News 2006


Christer Fuglesang, who is Sweden's first astronaut, brought a Stockholm Marathon medal along with him in his official flight kit when he left Kennedy Space Center in Florida early Sunday morning, 10 December on board the space shuttle Discovery. He will stay at the international space station ISS for 11 days before returning to earth. Christer Fuglesang ran the Stockholm Marathon in 1985, 1986 and 1987. His best time was 3:15:05. For Fuglesang the medal is a symbol of sport in general, and sport is close to his heart.

The AIMS schedule for the weekend of 9/10 December was less hectic than the previous two weekends, with three events taking place Sunday, the Powerade Monterrey Marathon (more) in Mexico and the New Las Vegas Marathon (more) and Honolulu Marathon (more) in USA. The Maraton Internacional de Costa Rica scheduled for 9 December was postponed until 28 January 2007.

There were twelve races held over the weekend. Jamaica's Reggae Marathon (more)MTN Lagos International Half Marathon (more) were held on 2 December, followed Sunday December 3rd by the Barbados Marathon (more) and Cayman Islands Marathon (more) in the Caribbean, Nuevo Leon Half Marathon (more) and Gran Marathon Pacifico (more) in Mexico, Pampulha Lagoon (more) road race in Brazil, Lisbon Marathon (more) in Portugal, the Macau Marathon (more), the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (more) and the 60th Fukuoka International Marathon (more) in Japan. Also held Sunday was the previously postponed Beirut Marathon (more).

AIMS Children's Series: Addis Ababa, 25 November 2006

The last of the three events in the AIMS Children's Series 2006 provided a curtain-raiser for the 6th Toyota Great Ethiopian Run 10km
 
The main differences to the parent event were of length and size. The children's course was 1200m in length, comprising a lap of Meskal Square and an out and back section up a testing slope.  The size of the fields were limited in this inaugural event to a total of 3000 runners split into boys and girls and two age categories.
The size of the competitors varied from tiny through small to medium. In the under 8s events some serious racing went on up front, but the tiny kids trailing in their wake ran the whole way..

As parents dashed from one side of the square to the other to catch the action the kids concentrated their efforts admirably; coming back into the Square for the long curving run-in to the finish they showed easy form and complete awareness of what was required. In the under 11s girls' race the first three finishers all ran bare foot. Further back the main bulk of finishers had to fight for position, as the numbers attracted did not allow for an unimpeded run for all.

After the finish line each participant was awarded a drink and a bottle, biscuits and a medal, as race official ticked their T-shirts as a receipt. Gradually the Square filled up with kids basking in the sunshine, laughing and chatting with friends and sporting the spoils of their participation.

An award ceremony was held at which the top three in each category received plaques from a trio of distinguished personages. Carolina Kluft, Sonia O'Sullivan, and race patron Haile Gebrselassie. <see results>;

The Atlanta Marathon (more) BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon (see below).

The Malta Challenge Marathon (more) was spread over three stages in three days, from 24-26 November. The Toray Cup Shanghai Marathon (more) followed on 25 November and on 26 November by Lake Kawaguchi Marathon (more) (JPN) and the Thai Health Bangkok Marathon (more) in Asia, the Great Ethiopian Run 10km (more) in Africa, the Cyprus Aphrodite Half Marathon (more), the Firenze Marathon (more), the La Rochelle Marathon (more) and the San Sebastian Marathon (more) in Europe, the UW Medical Center Seattle Marathon (more) in North America and the Corpore Sao Paulo Classic 10km (more) in South America.

New AIMS / ChampionChip Award for Innovation

The AIMS / ChampionChip Innovation Award is new, designed to reward innovation in race organisation, and goes to the heart of AIMS' objectives: "to exchange information, knowledge and expertise among members of the Association."

The first award will be made at the 16th World Congress of AIMS in Xiamen, China on 28 March 2007, where the winner will receive a trophy and a cheque for $10,000. Nominations can be made now, by reading advisory notes and completing the nomination form available <here>

The award is open only to AIMS member races, and the innovation submitted for the Award may not be more than three years old. Nominations will close on 31 December 2006.

In subsequent awards, from the 17th Congress on, the winner of the previous award will become a fifth jury member. Judgment criteria will consider both the effect of the innovation and its innovative quality (or "newness"). For more details and a nomination form click <here>

The MTN Lagos International Half Marathon which was scheduled for November 18 has been postponed for two weeks until 2 December. On 19 November, four widely-spaced events were held: The Tokyo International Women's Marathon (more), the Palermo International Marathon (more), the Marabana Marathon and Half Marathon in Cuba (more) and the Media Marathon de Quito - mitad del Mundo (more); in Ecuador.

