The world running organisation the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) is delighted to announce Eliud Kipchoge and Mare Dibaba as the male and female winners of the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award for 2015, as voted for by the AIMS Members, made up of over 390 of the world’s leading and most prestigious distance races from over 108 countries and territories.

Eliud Kipchoge and Mare Dibaba’s outstanding achievements were given global recognition tonight (Friday 6 November 2015) at the AIMS Best Marathon Runner’(BMR) Award Gala in Athens, Greece.

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya), 31, has had an impressive year, winning three of the biggest marathon events in the past 12 months. In October 2014 he won the Chicago Marathon in2:04:11. Six months later, in April 2015 he won the London Marathon in a time of 2:04:42before going on to set a world leading time of the year in winning the Berlin Marathon in September in a time of 2:04:00, in doing so beating his personal best by 5 seconds.

Mare Dibaba (Ethiopia), 26, has enjoyed a medal laden year. In October 2014 she finished second in the Chicago Marathon in 2:25:37. She would go one better by winning the Xiamen Marathon in January 2015 in a time of 2:19:15. She would take this form into the World Championships in Athletics in Beijing where she would take home gold in a time of 2:27:35.

Eliud Kipchoge comments: “It is very special for me to have won the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award. I am very proud of my achievements this year and this award reflects that. I am honoured to receive a truly global award voted for by the AIMS members, over 390 races around the world. I would like to thank AIMS and their sponsors for their recognition of my achievements.”

Mare Dibaba comments: “It is incredibly special for me to receive this prestigious award. It makes it extra special that I have received it in the spiritual home of the marathon in Greece. I am well aware of the 2,500 year history of the marathon and I am delighted to feel a small part of it. I would like to thank AIMS for recognising my achievements.”

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “I am delighted that AIMS 390 races from over 108 countries have recognised the achievements of these very impressive athletes in the spiritual home of the Marathon Movement, Athens. Their accomplishments over the past year make them deserving winners of these awards. They are an inspiration to all the runners around the world.”

There were several other awards presented at the Best Marathon Runner Award Gala. The awards and winners are as follows:

AIMS Green Award
The Chevron Houston Marathon received the ‘AIMS Green Award’ for 2015 in recognition of their year round efforts towards “Going Green”. The Chevron Houston Marathon closely follows the Council for Responsible Sport’s certification standards. These efforts include a senior manager overseeing all sustainability goals and a “Green Committee” formed to work towards attaining them.

Brant Kotch, Race Director of the Chevron Houston Marathon comments: “We are delighted and very proud to receive this award. We have worked very hard towards our sustainability goals and to receive recognition from an organisation such as AIMS means a lot. We would like to thank AIMS, their Members and Sponsors for recognising us with this award.”

AIMS Social Award
The ‘AIMS Social Award’ for 2015 was presented to the Maratón Internacional Lala for their work raising money for children from low income areas who need dental surgery. In 2015 money was raised which funded 50 surgeries for children with severe dental problems.

Luis Rey Delgado Garcia, Race Director of the Maratón Internacional Lala comments: “We would like to thank AIMS, their sponsors and members for recognising us with the AIMS Social Award. We are very proud of our “Running for a Cause” ethos and the support of our runners raising money for worthy causes. We are delighted to receive this award in the home of the Marathon in Athens, Greece.”

AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award
The AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Frank Shorter in recognition of his significant role in the development of the Marathon Movement, particularly in the United States of America. Frank was the only American athlete to win two medals in the Olympic Marathon event. Frank won the Gold Medal in the Marathon at the 1972 Olympics in Munich before going on to win the Silver Medal in the Marathon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada.

Further to his achievements in athletics, Frank was a founding member of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and served as Chairman from 2000 to 2003. Due to recently undergoing surgery Frank’s son Alex received the award on his behalf at the BMR Gala.

Frank Shorter comments: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award from AIMS. I have watched with great pride as the Marathon Movement has grown and developed particularly since the 1970’s. I would like to extend my thanks to AIMS for choosing to recognise me in this way.”

About the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award Gala
The purpose of the BMR Award Gala is to:

I.             Announce and honour the best male and female Marathon runners of the year through the AIMS BEST MARATHON RUNNER (BMR) Award. The BMR Award replaces the AIMS World Athlete of the Year Award.
II.            Recognise and honour exceptional Marathon figureheads and personalities for their contribution to the development of the Marathon movement.
III.          Publicise and promote the best practice and initiatives of AIMS members (390+ race organisers) through the establishment of special environmental and social awards.
IV.          Enhance the role, programs and services of AIMS.
The event will be staged in Athens, Greece on Friday 6 November 2015.

About AIMS

AIMS is a member based organisation and since being established in 1982 has grown to a membership of more than 390 of the world’s leading distance races, from over 108 countries and territories. AIMS Members come from every continent on the planet and include the Athens Marathon, The Authentic formed on the legend of Pheidippides, the Greek soldier-runner who ran from the town of Marathon to Athens in 490 BC to announce the Persians had been defeated in the ‘Battle of Marathon’. Other AIMS members include many of the world’s greatest distance races in history such as the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York & Tokyo Marathons. The three key objectives of AIMS are:

1.            To foster and promote distance running throughout the world
2.            To work with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) on all matters relating to international road races.
3.            To exchange information, knowledge and expertise among members of the association

For further information on AIMS please visit: aimsworldrunning.org