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AIMS Marathon Symposium 2007
At the First AIMS Marathon Symposium held on 8 November 2007 Yannis Theodorakopoulos, Greek TV Sports Journalist and Mayor of Pefki, and the former international runner Maria Polizou, who still holds the Greek marathon record, recalled the historic roots of the marathon. Hugh Jones, former world-class marathon runner and present AIMS secretary, spoke about the tremendous development of marathon running in the past 30 years. He also referred to the enormous recent development in Asia.

A main topic of the inaugural Symposium was the economic impact of road races. "Analysing a marathon race in terms of economics one has to conclude that these races are highly attractive," said Wolfgang Maennig, who is a professor in economy science at the University of Hamburg.

Horst Milde, who developed the Berlin Marathon and acted as Chairman of the Symposium organising committee, stated: "An important aspect for our future development is to motivate young people to start running. Races must think about this and include children's competitions."

Timothy Kilduff from the Boston Marathon stressed that race organisers should also think about "media coverage, especially TV, the internet and Charity Running. But whatever you do, you always have to be respectful to the runners".

1st AIMS Marathon Symposium, on the day before the Athens Classic Marathon. Photo: Francis Kay/Marathon-Photo.com
Photo: Francis Kay/Marathon-Photo.com

"Today marathon is a way of life," said the Mayor of Marathon, Spiros Zagaris, who had been very eager and supportive to stage stage this Symposium and also had been the key figure behind the opening of a new Marathon museum in his town. Among those invited for the marathon weekend were former World Champions Abel Anton (Spain/1997 in Athens and 1999 in Seville) and Rosa Mota (Portugal/1987 in Rome), who also became the Olympic Champion in 1988 and who on the first ever marathon championship for women over the Marathon to Athens course back in 1982.
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