The Pharaonic 100km (more) took place in Egypt on Friday 10 November, as both an ultradistance race and a 5-person relay event.

Two races were held on 12 November: the Monaco Marathon (more) and the Guarda-Trentino Half Marathon (more) (ITA).

Thailand Temple Run postponed

I November 2006: The Thailand Temple Run, which was set to take place on 18 March 2007, has been postponed indefinitely. ING Life, the event's title sponsor for the last two years, have withdrawn leaving insufficient sponsorship to meet budgetary needs.

The Thailand Temple Run was founded in 2002 and envisioned as a destination race showcasing an unseen, picturesque part of Thailand. The race soon established a name for itself in the local and international running scene for its beautiful setting of Buddhist temples, rice paddies, coconut farms and rural Thai life. The 2006 event attracted more than 3,000 participants including more than 700 international participants from 45 countries..

AIMS Children's Series: Kathmandu, 22 October 2006
The second stage of the AIMS children's Series took place in Kathmandu, in association with the Samsung Kathmandu 5km Peace Run
  This first wave of 1200 runners were adults, fun-running the same course through the centre of Kathmandu as the children.. Tight scheduling of the road closure meant that the adults had barely cleared the start line before the kids were chasing after them.

There were three age groups, each divided into boys' and girls' categories. They were each identified by a letter code to pick them out at the finish line.
  These letters were placed on the front of the T-shirt but most participants, unfamiliar with organised races, fixed their race numbers on their backs.

As young legs overtook many of the old lags the two events intermingled, creating one long snaking trail along New Road, around Ratna Park and then eastward out to Baneshwor, to finish at the gates of the gigantic Birendra International Convention Centre.

After unseasonal showers in the preceding days and in the afternoon after the race, the sun smiled on the runners. So much so that despite starting at 08.00 it was already warm by the time the front runners finished. The first few of them had serious expressions, but soon the grounds of the convention centre filled up with smiling runners, proudly sporting their medals and clutching their certificates as they tucked into their breakfast packs.

Paula Radcliffe's Golden Shoe

The outstanding British athlete Paula Radcliffe received a world accolade in London on 8 October when she received the ASICS Golden Shoe to mark her achievement as the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year. Paula was presented with the award by AIMS Marketing Director Wim Verhoorn. The award period stretches back to 2005 when Paula won London Marathon on 17 April (2:17:42) and won the IAAF World Championships Marathon in Helsinki on 14 August (2:20:57). (more)

The AIMS/ASICS World athlete of the year awards were founded in 1992 and are decided each year by way of nominations made by member races of AIMS. Previous winners of the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the year award include Mizuko Noguchi, Naoko Takahashi and Catherine Ndereba. Paula Radcliffe has won the award twice before.

AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa commented: 'Paula has worked very hard for a great number of years to reach the very top of her sport, she is a credit to her country and the sport of athletics. Our members recognise her as an icon for women in sport. I wish Paula every success for the future."

Paula Radcliffe remarked: 'I very much appreciate this award. It means a lot that so many people at the top of world athletics voted for me. I would just like to say thank you to AIMS and everyone involved.'

11 September 2006: "United we run"
"It has been five years since the Twin Towers were destroyed, taking the heart and soul of New York City with it" remembers then New York City Marathon Race Director Allan Steinfeld. "That glow and the smell of smoke as it wafted its way through Central Park, over 10km away, still burns in my mind.

"Held just three weeks later, the 2001 real, -BERLIN-MARATHON is also an event I will never forget. The support shown for my city by everyone associated with that race was overwhelming. I can still vividly see that huge banner with the words "United We Run" and the logos of the Berlin and NYC Marathons.

"United we run" Banner in Berlin 2001 - Shortly before the start of the race, runners pulled a mega-banner adorned with the words “United we run” and the logos of both the New York City Marathon and BERLIN-MARATHON over their heads ©Der Tagesspiegel
Runners carried it proudly as they passed Mayor Klaus Wowereit, Horst Milde and myself on the starter's platform. It renewed my faith in people as I realized that we New Yorkers were not suffering alone. I cried like a baby.  "We brought that banner back to the New York City Marathon where it was unfurled, for the entire world to see, in a show of unity and support for New York City. The Marathon was the first citywide event after 9/11. People came out en masse to support runners with their applause and tears. On that day, 4 November 2001, New York City rose like a phoenix from the ashes to show its courage, resilience and strength."

