News 2009


The end of 2009 was marked by two contrasting AIMS races. On 31 December the St Catherine Marathon (more) in Sinai hosted a small field of enthusiasts who completed two laps of the semi-desert course through the Bedouin lands at the foot of Moses' Mountain starting and finishing just a few hundred metres from the St Catherine monastery. Several hours later the 85th Sao Sivestre 15km (more) road race was run through the streets of one of the world's largest cities, Sao Paulo, with a mass race following on the heels of the invited elite.

Twelve hours later. as the clock ticked into 1 January, 600 runners took part in the Neujahrsmarathon Zurich (more) through the Swiss financial centre in the early hours of the morning. Next day, on 2 January, Ethiopians Fayisa Lilesa and Atsede Bayisa won the Xiamen International Marathon (more) with times of 2:08:47 and 2:28:53 respectively.

Happy New Year to runners everywhere. Celebrating just a few hours early, the picture shows James Kwambai and Pasalia Kipkoech on the rostrum at the Sao Silvestre 15km road race in Brazil, in its 85th edition the great-grandfather of all New Year's Eve races.

The Neujahrsmarathon Zurich posted the first Marathon times of the year, but the marks to beat just two days into the year 2010 are those run by Fayisa Lilesa (2:08:47)and Atsede Bayisa (2:28:53) in Xiamen, CHN.
Apart from elite performances the year 2010 promises to be bigger and better for race organisers and runners alike, as the numbers entering races continues to rise. But another reason why 2010 will be celebrated with particular enthusiasm is that it marks the 2500th anniversary of the legend of Marathon from which this great sporting challenge was born. There can be few better ways of celebrating this event than running a Marathon during the year - so make your New Year's resolution now.

Australia’s largest marathon event, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, will grow into a two-day event in 2010.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said: “For eight years in a row, this event has set new attendance and registration records ­ and it will bee the same next year.” The 32nd Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on the weekend of 3-4 July with the Southern Cross University 10km Run now being a stand-alone race on the Saturday. “Spreading the events over two days means a better event all round ­ for spectators, supporters and participants. Less crowding also means less potential for injury on the course,” Ms Bligh said. “The follow-on effects for the tourism industry will be significant, with more people wanting to enjoy the spectacular Gold Coast”. The tourism impact of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon was highlighted again this year by the 4,738 entrants that came from interstate and 1,993 from overseas.

The event was first staged 30 years ago, with 691 runners. This year 23,398 people took part from every Australian state and territory and from 42 countries. The full program of races includes the Gold Coast Airport Marathon (42.195km), ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Gold Coast Bulletin 5km Challenge and Queensland Health Junior Dash (4km and 2km).

Queensland Events Gold Coast General Manager Cameron Hart said “Moving the 10km Run to Saturday provides an opportunity for that race to grow in stature to be one of the key 10km road races in Australia,”

Other changes for 2010 include the ‘Year of the Marathon’ celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of the running of the original marathon by Athenian soldier Pheidippides who ran to Athens from the battlefield of Marathon where the Greek Army had won a crucial battle against the invading Persian Army in 490bc.

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is a major event managed and presented by Queensland Events Gold Coast ­ a wholly owned subsidiary of Queensland Events. Visit www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au

In 2010, the world Marathon movement celebrates the 2500th anniversary of the Marathon Battle (490 BC) and the legend of the Greek soldier-runner who ran from the village of Marathon to Athens bearing the message of victory to the Athenians. This legend provided the impetus for the establishment of the Marathon as an event during the first Modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896
2500 years of the Marathon
On the occasion of this anniversary, the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) and the Athens Classic Marathon (ACM) Organizing Committee, in collaboration with AIMS, created a unique logo which can be used as a supplementary item by race organisations all over the world during the year 2010, highlighting the importance and symbolism for world peace and solidarity that the year 2010 brings.

For more information click the link in the left side menu or here.


The Fubon Taipei Marathon (more) was held on 20 December.

In the Maraton Powerade Monterrey (more) on 13 December Alfredo Moctezuma Evaristo and Angelica Martinez Sanchez took top honours with 2:31:41 and 3:06:08 respectively.

The Antarctic Ice Marathon (more) reversed normal procedure, with the hardy few 100km runners setting off first to complete four 25km laps at the Patriot Hills base at 80degS. Richard Donovan came home first, in very tough conditions, in 18:39:57. The conditions had ameliorated for the start of the Marathon on 15 December, being only -8C, and America's Jason Wolfe ran 4:46:50 to beat Belgian Marc De Keyser by a mere 11.5 minutes. Richelle Turner won the women's race in 6:23:34.
The Taipei International Marathon will be held on 20 December.

On Saturday 5 December, Marathon d'Afrique was the first race of the weekend, followed by the Reggae Marathon (more) in Negril, Jamaica.
On 6 December a veritable cavalcade of events unfolded, initiated by the 63rd edition of the Fukuoka Open Marathon Championship (more) in Japan, where Tsegaye Kebede won in a personal best and course record of 2:05:18. In the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (more) ex-World Champion Luke Kibet recorded an outstanding 2:11:25 in the hot and steamy city, despite carrying an Achilles tendon injury.

The Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon (more) and the Angkor-Wat International Half Marathon (more) also took place in SE Asia before action proceeded to the Indian subcontinent with the Poona International Marathon (more). The Blom Beirut Marathon (more) was next on the itinerary, in which freshman Mohammed Temam from Ethiopia posted an impressive 2:1612. The only European race to be run was the Lisbon Marathon (more) but, back in the Caribbean, many events tried to lure runners as an advance guard to their peak tourist season, with the Cayman Islands Marathon (more), the St Croix International Marathon (more) (US Virgin Islands) and the Run Barbados Marathon (more) where veteran St Lucian Victor Ledger's familiarity with local conditions scored him a victory over Simon Sawe, who boasted a personal best time more than 10 minutes faster than Ledger's. Still in the Caribbean area, but on the continental mainland of Central America, the Costa Rica International Marathon took place.

Further south the Pampulha Lagoon International Road Race (more) was run on a 17.8km circuit of the lake in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. To conclude the day's programme the Gran Maraton Pacifico (more) took place in Mazatlan (MEX) and a record 27,600 runners ran along the famous "strip" of the World's gambling capital in the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half (more) with Caroline Rotich scooping the pot in the "Battle of the sexes" handicap with a late surge past longtime leader Alevtina Ivanova, to win in 2:29:27.

No one could touch defending champion Jonathan Balzan in the 19th Malta International Challenge Marathon (more), held over the long weekend 27-29 November. He won all of the three races adding up to the Marathon distance: 11.195km, 6km and 25km. In the absence of women's champion Carol Walsh, Marisa Muscat took over top placing.

On 29 November the 34th Lake Kawaguchi Marathon was run on roads carpeted with autumnal red-leaves and offered superb views of Mount Fuji from the lakeside course. In a more urban setting, the Shanghai Marathon for the Toray Cup (more) and the Unicef Charity Run Half Marathon & 10km (more) in Hong Kong were held on the same day.

There was a close finish in the XXVI Firenze Marathon (more) where Ben Chebet pipped Reuben Kosgei 2:11:21 to 2:11:22. 400m behind them Assefa Girma wan a similarly tight battle against Danilo Goffi, while Eva Maria Gradwohl won the women's race in 2:35:41. Oleksandr Sitkovsky broke the course record in the 19th Marathon de La Rochelle (more) - Serge Vigot, run through the old French Huguenot port on the Bay of Biscay. He recorded 2:10:27, two minutes clear of his closest rival, while Selomie Getnet (ETH) took the women's race in 2:33:28. Just over the border in Spanish Basque country, the 32nd Marathon of San Sebastian (more) (Marathon Donostia) was run.

Bringing the day's events to a close the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon (more) (and Half Marathon) was run on America's west coast.

26 November: All available 20000 spaces for the 2010 Comrades Marathon were snapped up in record time, and since the close of entries earlier this month, race organisers have been inundated with requests from runners to reopen entries.

After careful consideration and consultation it has been agreed that 2000 additional entries will be taken. These will ONLY be available from 09.00 on the morning of Saturday 30 January 2010 and ONLY at Mr. Price Clothing, Sport and Home Stores in South Africa. Entries will close as soon as 2000 entries have been received, which is likely to be within the first hour. No further opportunity to enter will be available after this period.

No Fax, postal or online entries will be taken, nor is there any opportunity to enter at Comrades HQ in Pietermaritzburg. Potential entrants must make sure that they are at a Mr. Price Store early on Saturday 30 January 2010.

The decision to allow a further 2000 runners to enter was based on statistics gathered over the last 10 years which indicate a normal attrition rate of 10% from entry to starting line (due to runners failing to qualify or becoming ill or injured). It is anticipated that there will be 20000 runners who actually line up at the start on race day. The Host Cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, as well as the various disaster management agencies within the local and provincial governments have been alerted to the magnitude of the 2010 Comrades Marathon.

Gary Boschoff, CEO of the Comrades organisation recalled that “during the millennium race in 2000, 24500 runners started, and many complained about congestion. Under advice from disaster management specialists we fixed the 20000 limit to participation in the 2010 Comrades Marathon”.

Comrades thank all runners for their patience and understanding, and look forward to celebrating the 85th running of the Comrades Marathon on Sunday 30 May 2010.

25 November: The Marine Corps Marathon has teamed up with The Washington Post to introduce an online publication written by high school students. The Post Race is the end product of an innovative partnership between the Marathon and The Washington Post Young Journalists Development Program. The publication, hosted on the MCM website (www.marinemarathon.com), presents five feature articles written by the students along with their photography.

“This program offers students full media access to a world class event,” said Marc Goldman, MCM sponsorship and marketing manager. “In return, everyone can enjoy reading the work of these young journalists that offers a very different perspective of the marathon.”

Ten area student journalists were provided media credentials granting access to all MCM events including the expo, the kids fun run and the Marathon itself. Prior to the event, the students attended a workshop organized by The Washington Post where they received reporting tips from Post sports writers Les Carpenter and Steve Yanda. Students were able to use on-site media facilities and were provided with the same support materials as the 200 professional journalists who covered the Marine Corps Marathon.

At The Washington Post, we believe that the best journalism comes from different people of different ages writing with their own, unique voice,” said Post coordinator Mario Ivįn Ońa. “As they say, 'Every age has its wisdom.' This is an extension of that idea, and I think people will find these young journalists' work quite stimulating.”


22 November featured no less than 11 AIMS events on five continents, starting with the Penang Bridge International Marathon (more) in Malaysia and the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon (more) in the Thai capital. Bangkok featured perhaps the earliest start time of any race, with the 5-hour plus runners invited to start at 02.00 (the sub-5 hour runners set off in pursuit at 03.30). The Hyderabad Half Marathon and 10km (more) was run in India and the Great Ethiopian Run (more), in which no less than 33,000 runners were entered, took place in Addis Ababa with course record wins from Tilahun Regassa in 28.36 and Koreni Jelila in 33:03. Five men broke 29 mins and 25 were sub-30, while six women beat 34 minutes and 21 broke 35 minutes.
 
In Europe the Cyprus Aphrodite Half Marathon (more) was held, and at the other end of the Mediterranean the Maratona Internacional de Zaragoza (more) and the Valencia Half Marathon (more)In Valencia the men's race featured a titanic battle finally won by Geoffrey Mutai in 59:30 from Wilson Kipsang (59:33). 
 
In Brazil the Corpore Club ran their 10km Corpore Sao Paulo Classic (more), while the Medio Marathon Quito - Mitad del Mundo (more) took place in the Ecuadorean capital at 2800m altitude. Further north the 21km Nuevo Leon (more) was run in the Mexican city and the Philadelphia Marathon (more) took place through one of America's most historic cities.

GOLDEN HORN SOUNDS AGAIN

AIMS PR manager for Turkey, Osman Atakan Tekin writes:

The Golden Horn Half Marathon, a former AIMS member, is to be held again on Sunday 04 April 2010, after a 17-year break. Please visit the Golden Horn Half Marathon page at www.maratonturk.com to see its seven-year (1987-1993) history. SPOR A.Ş. (Organizer of the Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon) of the Greater Istanbul Municipality is the organiser of this race which will be run around the Golden Horn, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Those interested may contact me by email via maratonturk@hotmail.com

AIMS Board Members at Istanbul meeting held on May 12, 1989.

From L-R; Olga Hansen (Milwaukee), Manfred Steffny (Frankfurt), Mario Kadiks(Rotterdam), Andy Galloway (Hamilton/New Zealand), Kadir Akpżnar (Mayor of Eyup/Istanbul), Fred Lebow (New York), Jose Castro (Manila), Robert Dalgleish (AIMS President,Glasgow), Peter Christ (Berlin), Sue Richardson (London), Len Luchner(Boston), Osman Atakan Tekin (Istanbul), Ted Paulin (Melbourne)

The legend return back, www.maratonturk.com/sayfa/goldenhorn.jpg

On 13 November the 9th edition of the Pharaonic 100km (more) was run, from the Sakkara Pyramids southwest out of Cairo to the Hawara Pyramid at El Faiyoum.

Still on the Fringes of the Sahara desert, next day on 14 November, Paolo Venturini (3:07) and Alice Modignani (3:41) were victors in the Chott Marathon Extreme (more), run on the dry salt lake of El Jerid in Tunisia.

15 November started with the inaugural Yokohama Women's International Marathon (more), a successor event to that held in Tokyo until last year. Winning times were down on the predecessor event, but the surprise winner was Inga Abitova ((2:27:18), who defeated the challenge of the Japanese women (headed by Kiyoko Shimihara, 2:28:51) and her fellow veteran (former World Champion and world record holder) Catherine Ndereba (2:29:13). Apart from the top trio, only Italy's Bruna Genovese beat 2:30, by the slender margin of 3 seconds.

The Garda-Trentino Half Marathon (more) was held in the Italian Lake District and the Marabana Marathon and Half Marathon (more) took place in the Cuban capital La Habana. The Big Sur Half Marathon (more) in Monterey Bay, was run on a picturesque course along the Californian coastline, to complete the program for the day.

The City of Glasgow will celebrate next year's 2500th anniversary of the legend of Marathon with a city-wide school event that seeks to encourage the city’s young people to participate in sport and physical activity. Glasgow’s Mile-a-thon event was launched on 12 November 2009 by former Scotland football manager Craig Brown, along with Bailie Iris Gibson, representing Glasgow’s Lord Provost Bob Winter.

The event challenges pupils to complete the full marathon distance of 26 miles 385 yards (42195m), by running or walking the distance in sections, for example 1 mile at a time. At the end of their ‘marathon’ each pupil will receive a special certificate or medal commemorating his or her achievement.

According to legend, in 490BC a Greek soldier called Pheidippides ran from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon.

Every primary, secondary and ASN (Additional Support Needs) school in Glasgow is being offered the opportunity to participate. A key objective of the event is to involve as many young people of all ages and abilities.

The event finishes with a special celebration day event to be held at Hampden in June 2010. Schools will be invited to send their fastest boy and girl, along with a pupil who has embodied the spirit of the marathon by showing dedication and enthusiasm.  The participants will have the opportunity to take part in a final mile race to identify Glasgow’s fastest boy and fastest girl who will be encouraged to continue their interest in running at local athletics clubs.

School pupils will raise funds for The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice that looks after people with a terminal illnesses and provides support for their families in Glasgow. The funds raised will go towards a Childrens’ Bereavement Service.

Event partners are Education Services Glasgow City Council, The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, the National Stadium Sports Medicine Centre at Hampden, the Association of International Marathons & Distance Running (AIMS) and PMPR Excellence PR & Sports Promotion.

Glasgow’s Lord Provost Bob Winter said: “We’re always trying to encourage all Glaswegians to get more active. This is a great opportunity for all our young people, especially those who’ve never tried running before, to give it a go and in the process help their city to mark the 2500th year of the birth of the Marathon. The marathon is described as one of the greatest benchmarks of fitness, health and achievement and we are delighted that our school children will have a chance to be involved in marking this important birthday year."

AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa commented: “2010 marks a significant milestone in the history of marathon running, the 2500th anniversary of the historical run from Marathon to Athens. All across the World, runners will be celebrating this special year.  AIMS is delighted that the City of Glasgow has chosen to celebrate this anniversary with an innovative event that seeks to encourage participation in running as part of a healthy lifestyle for its young people."


