Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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AIMS news

01 January 2004, 8am

Report on the development of distance running

AIMS in South America

by Domingo Amaison

Although South America does not have the furore of Europe and North America, things are on the move.

The classic road races of Guatemala, Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina are all growing. Brazil, in particular, is covering new competitions.

The famous Sao Silvestre New Year’s Eve race, that has been held for 79 years and is the oldest race in South America, is now in AIMS. It is considered as “the big door” for South American runners seeking entry into road races worldwide. Another example is the San Fernando 10km race, held in Punta del Este (Uruguay) since the end of the 1960s.

Buenos Aires had its 15° Half Marathon where, on a rainy day, almost 3000 ran – including 800 foreigners, the greatest number to date. Recognising the growing significance of road running, Buenos Aires’ City Goverment requested course changes so that the start and finish were in the city centre and the route went through such important thoroughfares as 9 de Julio, Av. de Mayo and past monuments like the Obelisk and Government’s House. Sometimes ambitious plans like these are not matched by the necessary traffic controls, but this is where AIMS race directors must bring these matters to the attention of the authorities as a condition of acceptance: the safety of runners is always paramount.

In 2003 Buenos Aires made great efforts to recover its Marathon, and the third Buenos Aires City Marathon was held on 2 November. It was a red letter day in the story of the marathons in Argentina, and particularly Buenos Aires, where every year it becomes more difficult to organise road races. At first it seemed incredible that the course would pass through such busy neighbourhoods – including the stadiums of the River Plate and Boca Jrs. It was success that made it believable, and helps to erase the setbacks suffered in road racing over the last 25 years.

We are already working for the 2004. On 10 October 2004, Buenos Aires will have a marathon which will be again part of the AIMS circuit.

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