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Kipsang, Kiplagat win AIMS Award

AIMS Runner of the Year

Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat win AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year Award

Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat have been voted the AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year. The athletes from Kenya were announced as winners at a gala in Athens on Friday evening. Each of the more than 350 members of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) had one vote to determine the winner.

“It was time for AIMS to recognize the achievements of the elite athletes. That is why we decided to introduce the AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year Award,” explained Paco Borao, the President of the Association. “Next year the gala will again be staged in Athens and we expect it to stay here in future. It is the right place for such an event and the right timing with the Athens Classic Marathon to be staged on Sunday.” Performances over the past twelve months from October 2012 to September 2013 were taken into account for the award.

Wilson Kipsang broke the world record in the Berlin Marathon at the end of September with a time of 2:03:23. Earlier in the year the 31 year-old placed fifth in the London Marathon. “I had no idea who would win this. Now I am very happy and proud” said Wilson Kipsang. “This award should become an inspiration for young athletes – not only in my home country but in the whole world.”

34 year-old Edna Kiplagat became the first woman to retain a World Marathon title at the championships in Moscow in August. In April she finished second in the London Marathon with 2:21:32. “Winning the AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year award is very special for me. It is an honour to be selected from all of the best runners in the whole world,” said Edna Kiplagat.

World Champion Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) and London Marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) were the runners-up in the award. They were also honoured on stage during the gala.

It was also the first time that AIMS presented a former world-class runner with the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award. Ingrid Kristiansen (Norway), one of the greatest women long distance runners ever and the former world marathon record holder (2:21:06), became the first recipient of this award. Additional awards were received by the organisers of the Milan Marathon (AIMS Green Award) and the Great Ethiopian Run (AIMS Social Award).

The 31st edition of the Athens Classic Marathon will take place on Sunday with a record number of more than 11,000 runners.