At the 3rd AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium on 7 November (the day before the Athens Classic Marathon) the topic under discussion was Charity Programs within the Marathon movement. AIMS Vice President Paco Borao set the context with reference to the forces of co-operation and solidarity that have emerged from the Marathon movement. Vivek Singh, from the Standard chartered Mumbai Marathon, explained what had been done to motivate corporate bodies into recruiting their own fundraising teams as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes. This frees the private enterprise organising the race itself to act as facilitators rather than with any direct contact, which would create mixed messages.

After the first session the symposium broke up to attend the lighting of the flame ceremony. “There could not be a better place than here, at the Tomb of the fallen at the battle of Marathon, to renew our commitment to running, based on fair play, friendship and peace,” said Paco Borao.. "AIMS is an association devoted to promote running through expanding knowledge and experience between members for the well-being of our favourite sport".

After the official opening of the Marathon Museum, by the President of Greece, attendees returned to the Athens Classic Marathon start line in time to meet the marathon flame, which had been carried there by a school children's relay from Marathon Tomb. The cauldron was lit and fire transferred to light two small lanterns, which were handed to representatives of two international marathons and the ambassadors of their countries to Greece: The Mumbai Mumbai on 17 January and the Vienna City Marathon on 18 April 2010 will both feature a flame from Marathon.

The afternoon session opened with a presentation by John Caine, Special Projects Director of Nova International in Britain, which organises among other events, the Great North Run - the world’s biggest half marathon. John Caine outlined the success story of charity running in Britain. In 2008 the Great Run series had a total of 170,000 runners and generated an amount of 28 million UKL for charity.

Above: The lighting of the marathon flame by an ancient warrior during a ceremony at the Marathon Tomb, the historic venue near the city of Marathon. Photo: Victah Sailer/photorun.net
Caine suggested organisers should reserve a percentage of places in their event for runners who enter through official partner charities. The race organisers pass on entry vouchers to the charities which are used by the runners themselves to secure their start number. The entrants are then treated by the organisation as every other participant. “This procedure works best in races which are sold out so that runners can no longer enter the race directly,” explained Caine. Runners who decide to run for one of the charities get a free entry from one of the official charities provided they commit to raise a certain sum for the charity - which is often five times more than the entry fee which the charities paid to the organisers.

Mark Dickinson, the race director of the Beirut Marathon, explained that charities buying entries for the marathon is not a workable proposition in Beirut. The race itself has to go out to recruit interested charities and through them receives additional publicity when the charity partner uses its contacts to search for charity runners. In Beirut organisers also make sure that during the TV live coverage a charity phone number is shown where viewers can donate instantly.

Above: Representatives of the Vienna City Marathon who have received the Marathon Flame at Marathon. On the right is the Mayor of Marathon, Spiridon Zagaris. Photo: Victah Sailer/photorun.net
Steven Seaton, former editor of Runners World (UK), described the great efficiency with which the London Marathon "monetarises" the value of guaranteed places in a situation of over-demand. Four out of five normal entrants are rejected in London, but they can secure a guaranteed entry by agreeing to raise a certain sum for charity. This varies, but can be upwards of $3000, making the "guaranteed entry" a very valuable asset for both the charity and the race organisation, as charities buy them for around $500 each. For the race organisation this generates a large proportion of the overall budget. Seaton also cited the cautionary example of New York, where charities have to cover the entry fee and the costs of travel and accommodation, if the runner is coming from overseas (as many do, from UK). This means that the charity requires very large sums to be raised in return for a guaranteed entry, which it seems cannot be borne by runners in sufficient numbers to ensure the reserved places are all taken up.

Even in some races where there is excess demand for places, such as Berlin and Stockholm, organisers have not opted to reserve places on the basis of higher entry fees for guaranteed places to charities. “In many parts of the world charity running is not common. Even in Europe there is very little charity running,” said Berlin Marathon founder Horst Milde. "Even so we should continue to support the idea of charity running and encourage organisers to include it in their races. It is an important force for society.”

The Sharm El Sheik Half Marathon (more) was run on 6 November on desert tracks through a national park close to the Red Sea resort.
 
On 7 November the Taroko Gorge Marathon (more) was held in Chinese Taipei.
 
Also on 7 November, the 3rd AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium was held at the birthplace of the Marathon: the town of Marathon in Greece, on the day before the Athens Classic Marathon (more) was run on the traditional tough course from Marathon to Athens. Josephat Ngetich came through to win in the second fastest time yet recorded in this event (2:13:44), while the women's race was won by Akemi Ozaki (2:39:56) , 36 seconds ahead of Ethiopia's Eshetu Degefa. On the same day, 8 November, the Hangzhou Marathon (more) took place in China and back in Europe the Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes (more) held its second edition, and the Porto Marathon (more) was run in Portugal's second city.

To see what's coming up next scroll to the top of the page.


Following the successful Symposia of the last two years, with the participation of 50 international Marathons, the 3rd AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium will be held on 7 November (on the eve of the annual Athens Classic Marathon), at the venue of the historic start of the Athens Classic Marathon. The topic for this year’s Symposium is “Charity Programs and Marathon Movement”.

The Symposium aims to encourage co-operation and exchange of views on issues of mutual interest which will assist organisers in their constant efforts to improve their races. The organisation of an annual Symposium at the birthplace of the Marathon also raises significant symbolism related to World Peace, Olympic Ideals and Fair Play. The Symposium will last 6 hours during which international and Greek keynote speakers ­  will address the theme and participate in round table presentations organized in three consecutive sessions dealing with different aspects of the topic.


31 October: AIMS Honorary Life Vice-President Allan Steinfeld received the 2009 Abebe Bikila Award for his outstanding contribution to the sport of distance running. The award was made just prior to the start of the Continental Airlines International Friendship Run - a free fun run for all international entrants to the New York City Marathon, held on the morning before the race. The award is given annually, and previous winners include AIMS founder member Fred Lebow, US marathon running legends Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, former women's world record holder Tegla Loroupe, and former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

On 31 October the 100GSI event took place in Gibraltar. This event hosted this year's IAU 50km World Trophy final, held over a 2km loop followed by six 8km laps of a course that started at the southern end of the famous Rock and toured both the main shopping street and the the dockyards
 
On 1 November, the JoongAng Seoul International Marathon  (more) was held in Korea. In India the 5th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon  (more) World Half Marathon Champion Mary Keitany recorded an emphatic 66:54 win, and defending champion Deriba Merga retained his crown with another sub-hour run.
 
In the US the Bass-Pro Shops Springfield Marathon (more) was run and in the Caribbean the UWI-SPEC Half Marathon  (more) took place in Trinidad.

30 October: The Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay, to be held on 15 November, has forwarded the green agenda with the first-ever distribution of virtual goodie bags. Sent last week to an audience of race participants, sponsors and mail list recipients, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Runners have traditionally received a packet, usually in a plastic bag, filled with literature and paraphernalia from other races, retail outlets and sponsors. Unfortunately, much of the information is discarded because it is not of interest to every participant.
“The idea behind creating a virtual goodie bag was to allow the runners to view and print or use only the information they want, said Julie Armstrong, marketing communications director of the Big Sur Marathon organization. “This way we’re greatly cutting down waste and saving printing and mailing costs for sponsors.”

Runners have responded with the following comments:

  • Good for you guys for making a BIG change! I hope all the races follow. I always feel so guilty carrying out a bag of paper.
  • Congratulations for taking a big stride in the "green" direction." Krystal Brandt
  • Congratulations! This is the first one ever and I've always wanted this. Thank you for leading the pack!!" ~Kiyoko Ikeuchi
  • "I can print the coupons that I will actually use. It's a new (electronic) world." ~Carol Hansen
  • This is brilliant and really well done. We’re less likely to chuck the whole lot into the trash because we don’t want to wade through it. I love that Big Sur is leading the way on this environmentally-friendly front. Thank you!" ~Mimi Hahn

The virtual goodie bag is just one of many initiatives undertaken by the Big Sur Marathon organization as it applies for certification from the Council for Responsible Sport, a non-profit group that provides independent, comprehensive certification standards for sustainable athletic events. The categories evaluated include Waste, Climate, Materials & Equipment, Community & Outreach, and Health Promotion.

In addition to the virtual goodie bags, the Big Sur Half Marathon will be composting race food and cups, recycling timing tags and expo materials, donating discarded clothing, offering an online rideshare program, purchasing sustainable products, allowing for purchase of carbon offset credits, continuing with its innovative BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) on course water refill station, and more.

“The virtual goodie bags are a great public introduction to our greening efforts as we head into this year’s Half Marathon,” said Armstrong. “We’ll be continuing to expand on this for our marathon and other events. We want to be sustainable for the long term.”
To view the virtual goodie bags and runner comments, visit www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org.


One of the world's biggest 10km races in one of the world’s great running capitals, the Great Ethiopian Run 10km, has closed its doors for registration this year with more than 33,000 places taken for the race.

This year’s total is not only a record for the event, exceeding the 32,000 who registered last year, but also the three-week registration period was the shortest in the race's 9 year history - despite an increase in entry fees from last year’s 40 birr (just over $3) to 50 birr this year ($4). Around 200 participants from abroad are also expected at the event including groups from UK, Ireland and Germany, and individual entrants from all over Europe and North America.

The race which takes place in Addis Ababa's city centre at an altitude of 7,500 feet is also one of the most fiercely contested 10km in the world with around 500 of Addis Ababa’s top club runners looking to make a breakthrough to the big time. Recent men’s winners including Deriba Merga (2006) and Tsegaye Kebede (2007) have used the race as a springboard for greater international success.

Fundraising for charity has also become a strong feature of the race with many participants running for the two official race charities, and several others running for their own charities. More than $40,000 is expected to be raised this year for the "I'm running for a child" official race fundraising campaign.

For more information please go to www.ethiopianrun.org

No less than nine marathons were held on three continents on 25 October. Runners in Kenya's flagship marathon event, the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon (more) were first off the mark, and the Grand Marathon International de Casablanca (more) is run in Morocco.
 
Europe featured five marathons, from the Aland Marathon (more) in the Baltic to the Venice Marathon (more) on the Adriatic. The Ljubljanski Marathon (more) in Slovenia, the Lausanne Marathon (more) along the shores of Switzerland's Lac Leman and the highly competitive Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon (more) in Germany's financial capital filled out the day's fixtures.
 
In North America the ever-popular Marine Corp Marathon (more) offered a scenic tour of the sights of America's capital while the Niagara Falls International Marathon (more) started in Buffalo USA and crossed into Canada after 5 miles, to finish alongside the Falls.
 
The Medio Maraton Turistico de Nuevo Vallarta (more) was held in Mexico, rounding off action for the day, but on 26 September, a public holiday in Ireland, the Lifestyle Sports adidas Dublin Marathon (more) was run through the streets of the Irish capital.

Marine Corps Marathon will announce a new event for 2010 at a press conference on 23 October which will highlight environmental initiatives, a Guinness World Record and certain featured runners.

Race Director Rick Nealis will formally announce a new local running event that organization will produce in 2010. This will be in addition to the Marathon itself, the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon, and a series of smaller races staged on the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia.

Other topics to be covered at the press conference include the certification process for the MCM's environmental initiatives; the Guinness Book of World Records attempt for most simultaneous massages at the MCM finish line; and an introduction to the cutting edge 3-D mapping technology used to detail the marathon course..

The men’s elite field for this year’s Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon will be the strongest in depth in any German city marathon. As many as 15 men with sub-2:09 personal bests (among whom six have run sub-2:08) will run on 25 October. If weather conditions are favourable an exciting race could develop on the fast course through Germany’s financial capital.
 
Defending champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot will be back after his sensational 2:07:01 debut last year. The 21 year-old will be challenged by fellow Kenyans Benjamin Kiptoo, who had won the Rome Marathon in spring with a personal best of  2:07:17, Hosea Rotich (PB: 2:07:24), Jason Mbote (2:07:37), Joseph Ngolepus (2:07:57) and William Kiplagat (2:06:50). Three-time Frankfurt winner Wilfred Kigen had to withdraw due to lack of form but his cousin Wilson Kigen return after placing second last year. Gilbert Kirwa, who won his debut marathon in Vienna this spring with a promising 2:08:21 and Yared Asmerom (Eritrea), who placed eighth in t he 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon are two others to watch, along with debutant John Kiprotich who last month clocked a 59:23 half marathon.


Robert Cheruiyot smashing the course record in 2008.

The women’s field announced earlier is also the strongest in the history of the event. Rose Cheruiyot (2:25:48) and Agnes Kiprop (2:26:22) are among the favourites.
 
Up to 13,000 runners are anticipated in the 28th edition of Germany’s oldest city marathon.
 
For more information visit:

The Amman International Marathon (more) took place on Saturday 17 October in the Jordanian capital with a scenic course starting at the Amman Municipality and finishing at the Roman amphitheatre in the city centre.

On 18 October World Champion Bai Xue led a Chinese sweep of the women's podium for the second year in the 29th HYX Beijing International Marathon (more) recording 2:34:45. Samuel Mugo won the men's race with a personal best of 08:20. The Gyeongju International Marathon (more) was run in Korea on a circular course from Hwangsung Park, starting at 08.00.

Over in Europe, or rather just outside it, the Istanbul Eurasia Marathon (more) crossed the Bosphorus from Asia to Europe and finished adjacent to Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. In neightbouring Romania the second edition of the Bucharest International Marathon (more) took place. At the other end of the Mediterranean Sea the Maraton del Mediterraneo (more) was run within metres of the shoreline through small towns just outside Barcelona. Also flat and low-lying, the 34th Amsterdam Marathon (more) was run in ideal conditions and yielded many personal best times, including Gilbert Yegon's 2:06:18 win which surpassed the 2005 course record held by Haile Gebrselassie. Eyrusalem Kuma won the women's race in 2:27:43 after a long duel with home favourite Hilda Kibet, who eventually finished third with a 2:30:33 personal best. In the St Denis Half Marathon - la Voie Royale (more) in the town just to the north of the Ville de Paris runners completed the second lap by running through the Stade de France just before finishing.

Across the Atlantic the 15th Goodlife Toronto Marathon (more) was run along the city's famous Yonge Street to a downtown finish at Queen's Park. Then way down south, across the Rio Grande and into Mexico, the 26th Maraton Internacional de Guadalajara (more) completed the day's action.

14 October: The Toronto Marathon, to be held on 18 October, gathers together some of the greatest marathon gurus of the movement in putting together a panel consisting of Bill Rogers, Jaqueline Gareau, Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson,

KATHRINE SWITZER is best known for pioneering official acceptance of women in the marathon, beginning in the late 1960s. She has finished 35 marathons, won the 1974 New York City Marathon and still runs six miles a day.

ROGER ROBINSON after a 30-year career as a world ranked runner, Roger is one of the leading authors, speakers and historians on running. Senior writer for Running Times, his articles have been published throughout the English-speaking world.

BILL RODGERS won the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon four times each as well as many other international events.

JACQUELINE GAREAU Canadian Olympic Marathon runner who won the boston Marathon and was ranked third in the world in 1980.

The 15th Annual GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon anticipates over 14,000 runners from 50+ countries will be pounding the pavement from Mel Lastman Square to Queen’s Park with many raising significant dollars and awareness for a host of worthy causes. Over $8.5 million has been raised since 1995.

Mary Keitany destroyed the opposition in the 18th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships (more) in Birmingham to record the second fastest ever time (66:36) while Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese took his fourth  successive men's title in 59:35
 
A busy marathon weekend spread over four continents began on 11 October with the St.George Melbourne Marathon (more) in Australia.

In Europe, apart from the World Half Marathon  Championships, another six races were held - the Zagreb Marathon & Half Marathon (more) (CRO), the Timisoara Marathon (ROM), the Novi Sad NIS Marathon (more) (SRB), the Poznan Marathon (more) (POL), the Eindhoven Marathon (more) (NED), and the Ferrari Italian Marathon (more) (ITA).
 
In North America the Royal Victoria Marathon (more) and the Okanagan International Marathon (more) took place in Canada.

