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Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

The home of world running™

About AIMS

Races can join AIMS as associate or full members. Associate status is intended for new races of less than two years standing. After two years as an associate member, races are required to move up to full member status.

Members must have their courses measured by an accredited IAAF-AIMS measurer.

Members are expected to offer a table or booth at their race expo for the exclusive use of other AIMS members. Equally, members may send race promotional material for display at and distribution from such booths of fellow AIMS members.

By such means AIMS offers a platform from which members can effectively promote their event to overseas markets.

AIMS History

AIMS was firmly established in May 1982 with its first Congress in London. Informal discussions had been held over the previous two years amongst some of the world’s leading marathon race directors with a view to setting up such an association. Meetings were held in New York, Honolulu and other venues prior to the formal meeting in London.

AIMS was initially established with the idea of providing a forum for the exchange of ideas that would help to improve each attending director’s race. However, once it was decided to write Articles of Association it was found necessary to go beyond just the exchange of ideas and to set some basic rules to govern the association and membership.

The objectives of the Association are:

  1. to foster and promote distance running throughout the world;
  2. to work with the International Association of Athletic Federations on all matters relating to international road races, and;
  3. to exchange information, knowledge and expertise among the members of the Association.

From those beginnings thirty years ago AIMS has made remarkable progress.

At the 5th World Congress of AIMS in 1989 in Melbourne, Australia, membership was extended beyond just marathons to all road races. Membership was further extended at the 16th World Congress of AIMS in March 2007 held in Xiamen, China to explicitly include races held off-road. Through a partnership with agencies of the Greek national government AIMS opened a permanent headquarters at the spiritual home of the Marathon in November 2011, within the Olympic Complex in Athens. From this date OPAP-VisitGreece has become the Patron of AIMS.

AIMS has firmly established itself as the major force behind the development and progress of distance running throughout the world. From an initial membership of 28 in 1982, it has grown to over 400 countries and territories including most of the world's premier marathons and many other major road races.

AIMS has set firm standards of course measurement. IAAF has recognized and adopted the AIMS system as its standard. All AIMS members are required to have their courses so measured.

AIMS and IAAF recognize world road records, having jointly developed acceptable criteria for their recognition.

AIMS acknowledges and is grateful to all the organizations, institutions and sponsors who support and co-operate with the Association in its efforts to develop the sport of road running.

Founding Members

America’s Marathon/Chicago (Bob Bright)

Antwerp Marathon (Prosper Slachmuylders)

Athens Marathon (George Courmouzis)

Avon Women’s Marathon/San Francisco (Kathrine Switzer)

Barcelona Marathon (Ray Oliu)

Berlin Marathon (Horst Milde) About...

Boston Marathon (Will Cloney) About...

British Marathon/Manchester (Vince Regan)

Fukuoka Marathon (Hiroaki Chosa) About...

Geneva Marathon (Claude Haegi/Francois Aumus)

Hamilton International Marathon (Andy Galloway) About...

Hoechst Marathon (Frankfurt) (Wolgram Bleul)

Honolulu Marathon (David Benson)

London Marathon (Chris Brasher) About...

Madrid Marathon (Francisco Perela Cambronero)

Melbourne Marathon (Ted Paulin)

Miami Orange Bowl Marathon (Basil Honikman)

Montreal Marathon (Serge Arsenault)

New York City Marathon (Fred Lebow) About...

Nike/OTC Marathon (Tom Sturak)

Osaka Ladies Marathon (Hajime Yuki)

Rio de Janeiro Marathon (Jose Inacio Werneck)

Rome City Marathon (Franco Fava)

San Francisco Marathon (Scott Thomason)

Seoul International Marathon (Hyon Joon Yoo)

Stockholm Marathon (Anders Olsson)

Tokyo Men's Marathon (Tadashi Utani)

Tokyo Women’s Marathon (Takashi Hoga)

Vancouver Marathon (Don Basham)

Past presidents

Hiroaki Chosa
4th President of AIMS

Picture of Hiroaki Chosa

AIMS has developed into a trustworthy partner for IAAF in the international athletics movement largely through the leadership shown by Hiroaki Chosa. AIMS benefited from direct access to decision makers in the international athletics movement through Mr. Chosa's expertise and experience. His experience is varied: through athletes he trained in his national association; through his position as Race-Director of the renowned Fukuoka Marathon; and through his membership of the IAAF Road-Running Commission. It is also thanks to Mr. Chosa that AIMS had contact with Japanese sponsors, which helped the association to become financially independent. This in turn allowed AIMS to carry out several worldwide initiatives.

Bob M. Dalgleish
3rd President of AIMS

Picture of Bob M. Dalgleish

Bob Dalgleish was involved in sport for many years and between 1978 and 1990 had been Sports Promotion Officer for the City of Glasgow. He was one of those responsible for getting the Glasgow Marathon started, and he continued as Race Director of the Great Scottish Run, which succeeded the marathon. Bob Dalgleish was a respected member of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), and a former President of both the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association and the Scottish Cross Country Union. He was closely involved with the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. But Bob Dalgleish’s proudest and most treasured achievement in athletics was becoming President of AIMS. He took over from Chris Brasher in 1987 and the Association owes much to the innovation, expertise, time and honesty he gave as President. He always had time to listen to every side of a discussion, and stood firm on the policies that have built AIMS to the position of respect and strength that it holds today.

