29 October 2019, 12pm
The Award is given in recognition of excellence in environmental practice and will be presented during the prestigious AIMS ‘Best Marathon Runner’ (BMR) Awards Gala to be held in the birthplace of the Marathon in Athens, Greece on Friday 8 November 2019.
Candidates for the AIMS Green Award are judged, among other criteria, on how the race promotes environmentally friendly practices, how volunteers contribute to the success of the event and how the race educates younger generations about the benefits of sport and environmental protection.
The two other races shortlisted by the judges were the Marine Corps Marathon (USA) – 2nd, and the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris (France) – 3rd.
The Xiamen Marathon was founded in 2003 and has been rated as an ‘IAAF Gold Label Event’ for 12 straight years. The race organisers are demonstrating significant effort regarding climate change, waste reduction and environmental awareness raising. The start and finish of the race is Xiamen International Convention and Exhibition Center accessible by many public transport options which are promoted by the race. Free shuttle buses are provided to runners by the race while shared bicycle parking is provided. In 2019, over 40 thousand people took advantage of public transport options.
The race aimed to create the first ‘zero pollution’ marathon event in China by organising volunteers to collect litter from the course of the marathon and categorise it for recycling. In 2019 the race recycled 16.15 tons of plastic bottles and paper cups and cleaned up six tons of plastic from the course.
Since 2015, the Xiamen Marathon have donated over 130 thousand saplings to be planted, creating the “Xiamen Forest of Love” in cooperation with the project ‘Million Forest’ run by China Green Foundation.
Ruan Dunliang, Vice President of the Xiamen Marathon comments: “We are very proud to be recognised with this very prestigious award by AIMS. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. From the year 2020, we will advocate Car-free Day on the race day. Meanwhile, we will continue to build ‘Xiamen Marathon Forest of Love’ and promote the plan of UNEP for cleaning the ocean to reduce environmental pollution. We look forward to visiting the home of the Marathon in Athens to receive the award.”
Paco Borao, President of AIMS: “I am looking forward to welcoming the Xiamen Marathon to Athens for the Best Marathon Runner Gala on behalf of AIMS Members, Partners and Sponsors. All our Members can look to their example for inspiration in how to host a sustainable event. We would like to thank and congratulate all the member races that submitted their candidateship for the AIMS Green Award.”
AIMS has been honouring races with the AIMS Green Award that have shown exceptional work in this area since 2013. However, AIMS intention is not only to honour ‘environmental initiatives’ of its members, but also to help them improve their races, in terms of good environmental practices during their marathon events. To this end, AIMS in collaboration with the Institute Team for the World Environmental Alliance 2004+, a scientific non-governmental not-for-profit organization headed by Mr. George Kazantzopoulos, Chairman of the AIMS Sustainability Commission and former Member of the IOC Sport & Environment Commission, has established a set of environmental guidelines, in line with the IOC Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, over and above the creation of the AIMS Green Award.
Previous Recipients of the AIMS Green Award
2013 – SuisseGas Milano Marathon (Italy)
2014 – BMW Frankfurt Marathon (Germany)
2015 – Chevron Houston Marathon (USA)
2016 – GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon (Sweden)
2017 – Sanlam Cape Town Marathon (South Africa)
2018 – SwissCityMarathon-Lucerne (Switzerland)