2 October: The final race of the AIMS Children's Series 2009 went off with a bang in Mexico, near to the city of San Luis Potosi.
Altogether 1200 children between 5-17 years of age and coming from 16 different indigenous communities from the Santa Catarina district took part and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There were seven age groups, each indicated by a different coloured strip on their sleeves. All were winners, just through participating and being given a chance to show their skills. At the finish they received an impressive medal and a goodie bag to help them recuperate containing Powerade, Coca Cola, water, fruit and a pastry. Bicycles were raffled after the races, donated by the Potosi authorities, along with school items and sweets..
The event took place before dignitaries from the State Education department, the municipality, the Santa Catarina district and the traditional chief of the Santa Maria=2 0Acapulco settlement, as well as AIMS Vice President Paco Borao, who commented: "I want to say that it was a good choice to put this event on in Sta Maria Acapulco". Also present were Jaime Eduardo Morales Reyes, race director of the Maratón Tangamanga and. Martha Irene Morales, AIMS Board member and event director.
The Governor of San Luis Potosi Dr. Fernando Toranzo Fernįndez, showed great sympathy with the event and mobilised assistance to get it organised. In particular, the state departments of security, of roads and transport and of education provided invaluable support. The Children's series started with mainly African events, but has recently expanded to South America with races in Brazil and now in Mexico.

2 October: The women’s field of the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon on 25 October has been strengthened by the addition of Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop and Ethiopia’s Firehiwot Dado, both of whom won big spring marathons this year. While Kiprop took the Turin Marathon Dado won in Rome. The Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon, which boasts a new title sponsor, is Germany’s oldest city marathon. Organisiers expect a record entry of up to 13,000 runners. Online entry is still available at: www.frankfurt-marathon.com .

Agnes Kiprop winning the Turin Marathon in 2009
Agnes Kiprop winning the Turin Marathon in 2009
Photo:
www.photorun.net

Agnes Kiprop is unbeaten in her two main races this year, and has improved her personal best as well. Both times she competed in Turin. After winning the Marathon in 2:26:22 just two weeks ago she also won the Turin Half Marathon in 69:54. Firehiwot Dado also set a personal best in the marathon this year. When she won the Rome Marathon in March she improved from 2:37:34 to an impressive 2:27:08. She may well further improve her time on the fast Frankfurt course. The 25 year-old has not raced since her surprise win in Rome and has fully concentrated on preparing well for her autumn marathon.

Three more runners have been added to the women’s field: Irene Limika (KEN) Shitaye Debella Gemechu (ETH) and Germany’s Luminita Zaituc. Zaituc still is the fourth fastest German woman marathoner ever, from her 2:26:01 victory in Frankfurt in 2001.

A full marathon programme spread over four continents on 4 October started with the TBIM Taichung Boulevard International Marathon (more) in Chinese Taipei.
 
In the 86th Kosice Peace Marathon (more) in Slovakia, Alena Peterkova's 20-year old course record was broken by Ukraine's Elena Burkovska with her 2:30:50 win. Jacob Chesire won the men's race with the third fastest time in the race's long history, 2:10:59. Sabrina Mockenhaupt won the Koln Marathon (more) by an eight-minute margin in 2:30:12, while in the men's race Evans Ruto narrowly beat Samson Bugei, with both of them recording 2:08:36. In the Loch Ness Marathon (more) victory also went to Kenya, with Simon Tonui winning the men's race in 2:20:13 and Joice Kirui the women's in 2:48:25  The 24th Spar Budapest International Marathon (more), and the Brussels Marathon (more) were also held. In the Half Marathon of Portugal Vodafone (more), held over the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, Silas Sang was pushed to a new course record of 1:00:22. Helena Kiprop won the women's race with 1:10:26 
 
Across the Atlantic the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon (more) was run in Minneapolis-St Paul and the Portland Marathon (more) in the Pacific North-West, while in South America the Guayaquil Marathon (more) took place in Ecuador's second city.

28 September: Entries for Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running on 4 October are 53% up on last year. Overall the Festival is on target to attract over 7500 runners in this year of "Homecoming", in which expatriate Scots have been encouraged to return - at least for a visit. 
 
TV presenter Konnie Huq will be welcoming runners from all events across the finish line in Queen’s Park Stadium in Inverness, and may even run in the River Ness 10km. Top contenders in this year's marathon are Simon Tonui (KEN) and David Kirkland, two-time winner of the Reykjavk Marathon. In the women's race Joyce Kirui is the one to beat. In the Baxters River Ness 10km Lukas Wambua, with a best of 30:01, heads the men's field, and Genet Measso (33:24) of Ethiopia the women's.
 
To celebrate the Year of Homecoming, all participants have been invited to sign up for the Run Home Clan Challenge, with top honours being claimed by the clan fielding the strongest show of runners on the day of the event. A special event on 3 October, Saturday morning, the Run Home Highland Breakfast Run, offers everyone a sociable way to warm up for race day, with music inspired by the Highlands and a hearty breakfast to help prepare for Sunday’s challenge. 
 
Race director Malcolm Sutherland said: "This was the first time in the eight-year history of the race that entries could be secured on a first-come, first-served basis, and this change has appealed to many runners.” Bill King of Baxters said "we’re delighted that this year’s event in our Homecoming year will be the largest one to date and promises to be a fantastic day out for runners and spectators alike.” Marie Christie, Homecoming Scotland Project Director, said: “It ’s great to see event entries have risen significantly in the Homecoming year, including record entries from outside Scotland.” Convener of The Highland Council, Sandy Park, said: “The attraction of Loch Ness as an international destination is being borne out by the record number of entries".
 
For more details visit www.lochnessmarathon.com

Marathons were held on four continents on 27 September, staring with the Nedbank Cape Town Marathon (more). The Lake Garda Marathon (more) (ITA) was the only one held in Europe, but there were also two halves: the Maratonina Citta di Udine (more) and the Dexia Bill Route du Vin Half Marathon (more) in Luxemburg. Apart from that, in the Fortis Singelloop 10km Utrecht (more) (NED) 21-year old Leonard Komen ran 27:10 to post the sixth fastest ever time at the distance on the road. Bahrain's Najia Ejjafini won the women's race in 32:37
 
The Half Marathon of Portugal Vodafone had been postponed from its usual date until next weekend (4 October).
 
Across the Atlantic it was mostly marathons, with the Maraton Internacional de Foz do Iguazu (more) at the famous waterfall and the Maraton Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico (more), postponed from a month ago. Between them, the Costa Rica 10km was also held.
 
In North America Kenneth Mungara set a Canadian all-comers record of 2:08:32 in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (more) improving the mark set in the same race two years ago by nearly a minute. Armane Gobena beat defending champion Mulu Seboka to win the women's race in 2:28:31. The Lake Tahoe Marathon (more) brought the day's schedule to a close.

24 Sept: The Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes, due to take place on 8 November, has already received 8435 entries, with a 15% increase in participation from foreign runners on last year's debut race. For those still hesitating to commit themselves note that the basic entry fee of 65 Euros will only be available for a few more days.

22 Sept: The 7th Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay sold out on 18 Sept, nearly two months ahead of the 15 November race date.
“We’ve grown the field every year, and we keep selling out earlier”  said race director Wally Kastner.  This year’s cap is 6,000 for the Half Marathon and an additional 1,000 for the 10-Miler, a timed yet non-competitive event open to both runners and walkers.
The race attract runners from 45 states and 12 countries to its course through historic Monterey, down John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and along the scenic Monterey Bay coastline through the town of Pacific Grove. The out and back route finishes at Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Custom House Plaza. Supporting events are held the day before, including the Run Forrest Run 5K and the JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K. Registration will remain open for these events through to race day. For more information and to register for the 10-Miler, 5K and 3K events, visit www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org.

On 20 September in the 36th real,- Berlin Marathon (more) world record holder Haile Gebrselassie scored his fourth consecutive win. After burning off his opposition by halfway and passing through 30km in a new world record time of 1:47:49 (unofficial) he slowed in the final stages to record 2:06:08. Atsede Habtamu beat her more favoured countrywoman Askale Magarsa to win the women's race in 2:24:47.
 
In the 25th anniversary Dam Tot Damloop (more) race, held over ten miles in the Netherlands Moses Masai scored a narow win over Charles Kamathi as both were given the same time, but world 10000m champion Linet Masai won from Hilda Kibet by a margin of 42 seconds. The race was preceded on Saturday night by a one-off Dam tot Dam by night which allowed another 25,000 runners to take part, making the combined event one of the biggest in the world.
 
In the Blackmore's Sydney Running Festival (more) Julius Seurei won the Sydney Marathon in 2:17:07, with the women's title going to Japan's Naoko Tsuchiya in 2:52:46. The 10th Hans Christian Andersen Marathon (more) , the Turin Half Marathon  (more) and the Varazdin Half Marathon (more)  (CRO) were held in Europe, while the final event of the day was the 30th Maraton Independecia Leon (more)  in Mexico.
 
This year's Buenos Aires City Half Marathon, which would have been the 21st edition in the Argentinian capital, had been cancelled.

On the occasion of the 85th anniversary, the organisers of the Kosice Peace Marathon (founded 1924) are presenting the exhibition 'Tales of the eight decades" which will tour across Slovakia throughout September. More info at www.kosicemarathon.com. The 85th edition of the race will take place on 4 October.

Action this weekend started on 12 September with the Novosibirsk Half Marathon (more), in the Siberian capital, followed later in the day by the Stockholm Half Marathon (more) and the Tesco Night Grand Prix Prague 10km (more) in the Czech  capital where Dickson Marwa took a comfortable victory in the men's race (28:24) but favourite Jane Kiptoo was outrun by the pint-size Gladys Otero in the women's 5km (15:45)
 
On 13 September proceedings started with the Moscow International Peace Marathon (more), followed by the Tallinn City Run Half Marathon (more) in Estonia, the Vilnius Marathon (more) in the Lithuanian capital, and the Wroclaw Marathon (more) in Poland. The final event of the day was in South America - the 15th Medio Maraton Internacional de Medellin (more).

The 3rd AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium will take place on 7 November 2009 in the town of Marathon (GRE)
For invitation, application form and further information click below:
The AIMS Marathon Symposium was established with the first edition held on 3 November 2007 (for full account, click here)
The intention was to hold the Symposium annually, and the second Symposium took place on 8 November 2008 (for full account, click here)
 
For the third edition, to take place on 7 November 2009, IAAF became a joint presenter of the Symposium
 
The 4th AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium is scheduled for 30 October 2010

The AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium is held at the birthplace of the classical race, the town of Marathon in Greece. The Athens Classic Marathon is held on the day following the Symposium. The Symposium is a cooperative effort between AIMS, IAAF, the Athens Classic Marathon, the Greek Athletic Federation SEGAS, and the town of Marathon.
"It is the aim of the marathon to bring people together from all over the world to a festival of sport and fair play," said Michalis Liapis, Greece's Minister of Culture during the Marathon opening ceremony at the Tomb of the Marathon Warriors for the inaugural edition of the Symposium. IAAF General Secretary Pierre Weiss said that there could not have been a better venue for the Symposium. "This is the birthplace of sport and of the Olympic Games. So the IAAF happily supports the AIMS Symposium. Without the work of AIMS in the past 25 years the marathon would not be what it is today."

The AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium Organising Committee offers free full-board accommodation over the weekend (Friday-Monday) to one participant per race (regardless of whether they are members of AIMS) up to a limit of 80. Delegates are met at Athens Airport and local transportation is provided. Race organisers interested in participating in the Symposium may be represented by more than one delegate if they bear the cost.

Enquiries to: aimsmarathonsymposium@athensclassicmarathon.gr

In the 17th Jungfrau Marathon (more) on 5 September Jonathan Wyatt (NZL) and Claudia Landolt (SUI) took top honours. 4000 people took part, on a course ascending through dramatic Alpine scenery to a mountain-top finish. Wyatt arrived 1:20 before his nearest challenger, Tarcis Ancay (TUR), and the top-10 finishers came from nine different countries.. The women's race was dominated by domestic runners, as Landolt overcame past champion Jasmine Nunige by a margin of 2:23. Breathing down her neck was veteran Marathon runner Judit Nagy (HUN), only a further 31 seconds adrift.
 
In Scandinavia the final Finnish marathon of the season, Ruskamarathon (more), took place in Kittila while the inaugural Fjord Norway Half Marathon (more) was staged in Knarvik against a scenic backdrop over the Hagelsund and Nordhordland bridges.
 
On 6 September The 24th Budapest International Half Marathon (more) was run along the banks of the Danube in the Hungarian capital, and the Pila Half Marathon (more) incorporated the Polish Half Marathon Championships. In Britain the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon (more) and the Bristol Half Marathon (more) were run at opposite ends of the country, both attracting large numbers. Back in Scandinavia again, the 7th Torshavn Marathon (more) was held in the Faroe Islands, incorporating a lap of the town and then a tough but scenic out-and-back section around the head of the fjord on a traffic free route.
 
Across the Atlantic the 13th Rio Half Marathon (more) was run on the same course used for last year's IAAF World Half Marathon Championships while the 20th Media Maraton Atlas de Guadalajara (more) was run in Mexico's second city. Finally the Kaua'i Marathon (more) was held on another dramatically scenic course featuring beaches, volcanic peaks and tropical rain forests, on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i.

4 September: During the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics held in Berlin last month the President of AIMS, Hiroaki Chosa, hosted a reception at the AIMS-Marathon Museum of Running, located adjacent to the Olympic Stadium (the venue for the World Championships). The objective was for AIMS to present the unique asset of the Berlin museum to the athletics community, emphasising the importance of historical documentation and research, and tracing the development of running around the world. 
 
Hiroaki Chosa emphasised the importance of the professional documentation and preservation of historical data and said that running must be viewed in the context of its national sociological development. Horst Milde, founder of the Berlin Marathon and a member of the AIMS Board of Directors, suggested the integration of the AIMS-Marathon Museum of Running into the Berlin Sports Museum back in 1994, at the World Congress of AIMS held in Macau. Since then, the museum has collected over 15,000 artifacts, with these historical treasures from around the world filling 120m of shelving.
 
1988 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Rosa Mota (POR), was guest of honour at the reception. Also present were AIMS Vice President Carlos Moya (POR), AIMS Secretary Hugh Jones (GBR) and AIMS Board member David Martin (USA) - who has made major contributions to the museum from his personal collection. Evangelos Papapostolou, of the Greek Athletics Association SEGAS, (who had previously provided materials from the World Championships in Athens), attended, along with AIMS member race organisers from the Reggae Marathon, the Virgin Island Marathon, the Frankfurt Marathon and the Berlin Marathon.
 
Exhibitions on display during the World Championships were:
  • “Jesse Owens ­ A Sports Hero”  The star of the US team at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936 is the subject of this exhibition and of an accompanying 52-page brochure with many previously unpublished photographs.
  • The anniversary exhibition “25 Years of AIMS” was re-presented in the “Haus des Deutschen Sports”, which includes a collection of official posters from all IAAF World Championships.

The “crown jewels” of the museum are displayed in glass cases in an extra room ­ objects (shoes, jerseys, drink bottles, race numbers, and much more) from the six world records recorded in the Berlin Marathon between 1998-2008. Another display features such basic tools such as a Jones counter for measuring road race courses, the first timekeeping devices from ChampionChip, stop clocks, and starting guns. Only a thousandth of the museum’s collection is on display, with the rest safely stored and documented in the museum’s archives (of which a short tour was taken).

 
After browsing the exhibits guests enjoyed refreshments on the top floor of the “Haus des Deutschen Sports” with a splendid view of the Olympic grounds and the warm-up field for athletes in the World Championships.

Above Photo: (Left to right) Evangelos Papapostolou, Hiroaki Chosa, Rosa Mota, Mrs Hiroaki Chosa, Hugh Jones, Horst Milde, Wallace Williams (of Virgin Islands Marathon)
Apart from the AIMS reception, the Museum's Jesse Owens exhibit made the news in all of the local newspapers, as well as on various TV and radio stations. 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Naoko Takahashi visited the museum with a Japanese TV crew, where she inspected her own glass display case featuring memorabilia from her two marathon races in Berlin. The resulting item was broadcast during the live Japanese coverage of the World Championships. Dwight Phillips (USA), Olympic and World Champion at the long jump, came to the Jesse Owens exhibit with a TV crew to document the connection between today’s sports generation and Owens.  The granddaughters of Jesse Owens’ and 1936 long jump silver medalist Luz Long also came with a delegation from the US team to enjoy=2 0the exhibit and pose for photos in front of the images of their grandfathers.