"The attack on the World Trade Center signaled a world change" says former Berlin Marathon Race Director Horst Milde. "It was also a moment of change for sport.

"After the attack cancellation of the race seemed to be in the air, as terror was possible everywhere. Within two days, and following consultation with Allan Steinfeld, as well as with political leaders, the clear message that emerged was that sport would not be swayed by terrorism.

"The BERLIN-MARATHON then purposefully focused attention on the international political situation: "Shortly before the start of the race, runners hoisted a mega-banner (25m x 40m) adorned with the words "United we run" and the logos of both the New York City Marathon and BERLIN-MARATHON over their heads. It was an act of solidarity with the American people and in particular with the New York City Marathon that was to take place five weeks later.
"Berlin runners wore black ribbons, and appealed for donations for the families and relatives of the firemen and policemen who lost their lives in New York. Allan Steinfeld gave the start signal together with Klaus Wowereit, the Mayor of Berlin.

"The banner was then transported to New York. In a moving ceremony prior to the start of the race, on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, it was held aloft by race directors from around the world - to demonstrate the solidarity of the running world."

The banner "United we run" in New York City 2001 at the start - race directors from around the globe in a show of unity and support for New York City ©Victah Sailer

Sue Richardson, one of the most popular staff members of IAAF and a lifelong friend of AIMS, was laid to rest in Monaco on Tuesday 5 September. IAAF General Secretary Pierre Weiss, with whom Sue worked very closely over the course of many years, gave his appreciation:
"Sue Richardson joined the IAAF just before the Tokyo World Championships. She worked in our London offices and was one of the small team who accepted to relocate to Monaco in 1993.

Before joining the IAAF, Sue had worked for British Airways, in the Royal Navy and at London Weekend Television but above all had directed all her abilities and enthusiasm to the service of the London Marathon, where since 1981 she rubbed shoulders with many runners and officials who are her friends to this day. It was at the London Marathon that she had her first contacts with AIMS and over the years, until 2005, she became secretary to the Board and the AIMS Congress.

But it was in Monaco that she exploited her talents to the full as my loyal and extremely competent personal assistant. To all, she was helpful, considerate, knowledgeable, funny and great company.

She continued throughout to play an important role in our relations with the road running community and, most especially, with AIMS.

But Sue also was heavily involved in all aspects of marketing at the IAAF, ensuring our daily liaison with ISL and later with DENTSU/AMS and our Official Partners.

Her skill led her to become the ever-present secretary to the meetings of the IAAF Council and Golden League and taker of the Minutes at Congress from 1997.

In London and in Monaco, her sole family was the IAAF: she was never so happy as when she was with the Council Members, meet organisers, sponsors, athletes and her colleagues on the IAAF staff.

Despite her health problems Sue insisted on coming to Helsinki in 2005, planning to take the minutes of Congress as usual (she maintained her sequence of having attended every single World Championships since the inaugural edition in 1983). Unfortunately, this was not to be and she had to be admitted to hospital in Finland.

Since then, she faced her sickness with great courage, always putting on a brave face for her visitors, even though she knew that her case was hopeless. Her final weeks were extremely difficult. In the hospital the steady stream of visitors, the flowers, the letters, the gossip from the athletics family around the world will have made her realise the high regard in which she was held. Now she rests in peace; we will all miss her."

Colleagues and friends came from around the world. These included John Disley, co-founder of the London Marathon, who had worked closely with Sue from 1981-1991. Paco Borao and Hugh Jones represented AIMS, and Mario Kadiks from Rotterdam and David Bedford and Nick Bitel from the London Marathon also attended.

Sue Richardson, a lifelong friend of AIMS, passed away in the early hours of 1 September after a year-long fight against cancer.

It was a fight in which Sue outpointed her adversary to the end. Up until only a few days before she died she remained as lucid, perceptive and sympathetic as she always had been.

Born in 1946, Sue entered the running world in 1982 as office manager for the London Marathon. She was Chris Brasher's indispensable assistant for many years, and became minute-taker for AIMS when Chris Brasher assumed the Presidency. She moved on to take up a post with IAAF, but remained committed to AIMS and acted as the main liaison between IAAF and the world of road running.

