International marathon organisers here to experience Comrades

2014-05-31 00:00

AFRICANS are the world’s best marathon athletes and for that reason it is fitting that the continent for the first time hosts the world congress of the Association of International Marathons and Ultra Races (Aims).

It is actually a disgrace that this is only the first time, Aims president Paco Boroa said in an interview.

Organisers of the 105 races, which are held across the whole world, are attending the 20th congress in the association’s history. The congress ends this afternoon and the delegates will attend tomorrow’s Comrades.

Boroa, a Spaniard and organiser of the Valencia marathon, said road racing worldwide has increased in popularity — to such an extent that the organisers of some of the races have no other choice than to limit the number of entries.

Boroa said the aim of the congress was to get to know the organisers of marathons and other races in an effort to improve the quality of the events.

Former Olympic silver medallist Elana Meyer, Willie Mtolo, former New York champion who also came second in a Comrades race, as well as Blanche Moila, the first black woman to become a Springbok and who currently runs Comrades marathons, were among the speakers.

“Your Professor Tim Noakes has just addressed us. It was a world-class lecture,” said the 68-year-old Boroa.

“I have run 18 marathons during my life time and want to do one more — the marathon between Marathon and Athens. I believe every marathon runner should do it at least once during their life time.”

Boroa said he was looking forward to the Comrades.

“I will stay until the end at 5.30 pm to witness everything. They tell me there is an unbelievable atmosphere during the race.”

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