Many of the materials and objects from the 12th IAAF World Championships Berlin 2009 have now also been added to the collection. For the Museum and its directors Martina Behrendt and Gerd Steins, and their team the weeks before and during the World Championships were the busiest ever. The Berlin Senate also held a reception for foreign journalists in the Sports Museum who were particularly interested by the extensive photo archives.

 
During the World Championships, many of Germany’s middle- and long-distance runners from the most successful era of German athletics (from both the East and West) also visited the Sports Museum together. Each athlete donated an item of memorabilia from their earlier sporting years. A major collection resulted, including national track suits, old running kit, medals, trophies, photographs, posters, newspaper cuttings.
 
AIMS has supported the museum in Berlin both in name and financially and in doing so has provided an important impetus for the documentation of the sport, helping to provide illumination for future generations.

Only 800 entries are left for the 24th Venicemarathon on 25 October. To ensure participation register by
  • paying by credit card online (click here):
  • sending the entry form via post or fax with payment by bank wire transfer (click here and follow the instructions)
If you ran the Venicemarathon in 2007 or 2008 you are entitled to a discount of € 20,00 (insert your Venicemarathon Fidelity Program code in the space provided on the registration form.

 . . . and another chance.

Bimbingamba is a charity project created by Alex Zanardi, the former Formula 1 and Formula CART pilot, and Sergio Campo which aims to supply disabled children with prostheses after road accidents, diseases or wars.
Venicemarathon will make available 500 special bib numbers, in addition to the 6,000 usually available, at a €20,00 premium, with the surplus being given to Bimbingamba. They will also will be graphically special numbers, autographed by Alex Zanardi and Oscar Pistorius.
The Bimbingamba race numbers will allow runners to start from the second “starting corral”, even without making the qualifying time for that position.
 
When the cap of 6,000 runners is reached, only the purchase of a Bimbingamba bib number will assure runners of a marathon place. Bimbingamba bib numbers will be available only online, because of the need to constantly monitor entries and close when numbers reach 500. Click here to buy your Bimbingamba bib.

The Siberian International Marathon (more), held on 1 August in the city of Omsk was won by Sergey Lukin (2:15:06) and Evgenia Danilova (2:34:52). On 2 August Isaac Macharia won his third consecutive title in the Media Maraton Internacional de Bogota (more), while Lydia Cheromei convincing beat Pamela Chapchumba and Catherine Ndereba in the women's race. Dulce Maria Rodriguez (MEX) hung on tenaciously for second place.

The Swissalpine Marathon Davos, (more) run on 25 July, resulted in a double victory for Sweden, with Jonas Buud taking a third men's title and national record holder in the marathon, Lena Gavelin, making a winning debut in the 78km race over a scenic route through the high Alps.
 
On 26 July Yoko Shibui won the San Francisco Marathon (more) in a tune-up for the World Championship Marathon in Berlin in a month's time, recording 2:46:34. Andrew Cook won the men's race in 2:26:32. Two half marathons were also held in conjunction, the first of which made a scenic double-crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge.

From the geographic heartland of Europe to its political-administrative centre the exhibition "Arrivals", of photographs from the Prague International Marathon, moved on to the European Commission headquarters building in Brussels on 22 July. First shown from March to May in Prague Airport, the exhibition was created to mark the 15th anniversary of the Prague International Marathon and comprises three sections: outstanding and emotive images captured from all Prague International Marathons held so far; a previously unpublished collection of photographs from the private archive of Dana Zatopkova, widow of the Czech running legend Emil Zatopek; 53 poster designs from students at the Academy of Fine Art, Milan to mark the 15th anniversary of the Prague International Marathon.
The exhibition remains in the Berlaymont building until 12 September, and completes its stay in Brussels with a display at the Flemish Parliament. It then moves on to Athens International Airport for the first half of November, covering the staging of the 3rd AIMS Marathon Symposium and the Athens Classic Marathon on 7-8 November. The following year the city will be hosting the 18th World Congress of AIMS which will mark the 2500th anniversary of the legendary run by Phiedippides from Marathon to Athens in 490 BC. The "Arrivals" exhibition will be an effective curtain raiser for the anniversary year, and despite the prestige of exhibiting at the European Commission, the airport setting is one that allows the outsize images to make their full impact.

21 July: World record holder in the Marathon, Haile Gebrselassie faces a tough task if he is to record a hat-trick of wins in this year's real,- Berlin Marathon.

His main opponent will be Duncan Kibet of Kenya, who won this year’s Rotterdam Marathon in a time of 2:04:27. Only Gebrselassie has run faster - twice - in his two previous wins in Berlin, both of them in world records (2007: 2:04:26; 2008: 2:03:59). In Berlin on 20 September the two current fastest marathon runners in the world will both try to run under the mark Gebrselassie set in last year's race.

Kibet made his distance-running debut by taking second place in the Vienna City Marathon in the spring of 2008 (2:08:33) followed by a victory six months later in Milan (2:07:53). With Kibet, the fastest marathoner this year, and Gebrselassie, the fastest marathon runner ever, the real,- Berlin Marathon 2009 will be a showdown between the two top contenders worldwide. The fast course through the German capital has seen six world records since 1998, including the last three men’s world records. In 2000, Naoko Takahashi of Japan became the first woman to run a marathon under 2:20 hours with her victory in Berlin.


20 July: Japanese sub-2:20 runner Yoko Shibui will run one of the San Francisco Marathon events on 26 July in preparation for her appearance in the Marathon at the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin a month later.
 
Tera Moody (USA) and Fiona Docherty (New Zealand), who will also compete in Berlin, are entered in the second of San Francisco's Half Marathons (along the second half of the Marathon course), but Shibui has opted for the full distance, which includes a memorable out-and-back tour over the Golden Gate Bridge.
 
Seventh fastest female marathoner in the world, the 30-year-old Shibui set her personal best of 2:19:41 when winning the 2004 Berlin Marathon, but it was overtaken as the Japanese national record by Mizuko Noguchi's 2:19:12 a year later.
 
"The San Francisco Marathon will serve as a final long run in my preparations for the World Championships, and as a time trial to see where I really am at sea level," said Shibui who has been training at over 2000m elevation in Flagstaff, Arizona for the past two months under her coach, Shigeharu Watanabe. "San Francisco is a beautiful city and I'm really looking forward to spending some time there. Running a marathon will be a great way to do some sight-seeing. It will be nice to get 'genki' (good-spirited) power from my fellow Japanese in San Francisco."
 
Shibui will not challenge the 2:43:41 course record as she plans on "cruising" the hilly marathon course in the 2:45 to 2:55 range along with her Japanese teammate and training partner. Last summer, Shibui competed at the Olympic Games in Beijing where she placed 17th at 10000m. In January she won the Osaka Ladies Marathon in 2:23:42 and helped her Japanese national team to victory at the highly competitive Yokohama International Women's Ekiden relay.
 
Tera Moody and Fiona Docherty headline the deepest-ever female elite field for SFM's 2nd Half Marathon Although the event's 1st Half Marathon is popular among many runners primarily because of its scenic tour of San Francisco's world-famous bay waterfront and the Golden Gate Bridge, elite runners prefer the flatter and faster 2nd Half Marathon course.
 
Moody, 28, who resides in Colorado Springs, earned her place on the US World Championships team by placing fifth at the 2008 US Women's Olympic Marathon Trials in a personal best 2:33:54. "I like to run a half marathon about a month out from my marathons and see what I need to work on," said Moody, whose half marathon best is 1:13:04. "San Francisco fits in perfectly and I really love the city."

New Zealand's Docherty is also preparing for Berlin in Colorado (Boulder) where she is coached by former marathon world record holder Steve Jones. Docherty, 33, is "transitioning to the marathon" (her own words) following years as an accomplished triathlete and duathlete.


The Great Tibetan Marathon (more) was run on 18 July in the Indian state of Ladakh, (sometimes known as "Little Tibet"). Half Marathon and 10km events were also held, all races offered a chance to explore the peaceful Tibetan plateau as the route meandered through the vast Indus Valley and past ancient monasteries, against a majestic mountain backdrop.

17 July: Swissalpine Marathon Davos (78km) Champions Jonas Buud and Jasmine Nunige return to defend their titles on 25 July writes Anita Fuchs. Buud became European 100km champion at the end of June but the 35-year old Swede has also set his sights on a third win at the Swissalpine Marathon in Davos. He would be only the second athlete to achieve a hat-trick in the greatest mountain super-marathon in the world (Peter Camenzind from Zurich triumphed in the years 1990, 1991 and 1992). Aiming to frustrate him is Briton Nick Sharp. New to the Swissalpine Marathon Davos, he won the Mont Blanc Marathon twice (2006 and 2007) setting a course record, as well as the La Plagne 6000 D, a 55km race with 3000m of ascent and descent.

Jasmin Nunige again faces Lizzy Hawker and Deborah Balz in the women's race (they finished 1-2-3 last year). Hawker won in 2006 and 2007. The Swede Lena Gavelin could challenge, having declared that the Swissalpine Marathon is her main objective this season. "I really like running in the mountains and would like to complete a mountain marathon some time," said the Swedish marathon record holder (2:30:39).


www.swiss-image.ch

Chigaya Mase could also be in the mix, being is one of Japan's best cross-country runners and last year's winner of the Sugadaira Skyline Trail Race, with which the Swissalpine Marathon is setting up a partnership. She is also a three-time winner of the Tsuneo Hasegawa Memorial (2003, 2004 and 2007), a 72km mountain race, and a double winner of the 60km Kepler Challenge in New Zealand (2007 and 2008).

A total of approximately 4,500 runners from 50 countries are entered in the eight races. The K78 starts and finishes in Davos, the K42, from Bergün to Davos, is Europe's highest altitude marathon, and the K21 starts on the spectacular Sunniberg Bridge in Klosters. All races pass through magnificent Alpine scenery and offer an unforgettable experience.

See: www.swissalpine.ch


16 July: "Early bird" registrations for the Royal Victoria Marathon (CAN) on 11 October are up 65% over last year. According to race manager Cathy Noel the phenomenal increase is due to the economic downturn making the cheaper fee more attractive, the race being the 30th anniversary, and the cap on numbers, instituted for the first time.

Currently there are 1858 registered for the Marathon, with a cap of 4000; 3246 for the Half Marathon, with a cap of 5000; 745 for the 8K, with a cap of 2500, and over 100 for the Kids' run, with a cap of 1000. “Races are selling out earlier this year than ever before,” says Noel. “People don’t want to miss out and are choosing their destination races way in advance around their travel plans. We have over 1,600 more registrations from British Columbians which is an indication that people are staying closer to home and choosing Victoria as the one to run. We also have over 300 more from Alberta and our numbers from the Pacific Northwest are up.”

The marathon is a Boston qualifier and was earlier this year chosen by BC Athletics to host the 2009 Provincial Marathon Championships for junior, senior and master runners, for both men and women. There is $26,000 available in prize money with $3,000 each going to the top male and female and a $5,000 bonus for a new men’s or women’s course record. In 2006, Steve Osaduik broke a 25-year record by winning the Marathon in 2:16:49.

To register for the Royal Victoria Marathon, Half Marathon, 8K or Kids' Run, visit www.royalvictoriamarathon.com.


13 July: This year’s Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon will be highlighted by a duel between those two Kenyans who have shared the race title for the last four years: Wilfred Kigen was the winner from 2005 to 2007 while Robert Cheruiyot took Germany’s oldest city marathon in 2008, causing a major upset to the favourites. But this year’s men’s race will also see one of the most promising European athletes in the marathon: Günther Weidlinge, who will chase the 23 year-old Austrian national record.
 
The Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon, which boasts a new title sponsor, will take place on 25 October. Entries are up by almost 18%. If the high interest continues organisers expect a record field of between 13,000 and 14,000 runners. Online entry is available at: www.frankfurt-marathon.com


Photo: www.photorun.net

Kigen's unique hat-trick of wins included a course record of 2:07:58, but he lost this to 21-year old Robert K. Cheruiyot, who surprised with a 2:07:21 timing in his 2008 debut. Kigen, 34, has a personal best of 2:07:33 from Hamburg in 2007. Robert K. Cheruiyot is not related to the Boston and Chicago marathon champion of the same name, but himself placed fifth in this year's Boston Marathon on 20 April.
 
Günther Weidlinger, a former world-class steeplechaser from Austria ran 2:12:39 in his marathon debut at the Vienna City Marathon in April, missing the Austrian record set by Gerhard Hartmann in 1986, of 2:12:22. The 31 year-old holds most Austrian distance records, both on the track and the road, from 1500m to half marathon.

7 July: Berlin acclaimed as "Marathon of the Decade"
The world-leading role of the real,- Berlin Marathon over the past decade has been recognised by AIMS with an exceptional award, the “Marathon of the Decade”
 
In a ceremony hosted at the City Hall by Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, AIMS vice president Paco Borao, supported by AIMS Board member Horst Milde and AIMS secretary Hugh Jones, spoke of the importance of the real,- Berlin Marathon to the distance running movement, and specifically drew attention to the unparalleled sequence of World Records achieved in the race over the past decade. Six world records from 1998 to 2008 document the quality of the Berlin event. These were:






20 September 1998
26 September 1999
30 September 2001
28 September 2003
29 September 2007
28 September 2008
Ronaldo da Costa
Tegla Loroupe
Naoko Takahashi
Paul Tergat
Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie
2:06:05
2:20:43
2:19:46
2:04:55
2:04:26
2:03:59
Apart from the quality of the leading performers the real Berlin Marathon is also a leader in the number of marathon finishers, with over 35,000 last year.

Klaus Wowereit accepted the award from Paco Borao, saying that the Berlin Marathon serves as an important international ambassador for the city of Berlin throughout the world. He passed the award over to Rüdiger Otto, Chairman of the Berlin Organising Committee, and race director Mark Milde, who is responsible for contracting top athletes for the Berlin Marathon.

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 into the city with the start at the Reichstag. From 1990 - after the fall of the Berlin Wall ­  a then record 25,000 runners competed, theree was live TV broadcasting in Japan, and the marathon became a top-ranked event.

The fast and flat course in Berlin and the enthusiasm of the spectators, together with the quality of organisation are the most important factors in fostering Berlin’s reputation as a city for runners.

AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa had also sent a message of congratulation "the Berlin Marathon is an excellent event, which we proudly acknowledge as having written international sports history through its success. It provides an instructional example of how, through close cooperation with city institutions, sport can positively affect the lives of citizens.”


6 July: Participants in the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon, the 34th edition of which is scheduled for 25 October 2009, will be able to view a virtual, three-dimensional map of the entire marathon course, thanks to technology from new sponsor Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS). Harris is using technology from its RealSite® product family to create the stunningly realistic video map, which is now available on the MCM website at www.marinemarathon.com.

Harris, an international communications and information technology company, created the realistic 3-D view of the entire 42195m course, including trees, buildings, and signage from start to finish. "Runners like to preview a marathon course but since so many MCM participants come from outside of the D.C. area, this is not always possible," said race director Rick Nealis ."With this technology runners can see the MCM course online from anywhere in the world, with greater detail than ever was possible before".

Harris provides geospatial visualization technology and models to business, government and military customers, and has used its patented geospatial RealSite® solution to transform satellite, aerial and ground-based imagery into an extremely accurate model as well as moving videos of the MCM race course. Harris also recently produced 3-D virtual models and videos of the Presidential Inauguration Parade route, the National Memorial Day Parade route and Arlington National Cemetery, with Aerial oblique imagery provided by courtesy of Pictometry Corporation.
3-D urban models, such as the one of the MCM route, are built from ground, aerial and satellite imagery using technology developed for government customers and are geospatially accurate. Harris has developed nearly 500 global 3-D models during the past five years as a U.S. government contractor.

01 July: Night Running Mania will return to the City of Prague on 12 September. After the long sunlit evenings of the European summer months the various races of the Tesco Prague Grand Prix (including the prestigious Metro Men’s Race 10km) depart from the Old Town Square from 18.30 - 20.30. The program features several competitive and fun races, including the charity race 3.8km Tesco Run for Life for the whole family and for those who would like to support a good cause without having to participate in a competitive race. It is open to all age groups and the entire entry fee goes to support the Childhood Cancer Foundation Krtek.