One-time secretary of Barry Manilow's British fan club, Sue eventually generated an informal fan club of her own within the world of athletics administration. It spread over all continents as people recognised the qualities she brought to the job. Always approachable and welcoming, she was a reassuring presence for outsiders and insiders alike.

Sue took ill at the Helsinki World Championships in Athletics in August 2005. Although she was on the verge of returning to work early in 2006 she was never able to do so. Even so, she remained in close touch with her IAAF workmates, who provided a very supportive presence in her last months, as well as all the other friends she had made throughout the world in her long service to the world of athletics.

"More and more people want to come and run in this beautiful part of Scotland" says Loch Ness race director Malcolm Sutherland. "We are way up on the number of entries at the same stage last year and enquiries and entries are still rolling in". Entries for the Loch Ness Marathon close on 1 September, a month before the event is held. The closing date for the 10km and 5km races is 15 September.

This year, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running will be bigger and better than ever. Voted in the top three UK running events by Runners World online for the last three years, it is now the largest participatory sports event in the north of Scotland, with runners coming from all over the world.

The race attracts elite and club runners but has also proved massively popular with first timers and charity runners. Last year's event raised $750,000 for the 35 official charities.

Non-runners are well catered for, as the finish line at Queens Park Stadium, Inverness becomes a festival of fun, open to all. A particular highlight is the Monster Meal, which is a total Highland food experience including a hog-spit roast, venison and Scotch beef as well as vegetarian and children's options. Live music and massed pipes and drums will add to the atmosphere.

There is no race day entry for the marathon and 10km but limited entries for the River Ness 5km Fun Run are taken on race weekend. Come to support the runners and enjoy the carnival atmosphere at Queens Park Stadium.

The newest member of AIMS is the Antarctic Ice Marathon which takes place at 80S, at the foot of the Ellsworth Mountains and just a few hundred kilometres from the South Pole.

As the only marathon in the interior of the Antarctic or within the Antarctic Circle it presents a formidable challenge. Runners face underfoot conditions comprising snow and ice throughout, an average wind-chill temperature of -20C and the possibility of strong katabatic winds. Furthermore, it takes place at an altitude of 1000m.

The event will particularly appeal to runners who want to complete a marathon on all seven continents or fitness enthusiasts looking for a good excuse to see the interior of the 'last continent'. (more)
An eight-day itinerary takes competitors by private jet from Punta Arenas in Chile on 10 December 2006 to the marathon location at Patriot Hills. A marked course of 42.2km will be prepared and snowmobile support, aid stations and medical personnel will be at hand for the duration of the race.

In addition to the feature marathon event, the Antarctic 100km will present the only opportunity to complete a 100km race on the frozen continent. It creates the prospect of a 100km Seven Continents Club for ultra runners.
For the registration fee of US$15,000, participants will
be flown round-trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the race venue and will receive accommodation and food for the entire eight-day Antarctic trip and entry to whichever race or races they choose.

The races are organised by Polar Running Adventures, the organiser of the annual North Pole Marathon. For more details, see www.icemarathon.com.

A movement in Mexico
Last year several Mexican road races came together to form the Association of Mexican Marathons and Road Races (AMMCR). As its name indicates, it is modeled as a national version of AIMS, and one of the objectives is to have all its members also become members of AIMS. Many of them - Lala Marathon, Tangamanga Marathon, Guadalajara Marathon, Los Cabos Half Marathon and Powerade Monterrey Marathon, are already AIMS members.

Along with other races like the Leon and Culiacan Marathons they have together established the AMMCR and received recognition from the Government of Mexico. A press launch was held on 2 August 2006, and the first Annual Congress of the organisation was held in Guadalajara on 27-28 October, prior to the Guadalajara Marathon. AIMS participated directly in this Congress and a measurement seminar was held in conjunction.

Road running in Mexico
by Rubén Romero

Road races in México have become increasingly popular in the last few years, and important organizational changes are being made to harness this enthusiasm.

Growth in their numbers had previously led some Mexican marathons, like the Maratón Internacional Lala five years ago, to seek affiliation to AIMS as way of assuring standards of measurement and organization.

Three years ago, as a result of the initiative of the Guadalajara Maratón, the directors of six of the most important marathons in México got together to seek ways of supporting each other, in order to improve their events.

These six were the Maratón Independencia of Leon, the Maratón Tangamanga (San Luis Potosí), the Maratón Lala (Torreon), and the Guadalajara, Culiacán and Monterrey marathons. This was the basis for creating the Asociación Mexicana de Maratones y Carreras de Ruta (AMMCR), which was legally constituted with the intention of obtaining official recognition in México, as well as at an international level.

