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World Marathon Majors Establishes Position on World Records within Women’s Road Running Performances

Position contrasts with recent motion passed at the IAAF World Championships.


BOSTON (September 20, 2011)—At the 2011 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, the IAAF Congress passed a motion to change the standard by which  women athletes achieve world record performances. By the new criterion, only times achieved in all-women competitions would be recognized for world record purposes, and performances achieved in mixed conditions would now be referred to only as “world best”.

The new criterion means that Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 London mark of 2:15:25 is no longer the world record but now a world best, and that her 2005 London time of 2:17:42 is the world record.

The boards of both World Marathon Majors (WMM) and Association of International Marathons (AIMS) have reviewed the recent Congress decision and believe that it does not represent what is required by the sport of road running.

It is further believed that there should be two world records for women’s road running performances, separately recognising those achieved in mixed competition and women’s only conditions.

AIMS and WMM will continue to acknowledge both types of performances as world records and will discuss this matter further with the IAAF, recognising that:

  1. The vast majority of women’s road races throughout the World are held in mixed conditions.
  2. The current situation where the fastest time is not now recognised as a record is confusing and unfair and does not respect the history of our sport.

WMM and AIMS congratulate the IAAF for introducing world road records and for continuing to support road running through its labelling scheme.

AIMS represents more than 300 races worldwide, the vast majority of them road races. WMM members are Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York. Both bodies are represented on the IAAF Road Running Commission and have leadership roles within road running.

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