The adidas women’s 5km race starts at 19:30 and the Metro Men’s Race 10km at 20:30. Both runs are open to everyone; their popularity has grown rapidly, and this year20over 3500 men and women are expected to take part.

Competition is both individual alongside invited elite runners, and among 3-member teams. In the team competition the finish times of all members are added up to decide the winning team. Races are open to all runners more than 15 years of age.

Since all events will take place in the magic scenery and late-evening atmosphere of Prague’s lit streets, the Tesco Prague Grand Prix will be an event of unique appeal.


"Nightrunning" suggests different things in different places. In Tromso, at 70degN, it means the novel experience of running in sunlight after midnight in the Midnight Sun Marathon. Indeed, no matter what time of night a race is held during the Scandinavian summer, it is very likely that "night" refers only to the time, and not to the state of the light. In other places night mostly means darkness, and can start from early evening (although back in Tromso, the "Polar Night Half Marathon" is held in complete darkness but starts at 15.00 on 9 January 2010).

Fifty years ago the idea of running in the dark - "nightrunning" - was encapsulated by iconic pictures of Abebe Bikila, striding down the torch lit Appian Way towards Marathon glory in the Rome Olympics. At the same time (from the 1950s) there was a well-regarded race called "Nos Galan", held in the South Wales town of Mountain Ash on New Year's Eve, which attracted world-class talent without paying a penny in appearance fees. Tony Simmons (of Welsh heritage himself) and 10000m world record holder of the time, Dave Bedford, fought an epic battle in one of the last editions of the race's inaugural series (with a surprise win sprung by Simmons). The event was later revived and celebrated it's 50th anniversary in 2008. Such is the power of night running that there are very often people willing to assist in the revival of seemingly dead "legendary" races.

Most night races in the last 50 years have been New Year's Eve celebrations, and often in the Hispanic World., whether in Madrid, Amadora (near Lisbon, POR), Las Palmas or the most famous one of all, Sao Paulo. The Sao Silvestre 15km in Sao Paulo "Round the Houses" event started in the 1920s and this year celebrates its 85th edition.
But in recent years the race has shifted to an earlier start time during the afternoon: no more nightrunning there.

An event of relatively recent vintage, with its inaugural edition in 2005, is a credible inheritor of the Rome Olympic mantle. Runners in the Ruta de las Iglesias 10km race in the Ecuadorean capital Quito set off at 19.00 on the last Saturday evening of August to run a historic route past the facades of several 500-year old churches. The route is illuminated in the appropriate manner - by flaming torches.

The Tesco Prague Grand Prix (CZE) starts from the City's Old Town Square from 18.30 - 20.30 on 12 September this year. At the tail end of the European summer, this is still not quite "Nightrunning" - more like "duskrunning" as the light fades into an evening of relaxed post-race celebrations.

But there is one event, held along the Adriatic coast in Italy, that unashamedly identifies itself as the Nightmarathon. Run from the small coastal town of Jesolo, to the west of Venice, the race starts at 20.00, and runs on into the night with a nominal closing time of 02.00.


Runners ascended 1100m in the Zermat Marathon (SUI) (more) on 4 July, with 1900m of total climb, and finished amid a range of 4000m+ Alpine summits. Coming out on top was world mountain running champion Jonathan Wyatt (NZL) in 2:57:48 and Claudia Landolt (SUI) in 3:43:31

Next day - but barely 12 hours later - runners contested at sea level in the Gold Coast Marathon (more) in Queensland, Australia. won by William Chebor in 2:11:58, five minutes ahead of the field. Lauren Shelly had a closer contest, taking the women's race in 2:42:22 with a margin of only one second over fellow Australian Roxie Schmidt.

30 June: The next edition of the Turin Marathon Gran Premio La Stampa will take place on 14 November 2010. This is a big shift in the calendar from recent years when the race date has been in April.

30 June: In view of the economic downturn in the world and limited interest in travelling long distances organisers of the 2009 Colombo Marathon have cancelled this year's event, which was due on 4 October. As a result, the 10th Colombo Marathon will now be on 3 October 2010.

A spokesman for the event commented: "Sri Lanka is preparing for better days in tourism now that the internal "troubles" are over, but the influx is yet to come. From all sides we are hearing that travelers are conserving their cash for basic essentials, and we will bide our time a bit longer."

see www.srilankamarathon.org


June finished with the busiest racing weekend since April. The Santa Claus Marathon (more) in Rovaniemi crossed the Arctic Circle during the course of the race, while elsewhere in Finland on 27 June the town of Turku paid homage to a local legend through the Paavo Nurmi Marathon (more). On the same day the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Seattle (more) took up where the Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon at Seafair left off last year. 

On 28 June action started in the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (more) in Malaysia and moved through Europe with the International Marathon "White Nights" in St Petersburg (RUS) and the Vidovdan 10km (more) in the Bosnian town of Brcko. Across the Atlantic the City of Rio de Janeiro Marathon (more) was run along a scenic coastal route, something also enjoyed by runners in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon (more) featuring Canada's top runners Lioudmila Kortchaguina and Jon Brown.

24 June: Latest registration figures for the next Venicemarathon, to be held on 25 October 2009, show that two-thirds of the field has already been filled (4000 of the 6000 available bib numbers have been assigned). If you want to take part in this iconic event you should not wait - register now. It is easy to register either online or using a paper form sent via post or fax, along with a bank transfer for the entry fee. Participants in the 2007 and/or 2008 editions can benefit from a "loyalty" discount of 20 Euros if they quote their Venicemarathon Fidelity Program code in the space provided on the registration form.

There are accommodation packages for every kind of need. Visit the Venicemarathon website at www.venicemarathon.it or if you prefer to be part of a group contact our tour operator in your country (listed on the race website).

22 June: The San Francisco Marathon, to be held on 26 July 2009, has announced a number of leading edge "green" initiatives to minimize the impact of the event's 20,000 runners on the environment. The event started "going green" in 2007 and has since become one of the most environmentally friendly. Road Race Management includes SFM as an environmentally responsible leader in its Guide to Greener Running Events. Running USA has noted how SFM "lined up an impressive list of sponsors to help implement its green plan."

Last year, runners from all 50 states and 56 countries participated in San Francisco's marathon, two half marathons, and 5km run/walk.

"In an eco-responsible state such as California, our event feels an obligation to implement ambitious and inventive earth-friendly policies as an important example and service to our participants," said race director Sophia Li.. "We've increased recyclable and compostable tonnage and significantly decreased waste. Our goal is to preserve ecological resources while providing a quality race."

Discarded paper cups and bib numbers, water bottles, uneaten food, registration forms and results sheets, plastic goody and tote bags, and dumped runner's clothing are usually all part of post-race debris. CO2 emissions are generated by thousands of runners traveling to a race. Road running, with an estimated 8.9 million annual finishers in the US alone (2009) is making a dedicated effort toward environmental responsibility. Eco-logistics specialist Keith Peters claims that "although there's no real count of green races, 67% of those I've polled have changed their environmental outlook in the past 18 months, Race directors are responding to market trends and are becoming greener because information and resources are out there to help them produce greener events."

San Francisco Marathon is taking a lead role in this trend by:
  • Recycling and composting 10 tonnes of race day garbage. SFM creates and implements recycling plans with all of its vendors.
  • Donating 5 tonnes of leftover food, and more than 1,000 pairs of used running shoes to local charities.
  • Distributing compostable drinking cups to runners on the course, and before and after the race.
  • Using biodegradable goody bags that can be reused as runner drop/sweats bags. SFM creates reusable bags from old street banners and all discarded paper products are recycled.
  • Levying lower entry fees for runners who enter online versus paper and 99% of participants register electronically. Finishers receive an online electronic finisher's certificate.
  • Distributing Newsletters and other information electronically. The web site includes a "How Green are You" section that offers race-day conservation tips.
  • Donating all unused products to local shelters.
  • Encouraging race entrants to donate an additional amount ($5 this year) beyond basic registration fees towards its Going Green Initiative.
  • Using biodiesel fuel for power generators on race day. SFM is investigating natural gas options for its spectator and participant buses to cut emissions.
  • Providing preferred parking for participants who carpool and bicycle to the race and pre-race Expo. Runners and volunteers are encouraged to sign up online to carpool through PickupPal. Valet bicycle parking is offered through the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
  • Providing detailed public transit information for race day and the Expo on its web site.
  • Using lead cyclists instead of vehicles

SFM has created a 5-year plan for continuing its environmental efforts. For more please visit the event's web site at www.runsfm.com.


The world's most northerly certified marathon, the Midnight Sun Marathon (more) in Tromso (NOR) was held on 20 June. Ronny Hognestad (2:32:16) and Anne Jorunn Hodne (2:47:15) provided home victories.

On 21 June, action switched to the western hemisphere with the Tangamanga Marathon (more) in San Luis Potosi (MEX) and the Marathon de Quito (more), at 2800m altitude in the Ecuadorean capital.

Only the fittest, or craziest runners do back-to-back marathons, much less 3,000 miles apart. In 2010, in celebration of their 25th presentation, the Big Sur Marathon will honor those runners willing to accept the challenge.

Challenge entries will be open to a limited number of participants on a first come, first served basis during registration, which opens on 1 September 2009. Those who sign-up will receive a Boston 2 Big Sur ASICS jacket, a custom participant bib and finisher's medallion, and will celebrate their accomplishment in a special finish tent in Big Sur's Marathon Village.

If you sign up for the challenge, you must either qualify to run Boston in 2010 (unless you are already qualified) or register through their charity program. When you pick up your pack at Big Sur, you must also present proof that you did finish Boston in 2010 (print out your finish information from Boston's online results).
Questions may be emailed to: sally@bsim.org,
or call 831.625.6226.

The Laguna Phuket International Marathon (more) was run on 14 June, and a multinational field gathered in the renowned Thai resort. Australian Stephen Paine led the field home in 2:39:23 while the women's winner was Katja Fink (3:34:04) from Switzerland. In the women's race eight different nationalities filled the top eight places, while among the men there were eight different nationalities in the top10.

Rio de Janeiro is a natural sporting arena, also famous for bio diversity and its coastline. Satellite images show just how close forests penetrate into the urban area. Designing “out of stadium” sites and courses for events like the Marathon, the next edition of which will be held on 28 June, allows these qualities to be showcased, always allowing for issues concerning safety and environmental protection.

Rio Marathon, run since 1980, was one of AIMS' founder members.

The original course was a triangular loop between Copacabana Beach, Rio's downtown area and Leblon Beach and hosted the likes of Bill Rodgers, Joyce Smith, Kjell Eric Stall, Juma Ikanga, and Lorraine Moller. Since 2000 Rio City Marathon has opened up the loop into a point to point course starting from Recreo dos Bandeirantes and following the coastline all the way into town, to finish at Flamengo Beach. On the way it takes in Sao Conrado. Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana and Botafogo beaches. The second half of this course hosted the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship last October.
As part of the race expo on the three days prior the race there will be an exhibition of children's nature drawings from the Mangueira Social Program and photos from Floresta da Tijuca environment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tijuca_Forest ).
For more information see: http://www.maratonadorio.com.br/site_ingles/index_ingles.html

The RAK Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates opened for entries on 1 June, more than seven months before the next race, due to be held on 12 February 2010. Race director Nathan Clayton explained "opening registration early allows people to plan their sporting season and to schedule any required training programs well in advance. It helps HR managers advertise the event and prepare company teams; an aspect that has become increasingly popular within the event and it adds value to our sponsors who can now benefit from association to an event that continues to create a buzz almost the whole year round."

The race organisers have simultaneously re-launched the event website with a fresh new feel and the ability to browse through it in a choice of English, Arabic or German. "We introduced the Arabic language site last year and felt this year, due to the popularity of the event among German runners, that is was appropriate to offer a higher level of service to German speakers." added Clayton.

As in previous years special 'Early Bird' prices are offered: "during June online registrants can save up to a total of 280dhs over what they may pay if they register last minute," Clayton stated, adding that registration would also close much earlier than previous editions, on 30 November this year. For full information see www.rakmarathon.org


On 7 June interest focused first in Eastern Europe and then in South America. The Zelenograd Half Marathon (more) was held about 40km outside Moscow, and the Metropolitan Marathon Bydgoszcz-Torun (more) was run in Poland.

In South America the classic Ultimas Noticias 15km (more) race took place in the high-altitude (2800m) Ecuadorean capital, Quito.

The Stockholm Marathon (more) took place on 30 May in the Swedish capital, followed later on in the day by the Freihofers' 5km Run for Women (more) in Albany, New York State.

The Sunfeast World 10km
(more) in Bangalore on 31 May saw Deriba Merga in full flight only a week after his 27:24 in Ottawa. He managed a win in 28:13, two seconds ahead of Mark Kiptoo. The slower time may have been partly due to fatigue from his previous efforts, but also the higher temperatures and altitude (920m) in Bangalore. In the women's race Mary Keitany, back to racing after an absence of two years in which she gave birth, strove to acquire a defensible lead over Asefelech Mergia. Mergia entered the stadium 10m behind, but charged past her compatriot Aberu Kebede, and then Keitany, to snatch a narrow victory.

The Edinbugh Marathon
(more) was run in the Scottish Capital and the Calgary Marathon (more) took place in Canada. In South America the 15th edition of the Sao Paulo Marathon (more) attracted 15,000 runners to the race, along with associated 25km and 10km events

The 5-stage 100km of the Namib Desert, which was due to take place the following week, has been postponed to 2010 because too few participants had signed up to justify the usual departures from Europe.


Once it was Canada, then it was Mexico, and now it seems to be Egypt: AIMS membership typically grows in fits and starts, and the latest "seizure" seems to be in Egypt. Longtime AIMS members Egyptian Marathon and Pharaonic 100km have recently been supplemented by the El Gouna Marathon and the Sharm El Sheikh Half Marathon - but that is just half of the story.

Back on 31 December 2002 an event was established at the foot of Mount Sinai ("Moses Mountain") to receive the New Year in a spirit of peace (The St Catherine Marathon is run under the subtitle: "Running for the sake of peace)". It became an AIMS member in 2003, but there was great uncertainty about its future during 2008, and membership lapsed. In fact the race did take place that (last) New Year's Eve, and it is now back on a firm footing under its founder, Tarek Moshref, whose own company Prontotours is now responsible for the event in its entirety.

Over the years runners have come from far and wide: Germany, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, Czech Republic, as well as the Egyptians and the local Bedouins of Sinai. Bedouin participation is of great significance. Marathon day has become a very special day for them, as they await the New Year through it. This was the original objective: to establish a sporting activity in St. Catherine in which Bedouins would be involved as participants alongside runners from all over the world. In doing the Marathon's motto is made good.

Prontotours is also in the process of establishing a new event, the Egyptian Red Sea Marathon, over a two-lap course in the highly popular tourist resort of Sharm El Sheikh. The inaugural edition will take place on 21 March next year, and will bring Egyptian membership within AIMS to a total of six events - up from only two in 2008).

The Terwamarathon (more) in Kittilia (FIN) took place on 23 May, with runners crossing the Arctic Circle (66degN) at the time of the summer solstice, when darkness does not descend. By contrast, later the same day (20.00) in the Nightmarathon (more) at Jessolo, on the Adriatic coast just to the west of Venice, runners started at dusk and finished around midnight.

On 24 May the Copenhagen Marathon (more) was run in the Danish capital and the Wuerzburg Marathon (more) in Germany. The Kigali Peace Marathon (more) took place in the Rwandan capital, and alongside it the third event in the AIMS Children's Series, with 2000 children starting and finishing their 5km run inside the National Stadium. Elsewhere in Africa the most famous of all ultras, the Comrades Marathon (more), was run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. Runners start at 05.30 and have 12 hours in which to officially complete the 89km race.

Over in North America the Ottawa Marathon (more) welcomed back two of its most prolific winners, David Cheruiyot and Lioudmila Kortchaguina. Cheruiot extended his win tally to four with a 6-second victory, but four-time winner Kortchagiuna was denied by Asmae Legzhaoui, who improved the course record she set last year by another minute, to 2:27:41. In the 10km event held the day before, Deriba Merga fell short in his world record attempt, but still posted an impressive new 27:24 course record.

