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Posted: January 21, 2013  

Athletics: TCS Amsterdam Marathon awarded IAAF Gold Label

The TCS Amsterdam Marathon has received the Gold Label for Road Races from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). "It is a great honour that we have received the highest rating from the IAAF," said director of Le Champion, Simone Richardson. "We now officially belong to the list that includes New York, Paris, London, Boston and Berlin."

The TCS Amsterdam Marathon, which is famous for its fast course, has been in possession of the Silver Label for many years. In recent years, the biggest marathon in the Netherlands has grown spectacularly in various areas and has thus proved that the international marathon belongs to the group of the largest marathons in the world. The organiser Le Champion has met the stringent requirements for the Gold Label after introducing a number of innovative developments. A proud Richardson explains: "The number of participants rose hugely again and became more international, the race was broadcast live around the world and it was again faster."

In the last edition the number of participants grew to over 38,000 across all distances. Compared to 2009, that is a growth of 50 percent. The participants came from 80 different countries. No other running event in the Netherlands has so many nationalities taking part. The marathon that starts and finishes in the beautiful Olympic stadium drew no less than 12,800 runners in 2012. That makes the TCS Amsterdam Marathon the largest marathon in the Netherlands.

The Gold Label was awarded also partly due to the very strong field elite of runners, which places Amsterdam eighth in the list of fastest marathons. The course record is held by Wilson Chebet; in 2012 he ran it in 02.05.41.

The world's elite runners come to Amsterdam because of the fast course and well organised race. It is not surprising therefore that Chebet has been coming to Amsterdam for three consecutive years to run a fast time. With so many fast athletes, the race is of the highest quality and it is always a fascinating spectacle. The top athletes finish very close to each other. In the women's race Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia), the current Olympic champion, won in 2011 in 2.22.08. However, the women's course record is held by compatriot Meseret Hailu, who ran 2.21.09 in the last edition.

The well attended race has been available to viewers around the world for two years. The TV production is in the hands of the organisation, which ensures a large audience can be reached. The live broadcast in 2012 could be seen in 120 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Thus, many millions of people were reached via, among others, Eurosport and SuperSport Africa. In addition, images of the marathon, with commentary, could be followed via a live stream on www.tcsamsterdammarathon.nl.

The upgrade to the Gold Label is confirmation that the TCS Amsterdam Marathon is of high quality and that all is well with Dutch road athletics. The Netherlands is known around the world for its well-organised races, the TCS Amsterdam Marathon is an example. Also, the top Dutch runners like running in Amsterdam. Michel Butter specifically chose Amsterdam last year to improve his personal best. He was successful in running 2.09.58, the third fastest time run by a Dutchman. Also Kamiel Maase's Dutch record (2.08.21) and Gerard Nijboer's best time (2.09.01) were run in Amsterdam. The TCS Amsterdam Marathon offers Dutch runners a platform to develop themselves further.

2013 is a special year for the city of Amsterdam. The canals are 400 years old, the Concertgebouw 125 years, the Rijksmuseum will be reopened and there are many other unique events that all fall in the year. In short, it is a festive year in Amsterdam, packed with monthly cultural highlights. These activities can give the participant an additional incentive to come to Amsterdam for the weekend of 19 and 20 October. The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is therefore convinced that the marathon will be extremely popular again this year. The target of increased number of participants is therefore coming ever closer.

The Gold Label is also a reward for the sponsors, the City of Amsterdam and the many volunteers who have been involved in the organisation of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon for many years. Thanks to a wonderful collaboration with the aforementioned, Le Champion has succeeded in realising this enormous growth of the marathon. The ambition for the coming years will be a further increase in the number of participants and faster world times in Amsterdam.

In 2013 the TCS Amsterdam Marathon will take place on Sunday 20 October. Enter via TCSAmsterdamMarahton.nl.


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