By Beth Nyaga
Eluid Kipchoge and Mare Dibaba have been named as the male and female winners of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) Best Marathon Runner Award for 2015.
Kipchoge has won three of the biggest marathon events in the past 12 months.
In October 2014 he won the Chicago Marathon in 2:04:11.
Six months later, the 31-year-old Kenyan won the London Marathon in a world-leading time of 2:04:42 before bettering that when winning the Berlin Marathon in September in 2:04:00, beating his personal best by five seconds.
“It is very special for me to have won the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award,” said Kipchoge. “I am very proud of my achievements this year and this award reflects that.”
The winners’ achievements were given global recognition on Friday (6) at the AIMS Best Marathon Runner (BMR) Award Gala in Athens, Greece.
The awards were voted for by AIMS members, made up of more than 390 of the world’s leading and most prestigious distance races from more than 108 countries and territories.
Dibaba has enjoyed a medal-laden year.
In October 2014 she finished second at the Chicago Marathon in 2:25:37.
She went one better by winning the Xiamen Marathon in January 2015 in a time of 2:19:52 before finishing a close second at the Boston Marathon.
More recently, the 26-year-old Ethiopian won the world title in Beijing in 2:27:35.
“It is incredibly special for me to receive this prestigious award,” said Dibaba. “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 2500-year history of the marathon and I am delighted to feel a small part of it.”
The other award winners at the gala were:
AIMS Green Award – Chevron Houston Marathon in recognition of their year-round efforts towards ‘Going Green’
AIMS Social Award – Maraton Internacional Lala for their work raising money for children from low-income areas who need dental surgery
AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award – Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic champion, in recognition of his significant role in the development of the marathon movement, particularly in the USA.
Source: The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)