14 May: David Cheriuyot and Lioudmila Kortchaguina, the most consistent athletes of the Ottawa Marathon over the last half decade, are returning to the Canadian Capital for the race on 24 May. Cheriuyot has only lost once since his first appearance in 2005 (when he was 4th in 2006). In each of his wins he has outsprinted successively younger runners. If he does it again, he will become the second ever four-time winner of the race. “My goal is to break the course record this year,” said Cheriuyot. “I will try my best. His main competitors are Luka Chelimo (Kenya), Ketema Amensisa Tadesse (Ethiopia) and Ahmed Baday (Morocco). Chelimo, who has the fastest personal best in the field (2:10:30), is still looking for his first marathon win. Tadesse and Baday have also run marathons under 2:11. Canadian challengers this year include Reid Coolsaet, Canada’s top 5000m runner, who hopes to qualify for the World Championship team in his debut marathon. The last time a Canadian male made the podium in Ottawa was in 2003.

Toronto’s Lioudmila Kortchaguina is again favoured to win, as she has four out of five times: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 (she also placed second in 2005). She could become the first ever five-time winner of the Ottawa Marathon, but will have to overcome defending champion and course record holder, Asmae Leghzaoui (Morocco). Other challengers include Liza Hunter-Galvan (NZL), a consistent 2:30 marathoner, Irene Jerotich Kosgei, a 2:31 marathoner who won the Nairobi Marathon, and Selomie Getnet (Ethiopia) who has already run 2:33 this year.
 
For more information: www.runottawa.ca

Negotiating 5164 steps in the Great Wall Marathon (more) on 16 May America's Justin Walker and New Zealander Joanna Gosse took top honours in 3:40:54 and 4:03:23. The Three Hearts Marathon  (more) in Radenci (SLO) was run for the 29th time, and won by Mitja Kosovelj (2:23:10) and Neza Mravlje (3:04:35) 

In the Goteborg Half Marathon (more) (SWE) more than 45,000 runners took part, headed by Nicolas Kamakya (1:01:54) and Ana Dulce Felix (1:11:27)

Action on 17 May began at the other end of the Baltic Sea with the Nordea Riga Marathon (more) (and Half), while elsewhere in the Baltic hinterland, on a good day for local winners, the mBank Lodz Marathon (more) Marcin Felahu (2:18:10) and Arleta Merloch (2:40:52) took victories. The 6th edition of the Karstadt Marathon (more), finishing in Essen (GER), was won by Carsten Scheutz in 2:36:13 and Silvia Balbach in 3:16:06

2008 Pisa Marathon Finish Line

The Pisa Marathon (more) (ITA) held their 10th anniversary edition, with the finish line within sight of the famous tower.

17 May: Australia's Benita Johnson will attempt to become only the second woman in the 31-year history of the Freihofer's Run for Women 5km to win four consecutive titles on 30 May in Albany. Johnson, a former world cross-county champion, will try to match American Lynn Jennings' four victories (1993-1996) on the scenic course that weaves through New York's state's historic capital city.  

"This race holds a special place in my heart," said Johnson, who hit the tape last year in 15:46.  "Each year I experience a huge rush of excitement and adrenalin.  
First when I step into the classrooms around the community to talk to the kids and then second when I stand on that start line looking up the big hill ready for a tough race ahead against the world's best athletes."

But Johnson could be thwarted by the same woman who ended Jennings' win streak. Elva Dryer, 37-year old champion from 1997, returns to Freihofers after finishing 12th in the Boston Marathon a month ago.

Elva Dryer
Elva Dryer

One of the rare athletes who can compete at distances from the mile to the marathon, Dryer beat Jennings through tactical savvy and a decisive kick as she exited Washington Park.
Benita Johnson
                         Benita Johnson Photo: Jeff Foley (jefffoley.com)
Race director George Regan also announced that SUBWAY® Restaurants and the technology company CSC have signed on as corporate sponsors. As part of its agreement, SUBWAY will offer a $5 off race entry coupon at each of its 105 locations throughout the Albany metro area. "CSC will become an integral part of our greening effort" said Regan. "By using biodegradable paper cups, CSC staff will help prevent thousands of plastic bottles from ending up in the landfill."

At the BIG 25km (more) in Berlin on 10 May, Peninah Arusei was on course for a new 25km world record, but the climb back up to the Olympic Stadium lost her crucial seconds, and she fell 18 seconds short of Mizuki Noguchi's mark, with 1:22:31. Matthew Koech took the men's race in 1:13:24.

In the Volkwagen Prague Marathon (more) Patrick Ivuti broke the course record by over a minute with his time of 2:07:48, but he defeated Stephen Kibiwott only in the final kilometre, finishing six seconds ahead of him. In the women's race Olga Glok painstaking pegged back the leading trio of Ethiopians and ran out a clear winner with her 2:28:27. In the Geneva Marathon (more) four-time winner Tesfaye Eticha this time contested the half marathon, and broke the course record by over two minutes. Elsewhere in Europe the Skopje Marathon (more) in Macedonia and the Martin Fiz Marathon (more) in Vittoria in the Basque region of Spain also took place.

Founder of the Prague International Marathon in 1993, Carlo Capalbo was elected to the AIMS Board of Directors at the 17th World Congress of AIMS held in Sao Paulo on 4 April. After creating the Prague Marathon in 1993 (the 17th edition of the race is held on 10 May), Carlo Capalbo founded the Prague Half Marathon (1998) and the Tesco 10km Grand Prix ­ all of which are AIMS members.. He holds a Law degree and MBA. In 1999 he founded “Tempo Team Sports Marketing” and has driven this company for the past 10 years with great commercial success. After a close relationship with AIMS for many years, he was elected to the AIMS Board for the first time.

AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa commented: “We are delighted to welcome Carlo and the valuable expertise and experience he brings to the AIMS Board.” Carlo Capalbo commented: “It is a great honour to be recognised in this way and I see it as an acknowledgement of the progress the Prague International Marathon has made as a major event and iconic sporting spectacular that showcases the unique beauty of the city of Prague. I look forward to serving our members and working hard to advance the sport of distance running.”

Hiroaki Chosa welcomes Carlos Capalbo as AIMS newest board member.
Hiroaki Chosa welcomes Carlos Capalbo as AIMS newest board member.

Carlos Moya (Lisbon Half Marathon,Vice President), Gordon Rogers (Vancouver) and Dave Cundy (Canberra) were all re-elected to the AIMS Board of Directors at the 17th World Congress. The AIMS Board of Directors currently consists of: Hiroaki Chosa (President), Paco Borao (Vice President), Carlos Moya (Vice President) Horst Milde, Gordon Rogers, Dave Cundy, Vivek Singh, Martha Morales, and Carlo Capalbo.

AIMS will mark the 2500th year of the marathon by staging its 18th World Congress in Athens on 28-30 October 2010. The organisers of the Congress will be the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), the organisers of the annual Athens Classic Marathon held every November over the original marathon course, from the town of Marathon to Athens city centre.

The word "marathon" is now part of every day language yet its story is a unique tale of sporting and cultural history. The legendary Greek soldier-runner Pheidippides ran from the town of Marathon to Athens in 490 BC to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming 'We won.' before collapsing and dying.

The right to stage the Congress was won against strong bids from: Prague (CZE), Jungfrau (SUI) and Durban (RSA).

AIMS Director and Berlin Marathon founder Horst Milde comments: "Members felt that the opportunity to mark the 2,500th year of the Marathon was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a sporting concept that has caught the imagination of the world and has come to be seen as a personal benchmark of health, fitness and achievement for runners everywhere."¯
The 2010 Congress will be staged alongside the 4th edition of the AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium, which is held annually in the town of Marathon, the day before the Athens Classic Marathon, looking at current and topical issues within the sport of distance running. The Congress and Symposium is open to AIMS members and all race directors around the world. Those interested in attending the 3rd AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium this year, to be held on 7 November 2009, should contact: aimsmarathonsymposium@athensclassicmarathon.gr

As a gesture to the Marathon Movement and a way of marking the upcoming 2,500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon SEGAS, in collaboration with AIMS and the town of Marathon, have since 2007 created the "Marathon Flame" which is lit yearly at the Tomb of Marathon, the day before the Athens Classic Marathon, and is taken to many events around the world symbolizing the sport's remarkable history. If you are interested in having the Marathon Flame visit your city/event contact the Hellenic Athletics Federation and Athens Classic Marathon: info@athensclassicmarathon.gr

The 27th edition of the Maratņn Internacional de La Ciudad de Mexico will take place on 27 September. The original August date cannot be maintained because of the N1H1 flu epidemic. Following World Health Organisation guidelines a 90-day period has been allowed for this medical contingency and for this reason the Mexico City Marathon will now take place on 27 September.

Organisers of the Venicemarathon Trofeo Casinņ di Venezia claim that, in common with many other races already held this year, they just do not notice the effects of the crises in terms of runner participation. In common with many other races, they have experienced a significant increase in registrations, even six months before the event is held on 25 October. Over 2,500 athletes already registered by 10 April, to be sure to have a place.
"Race logistics oblige us to fix a cap at 6,000 runners" states the Organising Committee. "Runners are planning further in advance. Entries are 1000 up on the same time last year."
Increased domestic and foreign participation has been partly due to the tripartite promotional campaign of the Treviso (29 March), Santo Antonio (26 April) and Venice Marathons, supported by the Veneto region with the appeal: "Come to Veneto to run"¯.
The Venicemarathon on 25 October will support the conservation of Venice's architectural heritage through the S.M.S.project (Saint Mark's Square), a co-operative effort from the Venice Municipality, the Environment and Architectural Heritage Society of Venice and Fran Tomasi & C.
The project aims to protect special historical monuments like the Ponte di Rialto, the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore and the Procuratie Nuove.
For further information visit: www.smsvenice.com
To better experience the Venicemarathon the Organising Committee offers special packages to runners. Accommodation can be booked through the race website or through official tour operators in runners' countries of residence. Runners can register online at www.venicemarathon.it, with payment by credit card; via post or fax, with payment by bank transfer or through official tour operators. The Fidelity Program offers runners who took part in 2007 or 2008 a discount of 20,00 Euros.
For further information visit: www.venicemarathon.it

Almost six years after achieving his spectacular 2:04:55 world record in the Berlin Marathon, Paul Tergat returns to the German capital. His next race will be Germany's oldest city road race, the BIG 25 in Berlin on 10 May. The 25km race was initiated by the French forces in West Berlin in 1981 and was then called 25km de Berlin. It is renowned for its spectacular finish on the blue track of the Olympic Stadium. The course leads the runners from the arena through the city centre, including the Brandenburg Gate, and back to the stadium which will host the IAAF World Championships this August. Organisers expect up to 10,000 entries for their race, which will also include a 10mk race and a 5x5km relay. For those who want to run in the same race as Paul Tergat online entry is available at: www.berlin-laeuft.de
"We are extremely happy to have signed one of the best runners in athletics history"¯ said race director Gerhard Janetzky. "Paul Tergat is one of running's giants and a true ambassador of the sport."

Tergat was the first man to win the World Cross Country Championships five times in a row (1995-1999), but he was also very successful in track and road races. In the 1990s he broke world records at 10,000m on the track and 15km and half marathon on the road. In 2003, in Berlin, he improved the world marathon record to 2:04:55, breaking 2:05 for the first time.

On 10 May he will return to Berlin and compete at the BIG 25 for the first time.

The course record of 1:12:45 was set by Kenya's Paul Koech in 2004 and is the official world record. Peninah Arusei also returns to the BIG 25 Berlin, as the defending champion. She won in a course record of 1:24:10 last year. Arusei's main challenge could come from the developing runner Magdalene Mukunzi. Her half Marathon best, at 68:52, is shy of Arusei's by over half a minute but she has performed consistently well since bursting on to the international scene less than a year ago.
The race starts outside the Olympic Stadium and takes runners through the centre of the German capital, passing the Brandenburg Gate, Friedrichstraße, Potsdamer Platz and Gedächtniskirche. Organisers expect around 9,000 entries, including those in associated 10km and 5x5km relay races, and a children's event.

More information is available online at: www.berlin-runs.com

In the Maratona d'Europa (more) in Trieste, along the Adriatic shore, Justus Kiprono (2:14:48) edged his compatriot Philip Kanda to win by a couple of seconds. Brazilian Sabino Nadir took the women's title in 2:47:02  The New Jersey Marathon was run in the city of Long Branch, on the Atlantic coast while the BMO Vancouver Marathon (more), on the Pacific coast, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first marathon run in Vancouver. Bernard Onsare (2:28:26) and Mary Akor (USA, 2:46:24) enjoyed wins by five-minute margins. Just to the south, back across the border in the US, the Eugene Marathon (more) continued with the waterside theme of the day alongside the Willamette River. Jeff Hooley (2:18:38) won by a country mile while Emily Enstice took the women's race in 2:58:37, a minute clear of Elizabeth Broadbent.

28 April: The BMO Vancouver Marathon, due to be run on 3 May, this year celebrates 100 years of marathon running in the city. The first ever Vancouver Marathon was held on 24 May 2009 and was won by local runner Will Chandler in a time of 3:22:11.2. Mayor Charles Douglas fired the starting pistol, setting eleven runners off around a running track in the City's Recreation Park in front of 2500 spectators. The race distance is not recorded, and marathons at that time could be anything from 40km to the now standard distance of 42.195km. The current trophy that will be awarded to the men's winner of the BMO Vancouver Marathon on 3 May is the same as that received by Chamdler nearly 100 years before, and in the 1990s was valued at $30,000.

The Dalian Marathon in China opened proceedings on 26 April, followed the other end of Asia by the HSBC Earth Run Half Marathon (more) in Beirut, Lebanon.

Within Europe the Rijeka Half Marathon (more) in Croatia was run along with half a dozen marathons: the Cracovia Marathon (more) (POL), the Hamburg Marathon (more) (GER), the Enschede Marathon (more) (NED), the Zurich Marathon (more) (SUI), the Sant Antonio Marathon (more) (ITA), and the Marathon Popular de Madrid (more) (ESP). The fastest women's performance was 2:29:01 by Alessandra Aguilar (ESP) in Hamburg. The fastest men's winner was Jacob Yator (KEN) at Enschede, although Ben Chebet also went sub-2:10 in Padua's Sant Antonio Marathon and Eritrea's Tadese Abraham missed breaking that barrier by 10 seconds in Zurich.

Over on the west coast of America, the Big Sur International Marathon (more) rounded off action for the day.

"There is no Austrian race you can compare with the Vienna City Marathon, so it will be an easy decision for me,"¯ said Andrea Mayr when asked if she would come back to the race next year as the defending champion. The 29 year-old set a highlight at the 26th edition of the race by winning her marathon debut in an Austrian record of 2:30:43. Despite the fact that there were only marathon debutants in this year's elite fields a record number of four sub-2:10 times were achieved in the men's race. Kenya's Gilbert Kirwa was the winner with a fine 2:08:21 debut. Altogether 29,054 runners from 100 nations had entered the event in the Austrian capital.
As in the past few years the winners were received by the President of Austria, Mr. Heinz Fischer. Gilbert Kirwa and Andrea Mayr were accompanied by Günther Weidlinger (Austria), who had finished ninth in his debut race on Sunday with 2:12:39, and Race Director Wolfgang Konrad when they met the President for the reception in the famous Wiener Hofburg which is next to the finish line of the race. Mr Heinz Fischer is a runner himself and said, of this year's debutants-only elite race, "also I could have joined in as well!"

On 20 April Deriba Merga and Salina Kosgei triumphed in the 113th edition of the BAA Boston Marathon (more) with times of 2:08:42 and 2:32:16. Merga injected pace just before the infamous Newton Hills and simply ran away from the rest of the field. Ryan Hall (USA), who had been surprisingly competitive in the early stages of the race regrouped well to come through into third behind Daniel Rono. "I had never run a slower race," said Salina Kosgei of the early stages in the women's race. Around 35km US hopeful Kara Goucher decided it was too risky to wait any longer. Her extended surge dropped all except defending champion Dire Tune and Kosgei. Goucher finally lost touch with 800m to go and Tune found herself this time on the losing end of a similar finishing duel to that she had fought a year ago.