The first official meeting of the AMMCR took place on 5 March 2005 in Torreón, the day before the Lala Maratón. Gordon Rogers met with the marathon directors and explained the advantages and benefits of being affiliated to AIMS. The marathons of Tangamanga and Guadalajara followed the Lala Maraton into AIMS membership. The Monterrey Powerade Maratón, as well as the Medio Maratón Los Cabos, affiliated recently.

The AMMCR will hold the “Congreso Nacional de Maratones y Carreras de Ruta" on the 27-28 October 2006, in Guadalajara. AIMS will be participating in this Congress, and the organizers are working with Gordon Rogers to hold a course measurement seminar moderated by Bernie Conway.

The purpose of the Congress is to explain the structure and objectives of the association to the directors of the main Mexican road races, and to invite them to affiliate to AMMCR and to AIMS, thus promoting the better organization of marathons and road races in Mexico.

TURIN MARATHON 20th
The Turin Marathon celebrated its 20th anniversary with a big party on 29 May. The first modern-day marathon in Turin was in 1987, called the Susa-Avigliana. After four editions it became the Turin Marathon. The race has continued to grow and now stands in the front rank of world marathons.

Over the years Turin Marathon has collected many friends, memories and emotions. To help express them a group formed by runners performed at the party, which was attended by the Mayor of Turin, Sergio Chiamparino, himself a runner.

The 20th Turin Marathon takes place on 24 September 2006.

Running or Peace: the next generation
The 2nd Kigali Peace Marathon took place on 14 May and introduced a new children’s project called Run 2 School (alongside a supporting initiative, Backpack). The idea was to promote peace by associating sport and solidarity.

Above: Kigali Marathon start. (click photo to enlarge)
In total 388 boys and 343 girls, all 11 years of age, came from 50 different primary schools to take part. For most of them it was first time in their life wearing a transponder chip and race number. Just collecting these items on the day before the race was already an exciting moment for them all. The race was started at 07.55 by the Minister of
Health who himself ran 5km. At the finish each young pupil was given a backpack, a t-shirt and and a voucher for buying school material. It was a very successful first project, and certainly not the last through which the Peace Marathon organisers will try to encourage the interest of young Rwandais people in running.

To do so Soroptimists International Europe encouraged individuals to sponsor a child with a donation of 25 Euros and have succeeded in collecting the money required to fund 1000 of the best runners, boys and girls from all over Rwanda, came to participate in the event. Most were around 11 years old and 90% came from the districts outside of Kigali. The Rwandan Ministry of Sport has strongly supported this initiative by taking care of transport and accommodation of the children.

Run 2 School is complemented by an activity of the Dutch Soroptimists under the initiative of Luud Roos, who additionally offered a backpack to each of the 1000 children. The backpack contained school-material and a card written by European schoolchildren with peace greetings addressed to their Rwandan friends. Already in 2005, Luud Roos had sponsored 300 children by giving them t-shirts and gym shoes.

Following far-reaching promotional campaigns many foreign runners, whose hearts have been touched by the idea of running for peace, participated in the 2006 edition of the Marathon. Many runners from other African countries got directly in touch with the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Sports in Kigali.

Apart from the marathon, there was a half-marathon and the Run for Fun. Non-runners came as supporters to the stadium in Kigali, and helped to build a great international event for peace.

More information is available at www.kigalimarathon.com.

Africa's Athletic Aims
AIMS has started a programme which could unearth the successors to Paul Tergat, Tegla Loroupe, Haile Gebrselassie, Derartu Tulu or Josiah Thugwane, as well as encourage ordinary mortals to keep themselves healthy. AIMS is sponsoring two Children's races in Africa and one in Nepal. The first of these took place in conjunction with the Sahara Marathon (Algeria) on 28 February
  The Kathmandu Marathon (22 October) and the Great Ethiopian Run 10km (26 November) will follow with their events later in the year. AIMS will be supplying T-shirts and medals to the children who participate in the races.
  AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa said "Africa has given the world many great athletes who have often emerged against great adversity. We are seeking to encourage more young children to follow their dreams and to aim for a healthy life." "

The Children's race was something awesome" writes Matthia Durli. Almost 1000 kids took part in the 800m race, running along Baker Road to finish at the Smara Club.
  They were divided by age groups and according to schools. Each kid ran with the AIMS T-shirt and received the medal at the end, plus some small prizes like candies, drawing tools, colours, small toys etc. They then entered the Smara Club where they received water and oranges.
  At the end we made a small show with clowns and music for all of them.

