Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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AIMS Green Award

02 November 2016, 12pm

Göteborg and Munich receive Green and Social awards

Green Award and Social Award

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At the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards reception, part of the 21st World Congress of AIMS, further awards will be made to one individual for Lifetime Achievement and to one AIMS member race for adherence to eco-friendly policies (the Green Award) and to one AIMS member race for commitment to supporting social causes through their race (the Social Award).

The Green Award, which is designed to reward best environmental practice in marathon events, will be presented to the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon. Candidates for the Award were judged upon criteria including promoting environmentally friendly practices, how volunteers contribute to the success of the project and the ability for the race to educate younger generations about the benefits of sport and environmental protection. The two other shortlisted races were the Maratón de la Ciudad de Mexico and the SwissCityMarathon from Lucerne, Switzerland.

GöteborgsVarvet is the largest half marathon in the world with over 64,000 participants. For their 2016 race they ensured that sustainability was at the forefront of their social media, press releases and around the event. In an effort to tackle CO2 emissions they provided free public transport for all participants for three days during the week of the race. 75% of runners used this offer to collect their numbers and travel to and from the event. In addition to these efforts, GöteborgsVarvet have implemented many other environmentally conscious projects such as serving vegan and vegetarian food, collecting waste, donating left over clothes to charity.

Paco Borao, President of AIMS commented: “GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon have shown a long term commitment to green policies and it is my honour to see them recognised in this way.”

Bo Edsberger, Race Director of the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon comments: “We were very proud to receive ISO 20121 certification earlier this year and to receive the AIMS Green Award is another great success.”

The Social Award, which highlights races working towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, will be presented to the Munich Marathon. The eight Millennium Development Goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, combatting disease, decreasing child mortality, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and ensuring environmental stability.

Starting in 2015, the Munich Marathon have been working on a project called ‘Laufend integrieren’, which can be translated as ‘ongoing integration’ or even ‘running integration’. With large numbers of refugees arriving in Munich from the recent humanitarian crisis the organisers of the Munich Marathon decided to use their event to help refugees integrate into German culture.

Working with the social authority of the City of Munich running groups were set up for both Munich runners and refugees. These groups met once a week from August to October in the build-up to the race with 32 refugees participating in the Marathon.

In addition, over 100 refugees were engaged around the race weekend preparing the race packages, handing them out and stewarding the route. Bracelets branded with ‘Laufend integrieren’ were sold at the sports expo. The money raised from the bracelets in addition to donations from sponsors meant the Munich Marathon donated €30,000 to the social authority for Munich to distribute as they see fit. Munich Marathon organisers plan to continue these efforts through to the next race in 2017.

Paco Borao, President of AIMS comments: “Munich Marathon’s initiative is a great example of how running events can help tackle the great challenges of our time, in this case the humanitarian challenge of millions of refugees seeking safety within Europe.”

Gernot Weigl, Race Director of the Munich Marathon comments: “the response to our initiative from our new friends from abroad and the local people has been moving. This project has helped people understand the massive social challenges that many of the people arriving in Germany have had to face as they seek a new, safer life.”

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