Victor Kigen surged away in the final 10km of the 22nd Banca Intesa Belgrade Marathon (more) on 18 April to win in 2:13:28. The race incorporated the 42nd Military World Marathon Championship, won by fourth-placed Mousafa Ahmed of Qatar in 2:16:22. In the women's race Anne Kosgei won in 2:34:51, a spare eight seconds ahead of Lithuania's Rasa Drazdauskaite, the individual military champion. Qatar (men) and USA (women) took the military team titles. In the Pardubice Wine Half Marathon (more), which took place on the same day in the Czech Republic, Wilson Chebet had a runaway win, recording the impressive time of 1:00:49. Lydia Njeri won the women's race in 1:14:44

19 April started with the Canberra Marathon (more) in the Australian Capital and the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon (more) in Japan. These were followed by the Vienna Marathon (more) where first-timers Gilbert Kirwa ran 2:08:21 and current world champion mountain runner Andrea Mayr (2:30:43) became the first home winner of the women's race since 1987, also breaking the national record by 8 seconds. Benson Barus won the Turin Marathon (more) with 2:09:07 while Agnes Kiprop took the women's race in 2:26:22. In the Nice International Half Marathon (more) Titus Masai ran exactly one hour, while Helena Kiprop recorded 1:09:29 to win the women's event. The day ended half a world further west with the Vancouver Sun Run 10km (more) in which another huge field of runners was led home by Willy Kimosop in 29:04 and Abebu Gelan in 34:05.


The April-June edition of Distance Running has been published and is now being distributed to members. The main editorial content is available on the AIMS website <here>. The next edition of Distance Running will be for July-September 2009, with an advertising and editorial deadline of 9 June 2009.

34th Marine Corps Marathon sells out in 16 Days
17 April 2009: The Marine Corps Marathon closed registrations for their event on 25 October 2009 just before noon on 17 April. In 16 days the race registered runners from all 50 USA states to fill the 30000 places available
in the 34th running of "The People's Marathon." Marine Corps is the fifth largest marathon in the US and 10th in the world.

"Closing registration so fast endorses the value people place on running - despite economic uncertainties," said race director Rick Nealis. "Investment return is measured in terms of health, self confidence and personal achievement."

Nearly 5,500 runners registered in the first hour after registration opened on 1 April.

For those runners who missed online registration, a limited number of entries remain available through the MCM charity partner program. Additional information is available on the MCM charity partner page of www.marinemarathon.com.

Debut duo excite home fans
Günther Weidlinger will take on the final challenge of his career in the Vienna Marathon on 19 April. The 31 year-old former world-class steeplechaser will adopt a conservative approach - but still targets a record. The national marathon best stands at 2:12:22 to Gerhard Hartmann back in 1986. If Günther Weidlinger breaks it he will become the first ever Austrian to hold all national records from the steeple to the Marathon.

"No one would have believed me if I had said I just wanted to run 2:15" said Weidlinger. "If I break the Austrian record in my debut that would be perfect. As for my possible future marathon career, I hope to run below 2:10."¯

"I actually I like the training. Maybe I should have started two years earlier and targeted the Beijing Olympics - but I did run an Austrian record in the 10,000m last year."¯ Weidlinger completed the Prague Half Marathon on 28 March in 63:26.

Andrea Mayr, world champion mountain runner, also debuts in the women's race, and is likely to be a better bet for the podium than is Weidlinger in the men's event.

The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (56km) (more) was held in Cape Town on its traditional Easter Saturday date (12 April). John Wachira edged defending Champion Marco Mambo (ZIM) 3:10:06 to 3:10:52. Russian ultra twins Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva came in together in the women's race, winning by a huge (nearly 5km) margin from Zimbabwe's Sumukeliso Moyo.

The first annual Daegu Int'l Marathon (more) took place on 13 April over the same one-lap course intended for the 2011 IAAF World Championships Marathon. In Europe the fourth edition of the Alexander the Great Marathon (more) was held in Thessaloniki, in Greece. In both men's and women's races Ethiopian winners Dejene Gussie and Tola Fate finished 200m ahead of their Kenyan rivals Gilbert Kibiwot and Georgina Rono (2:12:38 to 2:13:14 and 2:36:54 to 2:37:39)

The North Pole Marathon (more) was held on 7 April, in temperatures as low as -37C around a loop course on pack ice in close proximity to the Geographic North Pole (shifting ice prevents precise location of the course). Russian extreme athlete Evgeniy Gorkov came home first in 4:27:05.

8 April: In an unprecedented move the organisers of the Vienna City Marathon have decided to issue elite invitations only to debut marathon runners in their event on 19 April. This applies to both men's and women's fields. Austria's biggest and most prestigious road race is expected to attract well over 26,000 runners. Around 7,000 of them will compete in the marathon. It is still possible to register online for all events at www.vienna-marathon.com.

"We had the idea of staging a "debutants-only" race a year ago, but we saved it for this year" said race director Wolfgang Konrad. "This is because Günther Weidlinger and Andrea Mayr decided to run their first marathon here, which has generated a lot of media interest in Austria. We wanted the race to be a different story this time. All the elite runners will start the race with similar feelings, and some uncertainty – probably much more like the thousands of fun runners who will be running their first marathon that day." Konrad stressed that this is a one-off arrangement and next year the Vienna City Marathon will return to normal procedures. Weidlinger has already been signed for 2010 as well.

Austria's steeple chase record holder Günther Weidlinger will meet another former steeple chaser in the race - the Sydney Olympic Champion Reuben Kosgei. Weidlinger also ran in that Olympic final, finishing 8th, his best result at a global championship. "It is great to run in a race with Reuben Kosgei again but it is the Austrian record of 2:12:22 that I am targeting" said Weidlinger.

Andrea Mayr may perhaps have a better chance to reach a podium finish in front of a home crowd. The 29 year-old has a successful mountain running background. In 2006 and 2008 she won the World Mountain Running Trophy. One of her strongest opponents will be Kenya's Esther Muthuku, who has a half marathon best of 1:12:28.

Some very fast times were posted in Europe on 5 April, with results from the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon (more) rearranging the all-time listings. Duncan Kibet just pipped James Kwambai as both were credited with 2:04:27. Abel Kirui followed in third place with 2:05:04. In the Paris Marathon (more) Vincent Kipruto ran a new course record 2:05:47, and the top six broke 2:07. Atsede Bayisa led the women home in 2:24:42 with three others going under 2:26.

Benjamin Kipyego led three of his compatriots to sub one-hour times in the Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon (more).

In South America, Anne Berwerwe sliced two minutes from the course record of the Sao Paulo Corpore Half Marathon (more). The Santiago Marathon (more) was held on the same day in the Chilean capital.

The 18th World Congress of AIMS opened on 2 April in Sao Paulo, prior to the running of the second event in the AIMS Children's Series 2009 on Friday 3 April in Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo before the Sao Paulo Half Marathon Corpore on 5 April.

The 17th World Congress of AIMS ended with business conducted on 4 April.
  • Carlos Moya (Lisbon Half Marathon) was returned unopposed as Vice President.
  • Dave Cundy (Canberra Marathon) and Gordon Rogers (Vancouver International Marathon) were re-elected as Board members.
  • Carlo Capalbo (Prague International Marathon) was elected as a Board member.

Hiroaki Chosa welcomes Carlos Capalbo as AIMS newest board member.
Hiroaki Chosa welcomes Carlos Capalbo as AIMS newest board member.

The vote to determine the venue for the 18th World Congress of AIMS went through three close rounds of voting as first Jungfrau Marathon, then Comrades Marathon and finally Prague Marathon were eliminated to leave the Athens Classic Marathon as the selected hosts. The Congress will take place on 28-30 October 2010 and will coincide with major celebrations of the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon. The 4th annual AIMS Marathon Symposium, held in the town of Marathon, will be scheduled on the final day.

Allan Steinfeld was made Honorary Vice-President of AIMS.


The 17th World Congress of AIMS opened on 2 April at the Mercure Hotel Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo. David Cytrynowicz, President of the Congress host organisation Corpore, and AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa welcomed delegates and Roberto Gesta de Melo, Chairman of the IAAF Road Running Commission and President of the Brazilian Athletic Federation.

AIMS Vice-President Paco Borao delivered a report on behalf of the AIMS Board detailing progress since the previous Congress was held in Xiamen, China two years before.

Apart from the continuing publication of Distance Running and the member Newsletters, AIMS has “fostered and promoted” distance running through the website, expo booths, Athlete of the Year and World Fastest Time awards, the AIMS Children’s Series and some entirely new initiatives such as the AIMS Marathon Symposium, the Marathon flame and the AIMS-Marathon Museum of Running. AIMS has worked closely with IAAF in the joint publication of Distance Running, in the administration of the international course measurement system and on the IAAF Road Running Commission. In furthering the exchange of experiences between members an undertaking was made to elicit best environmental practice among members as a contribution to the Green Project.

These activities have taken place against a background of a steadily increasing membership which stood at 271 at the end of 2008 (up from 239 since 2006) and very broad geographical spread, although membership is weakest in Africa. Solid support from commercial partners – above all ChampionChip, Asics and IAAF - has allowed the accumulation of reserves to the level of one year’s operating costs, and provides a valuable safety margin in uncertain times.

To better respond to uncertainty a programme of strategic overhaul has been pursued over last ten months through working groups addressing central themes impacting on the Association. These are in the areas of administration, membership, finance and technical matters.

Paco Borao stressed that the sporting and social role of the Association depends upon pursuing health and strength through ethical behaviour, fairness and friendship.

The second part of the opening session consisted of presentations by Jose Werneck, former race director of the Rio Marathon and founder member of AIMS, and by David Cytrynowicz, who reviewed the efforts of the host club in the wider context of running in Brazil. What most impressed members of the audience were the initiatives undertaken to boost female participation and to further social inclusion within our sport. Carlo Capalbo then explained the means by which Prague Marathon had become established in a country with no popular running tradition through becoming a spectacle and a celebration. Some examples of reaching “outside the box” were given, including a larger-than-life photographic exhibition which has dominated Prague International Airport for several months during the Czech Presidency of the European Union.

The session closed with some concluding remarks by Sr. Walter Feldman, Secretary of Tourism, Sport and Leisure for Sao Paulo.

Delegates reassembled for a celebratory dinner at 20.00 at which two presentations were made. The AIMS/ChampionChip Innovation Award was not presented as judges considered none of the seven applicants had fully met the criteria of the award, but a special contribution of $2000 was made to the Sahara Marathon in recognition and support of their project making medals from recycled materials.

The second award was made to Allan Steinfeld, founder member of AIMS and former race director of the New York City Marathon, in recognition of his dedication and commitment in service of AIMS from 1982-2009


Alan Steinfeld accepts award from AIMS Director Hiroaki Chosa.

The second day of the AIMS Congress, 3 April, opened with an interactive session moderated by Hugh Jones which focused on boosting participation among four defined groups: female runners, elite runners, tourist runners and charity runners. Each discussion group reported back to the full meeting with their findings.
The official Congress photograph was taken during the coffee break by Marathon-Photos.com.


17th World Congress of AIMS (Click on photo to enlarge)

Florian Batschi, a computer scientist with strong connections to the running market, then presented his thoughts on how race organisers could make best use of their websites. He stressed the “Web2” aspects of interaction between users including measures to meet heaviest periods of usage, online surveys and live streams.

Dr William Roberts then considered medical and liability issues for race organisers. He identified the three most common marathon medical hazards as cardiac arrest, exertional heatstroke and exercise associated hyponatremia. He then outlined how these conditions could be recognised and treated, stressing the need to prescribe specific race day arrangements within an explicit plan. In this way race organisers could be seen to have done as much as possible to reduce the risk of these incidents occurring.

Many Congress delegates attended the AIMS Children’s races held during the afternoon in nearby Ibirapuera park, where AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa acted as official starter.

Official business was conducted on the final day of Congress, 4 April. (see item above).

4 April 2009: Registration for the 34th Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) surpassed 21,000 runners in just two days.  The MCM will continue to register runners until 30,000 entries are filled.  In 2008, registration was closed in five days. Suzanne Barron of Washington, DC was the first of 5,474 runners, or nearly 100 runners per minute, registered in the opening hour on 1 April. Currently, the MCM field includes runners from all 50 states.  The male-to-female ratio is 56% to 44%.  More than one third of the runners are signed up to participate in their first marathon.
Rolling registration for the 25 October 2009 event is available at www.marinemarathon.com.  The $88 registration fee includes bib, mock neck participant shirt, free virtual trainer, goodie bag, ChronoTrack timing tag with ten split locations, race program, shuttle service, free race day parking, on-course and post-race hospitality, and waiver of online processing charges.

The MCM is the fifth largest marathon in the US and tenth in the world.

The inaugural MCM Run to Register (R2R) 10K attracted the largest field yet in the two-year history of the MCM Event Series. All 1,102 R2R finishers received guaranteed early access to register for the 34th Marine Corps Marathon to be held on 25 October 2009, four days before registration opens to the public on Wednesday 1 April at 12.00 local time (17.00GMT).

Entry is limited to 30,000 participants and is expected to fill up very quickly. The online registration process at www.marinemarathon.com includes accepting a waiver, completing the form, clicking through payment ($88) and receiving a confirmation email. (The registration fee includes bib, mock neck participant shirt, virtual trainer, goodie bag, ChronoTrack timing tag with ten split locations, race program, shuttle service, free race day parking, on-course and post-race hospitality, and waiver of online processing charges.)

The Marine Corps Marathon course showcases the legendary landmarks of the US capital as it travels throughout Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia.

The 37th IAAF World Cross-Country Championships (more) in Amman (JOR) on 28 March saw Genzebe Dibaba retain her junior women's title and the Ethiopians just pip Kenya (on equal points) to the team title. Ayele Abshiro improved from his silver of last year to take the junior men's title but Kenya extended their run to 11 consecutive team victories.
Ayele Abshiro improved from his silver of last year to take the junior men's title but Kenya extended their run to 11 consecutive team victories. Linet Masai just failed to hold off teammate Florence Kiplagat in the senior women's race as
Kiplagat took Kenya's first individual title since 1994.  Between them they led Kenya to their first team title since 2001. Eritrea's Zersenay Tadesse led for much of the senior men's race, but Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam swept past to win. Like in the junior women's race, Ethiopia and Kenya finished with equal team tallies, but this time it was Kenya's final scorer who was better placed, and tipped the balance their way.

On the same day the Hervis Prague Half Marathon (more) celebrated its 11th edition with some keen competition on the streets of the Czech capital, which resulted in new course records being set by Nicholas Kipruto (1:00:07) and Rose Kosgei (1:09:03).

There were three more half marathons in Europe on 29 March: The GSO Limassol Half Marathon (more) in Cyprus, the Poznan Half Marathon (more) in Poland, and the Novi Sad NIS Half Marathon (more) in Serbia. Runners went the full distance in the Slovak capital in the Bratislava City Marathon (more) and in the Treviso Marathon (more) in Northern Italy, where Migidio Bourifa (2:14:14) and Laura Giordano (2:35:36) took the honours.

Rounding off action for the day the Panama International Half Marathon (more) was run on a flat, scenic course along the Pacific coastline.


A strong wind battled runners at the Tokyo Marathon (more) on 22 March where 65 year old Akinori Kusuda claims to have set a world record by completing his 52nd marathon in as many days. Over in Europe Kenya's Benjamin Kiptoo Kolum set a course record at the Rome Marathon (more) with a time of 2:07:17, while the Monaco Marathon (more) was held along the Mediterranean corniche road, which is a little too testing for swiftness. World record ambitions faded for winner Martin Lel at the EDP Half Marathon of Lisbon (more) as strong winds slowed the pace in the last half of the race. 3000 Runners participated in the 17th Jerusalem Half Marathon (more) on 26 March.

19 March 2009: Constantina Dita has been presented with the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award by AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa at a ceremony held in Tokyo prior to the Tokyo Marathon on 22 March, at which she is guest of honour and will compete in the associated 10km event.