All this took place against the background of severe flooding only two weeks before the races. The situation is bad but morale is high; there were no deaths and only two injured - and no epidemics. Most of the houses have been destroyed by the rains but for the Saharawi the most important things are the tents, and they are still in good condition.

The race raised 12000 Euros for the projected sports centre. Construction was stopped because of the flood but it should be finished soon (pictures will be posted on the website www.saharamarathon.org ). More than 1000 Euros of medicines were brought to the Dhakla hospital by the Sahara Marathon. A lot of sporting materials (balls, shoes, etc etc) came from donations, and more of this material will be sent in the next truck caravan to go to the camps.)

AIMS/ASICS WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD
World Marathon Champion Jaouad Gharib was presented with a "Golden Shoe" in Lisbon on 24 March 2006 in recognition of his achievements during 2005. In Helsinki last summer he defended the title of World Marathon title that he first won in Paris in 2003. Earlier in 2005 he had recorded a time of 2:07:49 in finishing second (2:07:49) in the London Marathon.

Gharib received his award from AIMS Vice-President Carlos Moya at Benfica Stadium, prior to his participation in the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon on 26 March.
AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa said 'To win two world championship titles for the marathon is a special achievement. Jaouad Gharib's consistency of performances in top level road racing is to be admired.'

Jaouad Gharib commented, "It is an honour to receive an award where so many people from all over the world that are closely involved in road racing have chosen me."

The JoongAng Seoul Marathon (more), the Istanbul Eurasia Marathon (more) and the Athens Classic Marathon (more) took place Sunday, 5 November. The UWI-SPEC Half Marathon (more) was also held Sunday, on island of Trinidad.

AIMS Marathons were held on six continents on 29 October. The Chosunilbo Chunchon Marathon (more) took place in Korea; the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon (more) kicked off the "Greatest Race on Earth" series; the Ljubljanski Marathon (more) (SLO), the Aland Marathon (more) (FIN) and the Frankfurt Marathon (more) were held in Europe; the Buenos Aires Marathon (more) (postponed from three weeks previously) took place in Argentina and the Marine Corps Marathon (more) and Guadalajara Marathon (more) were run in the USA and Mexico respectively. There was also one half marathon: The Big Sur Half Marathon (more) on Monterrey Bay (USA).

Running action continued on Monday 30 October with the adidas Dublin Marathon (more).

The second AIMS Children's Run (more) of the inaugural 2006 series was held in conjunction with the Kathmandu Marathon 5km "Peace Run" (more) on 22 October. The Kathmandu Marathon Society had previously announced that the full and half marathon races will not be conducted this year out of respect for the nation's need to rebuild itself. The full and half marathon events will be reinstated for the October 2007 edition.

Also Sunday the Venice (more) and Lausanne (more) Marathons were held in Europe. The Niagara Fallsview Casino Marathon (more), which starts in the USA and finishes in Canada, completed the programme.

The Under Armour Baltimore Marathon (more) took place on Saturday 14 October, while on the following day no less than 11 AIMS races were held.

The postponed Budapest Marathon (more) was held two weeks later than originally planned and there were further marathons in Beijing (more), Amsterdam (more), Ferrari (Italian Marathon) (more), Poznan (POL) (more), Timisoara (ROM) (more), Palermo (more) and Porto (POR) (more). In North America races included the Mount Desert Island Marathon (USA) (more) and the Toronto Marathon and Half (more).

The Hutch Delhi Half Marathon (more) was also held in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

The year's peak month for road running continued this weekend with the IAAF World Road Running Championships (more) in Debrecen (HUN) over a distance of 20km and the Bahia Half Marathon (more) in Brazil.

Another five AIMS marathons took place on Sunday 8 October, of which four were in Europe, in Milano (more), Zagreb (more) (CRO), Eindhoven (more) (NED), Novi Sad (more) (SCG) and Barcelona (which hosted the Maraton del Mediterraneo (more)), and one in North America - the Royal Victoria Marathon (more).

