Olympic Gold medalists Eliud Kipchoge and Jemimah Sumgong have been named the male and female winners of the Best Marathon Runner Award for 2016 by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
Kipchoge and Sumgong were selected on behalf of AIMS by a panel of 410 experts of the world’s leading distance races from over 110 countries and territories.
Their achievements over the past year will be recognised at the fourth annual AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Dinner Reception in Athens, Greece, on 11 November 2016.
This is the second consecutive year that Kipchoge, 31, will receive the award. In April he won the London Marathon for the second straight time, setting a new course record of 2:03:05. He then followed that up by winning his first – and Kenya’s second – Olympic gold medal in the marathon, in a time of 2:08:44.
Sumgong, 31, also enjoyed a very impressive year. Despite falling, she recovered to win the London Marathon in April in 2:22:58. She then travelled to Rio where she captured Kenya’s first gold medal in the women’s marathon, with a time of 2:24:04.
“I am delighted to receive this award for the second year in a row,” Kichoge said. “I really enjoyed receiving the Best Marathon Runner Award last year in Athens and I am very pleased to have been recognised by AIMS and their members from around the world again. It is a great honour to receive this award.”
“It is so special for me to be recognised in this way by AIMS, their members and sponsors” Sumgong said. “I would like to thank them for awarding me in recognition of my achievements this year. I have been delighted with my form this year and this is a wonderful way to have my efforts recognised by the people at the top of organising my sport at the highest level.”
“Jemima and Eliud are clearly the outstanding performers of our sport in 2016,” said AIMS President Paco Borao.
“It will be our great pleasure to recognise them here in such a special location for all marathon runners, where their own rightful place of history making in the modern day is recorded for all time alongside over 2,500 years of marathon history in the home of the marathon Athens, Greece. They will be warmly recognised by our members at our Congress here in Athens next month.”
The awards reception, held in conjunction with the 21st AIMS Congress, will also see distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie recognised with the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, the AIMS Green Award and AIMS Social Award will be given to AIMS members who have demonstrated best practice in event organisation.