Constantina Dita won the gold medal for the marathon at the Beijing Olympics last August, becoming the oldest Olympic marathon champion ever at the age of 38 years and 7 months.
Hiroaki Chosa presents the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award to Constantina Dita at a ceremony held in Tokyo
Presenting the "Golden Shoe" award Hiroaki Chosa commented: "Constantina Dita proved at the Olympics that she is an athlete of the highest calibre, and it is my pleasure to present her with this prestigious award on behalf of 270 members of AIMS from around the globe."¯

Constantina Dita said: "It is fantastic to join a list of such esteemed winners of this award. I would like to say thank you to everyone involved".

Cool conditions in the Seoul Marathon (more) on 15 March resulted in some fast winning times, as Moses Arusei ran 2:07:54 and Roba Tola 2:25:37 to take the titles. On the same day at the other end of the earth the Standard Chartered Stanley Marathon (more) (in the South Atlantic dependency of the Falkland Islands) offered tough conditions ("gradients, wind and the threat of bad weather") in the world's most southerly certified marathon.

On 9 March participants in the 100km del Sahara (more) stage race in south west Tunisia tackled the 22km long first leg, with stages of 42km,18km and 21km following on consecutive days. On 10 March, in complete climatic contrast, the Antarctica Marathon (more) was run on King George Island.


Despite the difficult political and economic conditions faced in Zimbabwe South African tour operators and race promoters Wildfrontiers have agreed to stage the Victoria Falls Marathon again on 23 August this year in partnership with Wild Horizons and Safari Par Excellence, Zimbabwe. The organisers seek to tap into the huge goodwill that exists among potential participants and sponsors towards the resilient people of Zimbabwe.
 
The race crosses into Zambia and back (over the Victoria Falls bridge) and is run in a National Park and through a World Heritage Site of outstanding scenic beauty, It was held in 2006 and 2007 as an international event, offering Marathon, Half Marathon and a fun run. The race has previously attracted runners from 24 countries spread worldwide and is televised Africa-wide and in the US. What creates the interest? Maybe the elephants at the water points or the game on the race route, or perhaps the post race party on the banks of the Zambezi River.
 
The concept of the 2009 event is " Come and Run in a New Zimbabwe". The current health crises in Zimbabwe cannot be ignored, and organisers plan to use the event to raise money for an approved local community health program and for cholera treatment and education purposes . This concept will be continued in future events, possibly with different causes (past events have supported Aids orphans in the Falls, etc).

Yoshiko Fujinaga won the Nagoya Women's International Marathon (more) on 8 March in 2:28:13 to take her place in the Japanese team for the World Championships. Not far away on the same day the Kyoto City Half Marathon (more) was held, but at the opposite end of Asia the 4th International Oeger Antalya Marathon (more) took place along the shores of Turkey's Mediterranean coast with victories for Kenya's John Kioko (2:18:00) and Russia's Nadezda Semiletova (2:44:19). In Italy the Ferraramarathon (more) and the Lago Maggiore Half Marathon (more) were held in particularly attractive town and country settings respectively. Parisians prepared themselves for the Marathon in four weeks' time in the Semi Marathon de Paris (more). Across the Atlantic the day's action was rounded off with the Sao Paulo International Half Marathon (more) in Brazil.

Back in 1985 4,300 runners took part in the Dam tot Damloop 10 mile event from Amsterdam Central under the Ij Tunnel to the town of Zaandam. For the 25th edition on 20 September 2009 the organisers Le Champion will stage a preview race the night before, allowing an extra 25000 runners into the event to make a grand total of 60,000 participants. The Dam to Damloop consequently becomes one of the biggest running events in the world this year. Besides the Dam tot Damloop, the Dam tot Dam Walk and the Dam tot Dam CycleClassic are also on the programme.
Back in 1985 4,300 runners took part in the Dam tot Damloop 10 mile event
"A quarter century of the Dam tot Damloop must be celebrated in a big way"¯, said event manager Jan Willem Mijderwijk. "What is nicer than doing that with more runners than ever before?"¯ Further growth on the Sunday has not been possible for years, and the limit of 35,000 participants was reached after three days.
There had to be an additional day and that came in the form of Dam tot Dam by night, without question the climax of the jubilee. For once only participants of the 10 miler will be able to complete the Dam to Dam Run on Saturday night. Dam tot Damloop
"The atmosphere will be completely different to the traditional programme on Sunday"¯ said Mijderwijk. The competition programme, which this year comprises a stronger group of top athletes than usual, confines itself, together with the 4 Mile and the Mini Dam to Dam Run to Sunday. The Saturday night event will be a recreational 10 Mile Run for individuals and business teams. Every participant will receive a 176 page 25th anniversary souvenir book.

It is expected that the available places for the Sunday programme will be sold out within days. Entries will be possible from 1 April 2009 on www.damloop.nl.

Paul Tergat scored his third career win at the Lake Biwa Marathon (more) on 1 March, with a relatively slow 2:10:22. Back in East Africa, the Kilimanjaro Marathon (more) was run in Tanzania. Paul Tergat scored his third career win at the Lake Biwa Marathon
The Marato de Barcelona (more) was the only European race of the day, but across the Atlantic the World's Best 10km (more) showcased top talent at that distance on its double crossing of the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, followed by the Lala Marathon (more) in Mexico.

On 22 February the Guiseppe Verdi Marathon (more) was run from Salsomaggiore to Busseto, west of Parma in Italy, followed by the Maraton Popular de Valencia (more) and the Maraton Ciudad de Sevilla (more), where both men's and women's course records were broken.

Next day, on 23 February, the Sahara Marathon (more) took place among the Sahrawi refugee camps near Tindouf in the south-west of Algeria. The race is held in conjunction with the first event in the AIMS Children's Series 2009.

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon (more), held in UAE on 20 February, saw five men break the hour and ten women run under 70 minutes, comprehensively re-writing the list of world leading times. Only a strong wind seemed to stop Patrick Makau from breaking the World Half Marathon record, as he finished in a course record 58:52, 17 seconds short of Sammy Wanjiru's two-year old world record and second fastest ever.

Makau had passed through 15km in 41:30 but at that stage Deriba Merga led him by a second - enough to equal Felix Limo's existing record of 41:29 set in Nijmegen (NED) on 11 November 2001.

Paul Tergat heads an illustrious list of entrants for the Lake Biwa Marathon on 1 March. The ex-world record holder (2:04:55 in Berlin, 2003) makes a rare appearance in a field which includes Jose Rios (ESP) whose personal best of 2:07:42 dates from the 2004 Lake Biwa event, and (apart from winner Mubarak Shami) many of the top finishers from last year, including Yared Asmeron (ERI, 2:08:34), Yuzo Onishi (2:08:54) and Tomoya Shimizu (2:09:23).

The Egyptian Marathon (more) was held in Luxor, on 13 February 2009, followed two days later by the Ohme-Hochi 30km (more) race in Japan, won by Hirokatsu Kuosaki in 1:32:50 and Tomo Yokoyama in 1:47:01

Danny Hughes, the dynamic President of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) and a leading light in the mountain running movement for the last 25 years, died from a heart attack on 9 February 2009.

He was a founding member of the International Committee of Mountain Running (ICMR) in 1984 and later became the organisation's first General Secretary.

Following the death of ICMR President Angelo De Biasi Danny Hughes took the helm and guided the organisation into its new existence as the WMRA.

Born in 1936 Danny was an engineer by profession and lived on the edge of England's picturesque Lake District, which in September will host the first Commonwealth Championship in mountain running - an event Danny was instrumental in bringing to the calendar. He will be sadly missed by all his colleagues and friends, and the worldwide community of mountain runners.

WMRA President Danny Hughes
WMRA President Danny Hughes passes at 72

There will be a cremation at Whitehaven in the UK on Tuesday 17 February at 10.30 for family and close friends, followed by a service of Thanksgiving and Celebration in Gosforth Church at 12.00.

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (more), held on 8 February, was won by Kenyans Cyprian Kiagora (2:14:57) and Winifrida Kwamboka (2:41:25), but seven nationalities were represented among the top-10 men to finish, and seven among the top-10 women.

In a bad moment for the world economy there is no downturn in solidarity with the Saharawi people.
 
Among the record entry for this year's Sahara Marathon on 23 February former World Champion Martin Fiz will participate, emulating his friend, two-time World Champion Abel Anton, who took part in the 2007 edition. This year the race hosts runners from Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Panama, Puerto Rico, Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden...

The 2009 schedule is slightly different in order to integrate the Dakhla camp within the Marathon programme. Overseas runners will travel to Dakhla on Tuesday morning, sleep there two nights and come back to Smara on Thursday morning. The children's race will take place in Dakhla, 3 hours by car from Smara.

Many other projects have sprouted around the Marathon. This year a group of physically and mentally handicapped from Spain will take part in the marathon.

AIMS action on the first weekend in February comprised marathon and half marathon events in Japan. The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon (more) and the Kagama-Marugame Half Marathon (more) were both run on 1 February. In the Beppu-Oita Marathon Morocco's Adil Anani ran a personal best of 2:10:15 to snatch victory from Seiji Kobayashi (2:10:38) and marathon debutant Keita Akiba (2:10:53).

28 January 2009: A new world best is a distinct possibility at the third edition of the RAK Half Marathon on 20 February. The world's top winter half marathon has a total of 13 men in the field who have broken the still much respected one hour barrier. Just two years ago, in the inaugural staging of the event, Kenya's now Olympic Marathon Champion Samuel Wanjiru raced to a 58:53 clocking, then a world best and still the second fastest time in history. This year the course has been adjusted slightly to make it faster still and the prize money increased yet further. After winning in 59:35 with a dip for the line in the 2008 event, 23 year-old Patrick Makau (KEN) is back to defend his title. He is up against Deriba Merga (ETH) who won the Delhi Half Marathon in 59:15, equal fastest of 2008 and Wilson Kipsang (KEN), with 59:16 for second in Delhi.

The women's race features Kenya's 22-year old Philes Ongori, world's fastest in 2008 with 67:57. Nine other starters have bests of under 70 minutes, including Aselefech Mergia (ETH), who won the Delhi Half Marathon in 68:17. Kenya's evergreen Edith Masai, at 41 years old is the fastest in the field, her 67:16 best coming just two years ago in Berlin.

Yoko Shibui finally got back to her winning ways in the 28th Osaka Ladies International Marathon (more) on 25 January, finishing in 2:23:42, two minutes ahead of debutante Yukiko Akaba. Half marathon specialist Peninah Arusei, also in her marathon debut, dropped out at 25km.

On the same day the 6th edition of the Khon Kaen International (more) Marathon took place in Northern Thailand, followed several hours later by the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Marathon (more) (MAR) in which 5000 participants enjoyed a scenic course which skirts the walls of the ancient city.

An ocean and a continent further west, bordering on the Pacific, the Cabo Half Marathon (more) was run in the Mexican city of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California. And halfway across the Pacific, the inaugural edition of the Maui Oceanfront International Marathon (more) rounds off AIMS action for the day.

20 January 2009: The inaugural Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, to be run on 28 June 2009, follows in the footsteps of eight successful Standard Chartered Marathons spanning four continents, the race offers the biggest prize money ever for a marathon in Malaysia (RM 350,000) with a guaranteed prize pool for Malaysian runners.

Minister of Youth and Sports YB Dato'Sri Ismail Sabri commented: "A world-class international race such as the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 fosters the spirit of excellence not just among professional athletes but among all Malaysians, from the youngest to the oldest."¯
Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon
Race promoters Octagon, who are specialists in sporting events worldwide, aim to attract 12,500 participants and to make the Marathon a sustainable one by "greening"¯ it and through the charity element.

The race will start from Merdeka Square and the route will showcase some of the capital's most famous landmarks, making it an ideal attraction for tourists and out-of-towners.

Julian Wynter, CEO of title sponsors Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad said "we are very excited to add KL to the Standard Chartered series of marathons. In all eight countries where we sponsor Marathons, each has created a real buzz amongst the marathon-running community globally and we know that Standard Chartered KL Marathon will be no exception."

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (more) was run on 18 January On the same day the China Coast Marathon (more) was held for the 29th time in the New Territories of Hong Kong on a tough course around Hong Kong's second largest reservoir.

On 20 January the Corrida de Sao Sebastiao 10km (more) was run in Rio de Janeiro (an associated children's race was held on 18 January).


18 January: Baxter's Loch Ness Marathon celebrates Scotland's Year of Homecoming with two special events added to this year's Festival. Runners are invited to "Run Home to Scotland" in 2009 with the Run Home Breakfast Run and the Run Home Clan Challenge:
  • The Clan Challenge is open to anyone with a claim to a Scottish clan. Represent your Clan (and wear some tartan) in the most fun a Battle of the Clans has been in centuries. All runners in the Baxter's Loch Ness Marathon and Baxter's River Ness 10K will have the option to register allegiance to their clan when entering. The results of the 2009 Clan Challenge will be based on numbers of runners from each clan who successfully complete either event.
     
  • The Run Home Breakfast Run takes place on 3 October and is open to all runners, supporters, spectators, local residents – in fact anyone wanting to be part of the 2009 Baxter's Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running. It follows a scenic 5km route along the River Ness and the Caledonian Canal and is followed by a hearty Highland breakfast buffet.

Haile Gebrselassie won the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon (more) on 16 January in a time of 2:05:29, 90 seconds adrift of his world record set in Berlin last September. He went through half way in a planned 61:45 but fell off record schedule after 30km as conditions deteriorated. A competitive women's race was won by Bizunesh Bekele in 2:24:03, ahead of marathon debutante Atsede Habtamu (2:25:17)

The Osaka International Ladies' Marathon stages two eagerly awaited marathon debuts from accomplished half marathon runners. Yukiko Akaba is a new Japanese prospect who ran 1:08:11 for the half last year. Among the international field Peninah Arusei tackles her first full marathon after running 1:08:22 and 1:08:20 in the latter stages of 2008. Former multiple champion Lidia Simon is also among the foreign contingent, while Yoko Shibui heads the domestic contenders.

John Kelai goes for a hat-trick of victories in the sixth edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on 18 January. He will face a stiff challenge from fellow Kenyan Japhet Kosgei , a 2:07 performer at his best. Kosgei failed to finish the race in 2008 but returned to form with a classy 2:09 in the autumn. French/Kenyan Simno Munyutu warmed up for Mumbai by pacing the first 25km of the Xiamen Marathon at 2:08 pace. Ukrainian Olexandr Kuzin should also figure, with a best time of 2:07. The first 2:10 marathon to be run on Indian soil is a distinct possibility.

Margaret Okayo, former winner in London and New York makes Mumbai her comeback. After some difficult years she is approaching the form that she was in when she ran her 2:25 personal best. Irina Permitina of Russia and Leila Aman from Ethiopia both return from maternity leave. The diminutive 3-time winner Mulu Seboka is not defending, but her equally diminutive countrywoman Shitaye Gemechu (2-26) will likely lead the Ethiopian challenge.

In the 32nd Tiberias Marathon (more) on 8 January Jackson Kipkoech produced a spectacularly fast time of 2:08:07 to lead the short ranking list for 2009, overtaking Samuel Muturi's winning time of 2:08:51 set in the Xiamen Marathon on 5 January.

One year after the biggest payday of her athletics career, Ethiopia’s Berhane Adere returns to Dubai to defend her title in the 2009 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on 16 January. World record holder Haile Gebrselassie also returns to defend the title he won last year with the second (now third) fastest time ever run, 2:04:52

Berhane Adere

Last year 35-year old Adere took almost five minutes off the previous record with her 2:22:42 timing. She also won the biggest first place prize on the world marathon circuit, US$250,000. The injection of $1 million prize money by Dubai Holdings 18 months ago has rapidly elevated the Gulf race to one of the most attractive on the circuit.
Faing Adere will be fellow Ethiopians Bezenushe Bekele, who made one of the fastest marathon debuts in history when finishing second in Dubai last year in 2:23:09, and 2007 Dubai champion Askale Magarska who was third last year in 2:23:23.

Samuel Muturi set a new course record and a world leading time of 2:08:51 in the Xiamen International Marathon (more) on 3 January. The women's winning time was seven minutes slower than a year ago. The Kinmen Marathon (more) also took places just across the straits on Chinese Taipei. Action stays focused around the South China Sea for the Mizuno Hong Kong Half Marathon Championships on 4 January, which sold out its 2300 capacity entry a month before.