Seven AIMS events took place as the busy month of September turned into the hectic month of October. They were divided between Europe and the Americas, with the Kust Marathon (more) (BEL) and the Lake Tahoe Marathon (more) on Saturday 30 September, followed by Europe's oldest, the Kosice Marathon (more) (SVK), and Baxter's Loch Ness Marathon (more) in Scotland. Several hours later they were followed by the Twin Cities Marathon (more) (USA), Portland Marathon (more) (USA), and the Guayaquil Marathon (more) (ECU). The 21st Plus Budapest Marathon (more) has been postponed until 15 October 2006 (see separate item below).

The Haile-contested real,- Berlin Marathon (more) took place on 24 September, where Gebrselassie lined up against second fastest-ever performer Sammy Korir. Another five AIMS races were held in Europe on the same day: the Dexia-Bil Route du Vin Half Marathon (more) (LUX) the Udine Half Marathon (more) (ITA) and the Half Marathon of Portugal (more) and the Baltic (more) (EST) and Turin (more) Marathons. The only event elsewhere is the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (more).

Another seven AIMS races took place on 17 September. Four of these were in Europe, Flora Warsaw Marathon (more), International Ghazi Run 10km (more) (TUR), HC Andersen Marathon (more) (DEN) and Bristol Half Marathon (more) (GBR), while another three continents were also represented by Blackmore's Sydney Running Festival (more), Times of India Bangalore Marathon (more) (IND) and the Maui Marathon (more) (USA).

The autumn marathon season got into its stride this past weekend, with four races held on 9 September and five the following day. Ruska Marathon (more) (FIN) and Vilnius Marathon (more) (LIT) got things underway, quickly followed by the popular Alpine event Jungfrau Marathon (more) (SUI) and the Ruta de las Iglesias 10km (more) (ECU) in the High Andes. On 10 September there were half marathons in Novosibirsk (more) (RUS), Pila (more) (POL), Buenos Aires (more) and Medellin (more) (COL) as well as the 26th Moscow International Peace Marathon (more).

The first weekend in September provided a warm up for later action, with the Rio Half Marathon (more), the Nike Budapest Half Marathon (more), the Great Scottish Run (more), and the inaugural Victoria Falls Marathon and Half Marathon (more) (ZIM).

The last Sunday in August saw action in three AIMS races on three continents: the Hokkaido Marathon (more) in northern Japan (the only Japanese Marathon to be held in the summer months), the ING Brussels Marathon (more) and the Quebec City Marathon (more).

Both AIMS events held on Saturday 19 August lie towards the Arctic. The Helsinki City Marathon (more) (60N) and the Reykjavik Marathon (more) (64N) make full use of the short summer tourist season and also mobilise large numbers of locals.

The 36th Sun Herald City-to-Surf road race (more), boasting the largest field within AIMS membership at more than 60,000 participants, took place on 13 August. Runners depart from the centre of Sydney to run eastward over a 14km course finishing at the world-famous Bondi Beach. On the same day, but 18 hours later, the ING Edmonton Marathon (more) was held in the Canadian province of Alberta.

The first weekend in August provided an occasion for Northern, normally cold places to hold their events, as for the Nuuk Marathon (more) (Greenland) and the Siberian International Marathon (more) (Omsk). Africa University Peace Marathon (more) in Mutare (Zimbabwe) in the southern hemisphere, is relatively cool at this time of year, as is Arusha (Tanzania) where the Mount Meru Marathon is normally held, but was cancelled this year . The Panama City International Marathon (more) is an exception - where it is hot year-round, and the race consequently started at 05.00.

The Swiss Alpine Marathon Davos (more) and the Media Maraton Internacional de Bogota (more) (COL) were held on the last weekend in July, bringing the latest short half-yearly break in the AIMS calendar to a close.

AIMS action on Saturday 8 July took place in Europe, with the Zermatt Marathon (more) (SUI) and the Tallinn Marathon (more) (EST). Sunday July 9 the scene changed to the north-western parts of North America, with the HSBC Calgary Marathon (more) and the Virginia Mason Marathon at Seafair (more) (USA).

The first Sunday in July featured the Paavo Nurmi Marathon (more) in Turku (FIN), the British 10km London (more) and Gold Coast Marathon (more) (AUS). On the same day a group arrived in Windhoek (NAM) and transferred to Sossusvlei Lodge in the Namib Desert, ready to start their 5-stage 100 Miles of Namib Desert (more) event on 3 July.

