Gala dinner for shared birthday

Athens is to host a gala dinner in November, celebrating the combined 30th anniversary of Athens Classic Marathon and AIMS, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.


Marathon organiser SEGAS and AIMS intend to honour those who have worked towards the success of the running movement, including athletes, social and sporting authorities, race organisers, sponsors, the IAAF (International Amateur Athletics Federation) and the more than 350 AIMS member races.

Athens, the city where the legend of the marathon race had its origins, now houses the AIMS headquarters. 


AIMS also plans to host its 6th symposium at the town of Marathon, the day before the Classic Marathon race.  This year’s theme is Service Levels and Quality Control at a Marathon Event.

The symposium aims to encourage close co-operation and exchange of views on issues of mutual interest, which will assist organisers in their constant efforts to improve their races.  Discussing current issues regarding the organisation of a successful marathon event also raises significant symbolism relating to world peace, Olympic ideals and fair play.




Enter a Canadian running event and chances are you’ll be welcomed at a Friendship Run the day before your race.


This is usually a gentle 3km morning jog, followed by a light breakfast.  It’s free, untimed and…well… friendly. 


Friendship Runs are the brainchild of Canadian running man John Stanton.  He uses them to introduce the main event and the “Pace Bunnies” who’ll keep their eye on the race-day clock so that runners don’t have to.  

All pace bunnies are capable of running faster times but give up their race to enable others to reach their goals – and it’s amazing to see how accurately they keep to their predicted finish times.  They’re easily identified by their rabbit ears and finish-time signs.


John started running in the 1980s to improve his own health. He now devotes his life to helping others improve theirs and is the author of eight running books.


He founded The Running Room in 1984 to fill a gap in the market for people seeking the resources to start, or return to, running.  It is now a 116-store chain throughout Canada and the US, which actively promotes 700 events from 5K to marathons throughout North America.


John Stanton is a familiar face at marathons and pre-race expos.  After years in racing, he is clearly a good friend to many, never losing his smile or failing to encourage a runner when they need it.

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