GEOFFREY MUTAI & MARY KEITANY UPHOLD KENYAN TRADITION BY WINNING AIMS/ASICS WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARDS
The world running organisation the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and awards sponsor ASICS are delighted to announce Kenyan athletes Geoffrey Mutai and Mary Keitany as the male and female AIMS/ASICS World Athletes of the Year for 2011.
Keitany and Mutai’s outstanding achievements were given global recognition during a presentation in the race village for the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.
Race Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and AIMS PR Manager for Asia, Nathan Clayton presented Keitany & Mutai with the acclaimed Golden Shoe Trophy during an awards ceremony at a media event in advance of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, taking place on Friday, 17 February 2012. As a result of her World Record breaking performance of 1:05:50 in last year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, Mary Keitany was awarded the AIMS World’s Fastest Time Award (presented in recognition of World Record Breaking performances) at the same time.
In 2011 Geoffrey Mutai (30) became the first person in history to win the Boston and New York marathons in the same year with record times in both. He won the Boston Marathon in the fastest time ever recorded for a marathon at 2:03:02, almost three minutes faster than the course record. However, due to wind assistance and overall drop on the point to point course this time could not be ratified as a world record. Geoffrey would return to Boston in June to compete in the inaugural Boston Athletics Association (B.A.A.) 10k where he won in a State record and personal best time of 27:19. In November of 2011, Geoffrey won the New York Marathon in a course record time of 2:05:06, slicing 2 minutes and 37 seconds off the venerable event’s 10 year old course record.
Mary Keitany joins a very exclusive club with her second AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year award, her first coming in 2009. Mary is one of five female athletes who have won the award more than once. The others are; Lornah Kiplagat (NED, 2 wins), Paula Radcliffe (GBR, 3 wins), Tegla Loroupe (KEN, 4 wins) and Uta Pippig (GER, 2 wins).
Mary began 2011 in blistering form, winning the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in a World Record time of 1:05:50 In March she won the London Marathon in a personal best time of 2:19:19, making her the fourth fastest woman at that time over the marathon distance behind only Paula Radcliffe, Catherine Ndereba and Mizuki Noguchi.
The AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Awards were founded in 1992 and are decided each year from nominations made by the 310 member races of AIMS. Previous female winners include Liz McColgan (GBR), Uta Pippig (GER), Tegla Loroupe (KEN), Naoko Takahashi (JPN), Catherine Ndereba (KEN), Paula Radcliffe (GBR), Mizuki Noguchi (JPN), Lornah Kiplagat (NED) and Constantina Dita (ROM). Previous male winners include Benson Masya (KEN), Dionicio Cerón (MEX), Vincent Rousseau (BEL), Paul Tergat (KEN), Josia Thugwane (RSA), Ronaldo da Costa (BRA), Abel Antón (ESP), Gezahenge Abera (ETH), Josephat Kiprono (KEN), Khalid Khannouchi (USA), Stefano Baldini (ITA), Jaouad Gharib (MAR), Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), the late Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) and Patrick Makau (KEN).
AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “It is an honour for AIMS to recognise these fantastic Kenyan athletes with the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award. Both Geoffrey and Mary demonstrated exceptional form last year which is reflected in their outstanding achievements. It is with great pleasure we recognise their achievements on behalf of the 310 members of AIMS in over 95 countries throughout the world. I would like to give special thanks to Nathan Clayton, Race Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and AIMS Continental PR Manager for Asia for his work in making these presentations possible as part of this fantastic event.”
Geoffrey Mutai comments: “I am honoured to win this prestigious award. I know how many great Kenyan athletes have won it in the past and it is a great honour to be named in the same company as them. I’m happy to be back in the RAK half marathon, which is a great race. For me it’s a good preparation on the way to the Boston Marathon. I would like to thank AIMS, their members and award sponsors ASICS for presenting me with this trophy.”
Mary Keitany comments: “To be named as AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year for a second time in my career is an incredible honour. To be presented this award alongside my fellow Kenyan Geoffrey makes it all the more special. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to AIMS for their support and award sponsors ASICS for this prestigious award.”
Race Director, Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and AIMS Continental PR Manager for Asia, Nathan Clayton comments: “I am delighted to host this presentation at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. It is especially pleasing to welcome Mary back to the race where she broke the Half Marathon World Record in 2011 and Geoffrey as a past winner of this event. I would like to thank the AIMS board for choosing this event as the host of such a prestigious ceremony.”