Lake Myvatn Marathon (more) was held on Friday evening, 23 June, around a lake in Central Iceland. On Sunday 25 June another lake, in the far north of Japan, was the setting for the Lake Saroma 100km race. Only after the earth made more than another half-turn did the Americas become the stage for action with the Rio de Janeiro Marathon (more) (BRA), the Tangamanga Marathon (more) (MEX) and the Vancouver Half Marathon (more) (CAN). The last AIMS race held in June was the Vidovdan 10km which coincides with a regular national holiday on 28 June in Bosnia-Hercegovina (more).

Four AIMS races took place over the Northern Hemisphere's longest weekend of the year, in an almost continuous relay. Runners started in Cancale, Brittany at 17.00 on 17 June, to race to the finish line of the Mont Saint Michel Marathon (more), located at the end of the causeway and beneath the ramparts of the Mont. Before they were all in the Midnight Sun Marathon (more) in northern Norway (70 degrees north) started at 20.30 and many finishers completed the course in daylight, after midnight. Seven time zones to the east, and already well into 18 June, runners in the Phuket Marathon (more) were completing only two hours after those in Tromso. Finally, runners in the Dalian Marathon (more) in China set off on their journey before those in Phuket had finished.

Two widely-separated AIMS races took place on 11 June: the Edinburgh Marathon (more) in the Scottish capital and, 155 degrees further west, the 6th Hawaiian Half Marathon (more) in Waikiki, Honolulu.

Six AIMS events took place on the first weekend of June. Stockholm Marathon (more), Salt Lake City Marathon (more) and Freihofers 5km Run for Women (more) in Albany, New York State were run on Saturday 3 June. Valencia (ESP) held its first Half Marathon (more) on Sunday 4 June - for the previous 15 years it had been a 20km race. Also on 4 June in South America the Brazilian Ranking Globo TV/CBAt series began with the Maratona de Sao Paulo (more) and in the high Andes of Ecuador the Quito Ultimas 15km (more) ran its 46th edition.

Only one AIMS event took place on the last weekend in May: The ING Ottawa Marathon (CAN). (more)

The Three Hearts Marathon (more) in Slovenia and the Great Wall Marathon (more) in China both took place on Saturday 20 May, leaving Sunday 21 May as the first Sunday since January on which only one AIMS event was held: Copenhagen Marathon (more).

AIMS running action continued to focus on Europe during the weekend of 13/14 May. The Goteborg Half Marathon (more) took place on Saturday 13 May and was followed on 14 May by the iWelt Marathon (more) in Wuerzburg and the Prague International Marathon (more). The strain of giving birth to twin marathons for the last three years has temporarily told on the Karstadt Marathon in Germany, who have cancelled the 2006 event: it will next take place on 13 May 2007. Elsewhere the Rwanda Peace Marathon (more) was held in conjunction with new children's races (see news item above) but the Lipton Bangalore International Marathon in India has been re-scheduled to 3 September 2006.

The first weekend in May saw a lot of action in Central Europe with the Cracovia Marathon (more) held on 6 May and the Vienna City Marathon (more), the RunBerlin 25km (more) and the Maratona D'Europa (Trieste) (more) held on 7 May. Ten thousand kilometres further west the BMO Vancouver Marathon (more) took place in Canada.

Rounding off the April racing programme three AIMS races were held on the final day of the month. A new men's course record was set in Madrid (more). In the US the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon (more), marking the 11th anniversary of the bombing there, and the 21st presentation of the Big Sur International Marathon (more) drew fields of 2000 and 3000 runners respectively.

The Belgrade Marathon (more) took place on 22 April and was followed the on 23 April by five more races: Hamburg (more), Enschede  (more), San Antonio (more) and Wroclaw Marathons (more) and the Nice International Half Marathon (more). The only AIMS race to be held outside Europe was the Vancouver Sun Run (more).

AIMS Easter running action stretched far and wide. On Easter Saturday, 15 April, the Two Oceans Marathon 56km was held in Cape Town (RSA) (more). On Easter Sunday the Carlos Lopes Gold Medal Marathon took place in Lisbon (POR) (more) and the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon in Japan (more). The 110th edition of the venerable BAA Boston Marathon (USA) rounded off proceedings, with American men showing better in this flagship race than they have done for at least 20 years. (more)

The world's coolest marathon took place at the North Pole on 8 April, and not one of the 54 starters failed to finish (more)

New world leading times were recorded on the streets of Rotterdam on 9 April, as Sammy Korir led his countrymen home (more)

A record 36500 people took to the streets of Paris on 9 April. It was another demonstration - but this time of their own marathon running prowess (more)