian soldier-messenger-runner, who according to legend ran from the battlefield to bring news of victory to his fellow Athenians, was later the inspiration for the creation of the marathon race for the inaugural Olympic Games of the modern era in Athens in 1896. During the Ceremony, the Marathon Flame, established in 2007, will be lit in front local authorities, IAAF, AIMS and SEGAS executives, marathon legends and race directors of more than 70 international marathon events. The Marathon Flame is carried by relay to the start of the race in the nearby town of Marathon and marathon runners of next day’s event have the chance to take memories of it.

In these difficult economic times the “Athens Marathon. The Authentic” has become a real Greek success story. The organisers SEGAS have again recorded increased numbers of entrants for the race with approx. 16,000 expected to run on the original marathon route, an officially measured course, served by an organization of very high international standards. Including races over shorter distances (5 and 10 km as well as races for children), some 43,000 entries for the event on Sunday, November 8 have been received. The classic race over 42.195 km will begin in the town of Marathon as ever. The historic course will take participants into Athens and the Olympic Arena for the 1896 Games, the Panathinaikon Stadium. Entries for the Marathon are still available and can be accessed by going to: www.athensauthenticmarathon.gr.

Standard Chartered KL Marathon

Standard Chartered KL Marathon cancelled

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon (MAS) has been cancelled due to an urban haze which reached unhealthy levels. The medical team, the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF), and the Institut Sukan Negara advised cancellation because the rapidly deteriorating air quality presented a danger to the health of participants. This decision was supported by co-organisers, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, and the title sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia. Registered participants can collect finisher entitlements by arrangement.