Chris Brasher
2nd President of AIMS

Picture of Chris Brasher

Born in British Guiana in 1928 and educated at Rugby School and Cambridge University, Chris Brasher discovered a love of the adventurous outdoors early in life. Before the age of 22 he had participated in two Arctic expeditions. He was introduced to serious athletics at University and quickly made an impression, competing in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics before famously helping to pace Roger Bannister to the first sub four-minute mile in 1954. In the 1956 Melbourne Olympics he lined up only as Britain's third-choice steeplechaser but against all expectations – except perhaps his own – he won gold in 8:41.2. A successful career in journalism and broadcasting followed. He was twice voted British Sportswriter of the Year. A business based on selling orienteering gear from the boots of cars led to the opening of the first 'Sweat Shop' retail outlet. This has since become a chain of shops managed by his son, Hugh. He also set up a sports shoe distribution company called Fleetfoot. In 1979, with ten fellow Ranelagh Harrier club members on the “Sweat Shop” tour to the New York Marathon, Chris Brasher was inspired to wonder whether London could organise a similar event. Only a man of Chris’s vision and determination could have brought the dream to fruition a mere 18 months later. Chris himself, at the age of 52, ran 2:56:56 in the inaugural London Marathon. This race is his greatest legacy. Chris Brasher, who was AIMS’ President from 1983–1987, died of cancer on 28 February 2003 at the age of 74. With his wife Shirley he had three children: Kate, Amanda and Hugh. (Steve Rowland for the Ranelagh Newsletter)

Will Cloney
1st President of AIMS

Picture of Will Cloney

The first President of AIMS, Will Cloney, was race director of the Boston Marathon from 1947–1982 and President of the Boston Athletic Association from 1964–1982. He attended Harvard University from 1933 and became professor of English and journalism at Boston's Northeastern University from 1937–1953, spanning four years of military service in the Second World War. He was a sportswriter for the Boston Globe from 1930–1953, followed by three years with the Boston Post. He directed the Boston Marathon for 36 years, guiding the event during the popularisation of the marathon in the late 1960s, and the institution of qualifying times in the 1970s, right through to the running boom of the late 1970s. In his first year in charge there were 184 runners; by the last this had grown to 7,647. Married in 1937, he had four children. He died on 16 January 2003 at the age of 91.

Allan Steinfeld

Picture of Allan Steinfeld

Allan Steinfeld (1946–2017) established a reputation as one of the world's leading authorities on the technical aspects of road running. He developed methods that have become standard for marathons and races at various distances. Allan Steinfeld was a founding member of AIMS. He earned a Master's Degree in electrical engineering and radio astronomy from Cornell University in 1971, following a Bachelor's Degree from City College of New York in 1969. He was appointed as the first chairman of the then newly formed AIMS Technical Committee. He became a member of New York Road Runners (NYRR) in 1963. In 1978, Fred Lebow hired him to assist in planning and executing New York Road Runners events. Steinfeld became the Technical Director of the New York City Marathon in 1981, the President of NYRR in 1993, and CEO of NYRR and the Race Director of the New York City Marathon in 1994 following Lebow's death. In April 2005 he stepped down from these positions and assumed the new roles of Vice Chairman of NYRR and the Executive Director of the ING New York City Marathon. Allan Steinfeld was the chief marathon referee for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He was technical advisor for the network television and world broadcasts of several Olympic Games, and served as the consultant for television broadcasts of the NYC Marathon and other NYRRC races. He was a consultant to the 1984 Olympic Marathons, London, Los Angeles, Rio Marathons and many other races. In 1984 the World Cross Country Championships were held outside Europe for the first time. They took place at Meadowlands, New York, and Allan Steinfeld was the event director. He also worked in track and field, as the meeting director for the IAAF Mobil Grand Prix events in New York City from 1989–1995 and as the competitions manager for the 1998 Goodwill Games. He died on 24 January 2017 at the age of 70.

Silver Jubilee

To coincide with the 16th World Congress of AIMS, held in Xiamen (CHN) on 28–30 March 2007, a Silver Jubilee Brochure was published to mark the 25th anniversary of AIMS.

Click to read the brochure

2500 Years of the Marathon

A logo was created in 2010 to mark the 2500th anniversary of the legend of the Marathon (see below), and was available for use as a supplementary item by race organisations during the year 2010, highlighting the importance and symbolism for world peace and solidarity that the year 2010 brings. For more information on this please read 2500 Years of the Marathon.

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Distance Running

Official magazine of AIMS and IAAF

Cover of 2017 Edition 2

Latest issue:
2017 Edition 2

Cover: Kobe Marathon, Japan