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By GRR 0

The world running organisation the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) is delighted to declare the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon as the 2016 recipient of the AIMS Green Award.


The award, which is designed to reward best environmental practice in marathon events, will be presented to the successful Swedish race during the fourth annual AIMS Best Marathon Runner' (BMR) Awards Dinner Reception to be held in the birth place of the Marathon in Athens, Greece on 11 November 2016.
Candidates for the AIMS Green Award were judged upon a number of criteria including the impact the race has had on promoting environmentally friendly practices in marathon events, 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. 


The GöteborgsVarvet is the largest half marathon in the world with over 64,000 participants. They have been recognised for their long term goals in environmental protection and their track record of success in this area.

In 2012 and 2014 they received environmental diplomas and in May 2016 became one of the first races in the world to receive ISO 20121 certification. ISO 20121 is a management system standard that has been designed to help organizations in the events industry improve the sustainability of their event related activities, products and services.
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 the GöteborgsVarvet 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, the GöteborgsVarvet have implemented many other environmentally conscious projects such as serving vegan and vegetarian food, collecting waste, donating left over clothes to charity and many other projects. Looking to the future the race holds free running events throughout the year in 35 different cities in Sweden with 25,000 people participating. These events educate runners and prepare them for their race.
Paco Borao, President of AIMS commented: "I am very much looking forward to receiving the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon to the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Dinner Reception in the home of the Marathon in Athens, Greece. They 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 are honored to receive this award from such a renowned organization as AIMS. We were very proud to receive ISO 20121 certification earlier this year and to receive the AIMS Green Award is another great success. We would like to thank AIMS, their members and sponsors for recognizing us and our sustainable work with this great award."

About 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, 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**, over and above the creation of the AIMS Green Award.

About the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Dinner

The purpose of the BMR Awards Dinner is to:

  1. 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 (410+ 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 11 November 2016.
About AIMS
AIMS is a member based organisation and since being established in 1982 has grown to a membership of more than 410 of the world's leading distance races, from over 110 countries and territories. AIMS Members come from every continent on the planet. 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:  www.AIMS-worldrunning.org
About the 21st World Congress of AIMS – 10-12 November – Athens, Greece
The 21st World Congress of AIMS is being hosted by the ‘Athens Marathon, the Authentic' at the Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre Hotel between November 10 – 12. The weekend will include many events including the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards, the Athens Marathon Expo, the Athens Marathon Opening Ceremonies & Marathon Flame Lighting inside the Marathon Tomb. The weekend finishes with the 34th edition of the ‘Athens Marathon. The Authentic' on Sunday 13 November. The Congress will also mark the 120th anniversary of the Olympic Marathon race, held for the first time at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
The Congress is being co-organised by the ‘Athens Marathon, the Authentic' and the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), Greece's governing body for athletics.

The Congress will feature expert speakers including Dr Kevin Dutton, a research psychologist at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford will speak on the subject of "why do people cheat?", a topical subject in world sport at this time. Another speaker at the Congress is British former middle distance runner Diane Modahl, who was falsely accused of a doping offence in 1994. Diane will speak about her fight to clear her name which ultimately cost her two years of her career. Diane is a three-time medallist at the Commonwealth Games.
The Congress will also give race organisers the chance to promote their races to hundreds of international runners and visitors. AIMS Members can attend the Congress for free (accommodation charges apply), while non-Members can attend for a Congress Registration Fee of €270 in addition to accommodation charges. As part of this Congress Registration Fee, non-Members will receive one year's Associate Membership to AIMS (subject to meeting qualifying criteria). 
Both Members and non-Members should visit www.aimsworldcongress2016.gr to register.
To register for the Athens Marathon race, Congress participants should visit the official Congress website (www.aimsworldcongress2016.gr) where all information including how to participate in the race is detailed.
To apply for AIMS membership today click here. To find out more about AIMS and the benefits of being part of our organisation, please visit our website
** About the IOC Olympic Movement's Agenda 21
Agenda 21 was established in June 1992 at a meeting of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) as a plan of action for the introduction of sustainable development in the 21st century

In 1999 the Olympic Movement (OM) adopted Agenda 21: Sport for Sustainable Development. Based on the UNCED model, it lays down a clear pathway for sustainable development throughout the sporting world. Stakeholders include International and National Sports Federations, National Olympic Committees, Organising Committees of the Olympic Games (OCOGs) and Youth Olympic Games (YOCOGs), sponsors, government partners, the sporting goods industry, athletes, youth and the media.
The starting point for The Olympic Movement's Agenda 21 is that national approaches and policies on sports and environment should recognise that athletes need a healthy environment in which to train and perform at their optimum. In addition, the document embraces the three tenets of sustainable development:

Improving socioeconomic conditions, conservation and management of natural resources and strengthening the role of major groups such as women, young people and indigenous people.

Peter McLean
Association of International Marathons & Distance Races

author: GRR