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Geoffrey Mutai & Mary Keitany winers 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.

Today in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, 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.”
AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award 2011 - Athlete Biographies
Geoffrey Mutai
Five days after his 27th birthday Geoffrey Mutai bettered his personal best by nearly five minutes to win the 2008 Eindhoven Marathon in a new course record  f 2:07:50. In Eindhoven the next year he defended his title with a personal best of 2:07:01, running solo from 35-40km in 14:24. He followed up the next month by winning the Valencia Half Marathon in  59:30, beating his compatriot Wilson Kipsang who had earlier in the year run 58:59. The affable Mutai's next Maathon outing was in the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon, where he had to give best to current Marathon world record holder Patrick Makau, finishing second in a sensational time of 2:04:55. In a rewarding but frustrating turn of events, Makau also nipped him in the Berlin Marathon later that year where he ran 2:05:10 to Makau's winning 2:05:08. He went on to record 59:38 in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon at the end of November.
Mutai was more fortunate in the BAA Boston Marathon in April 2011, where he edged Moses Mosop to record the fastest ever Marathon time of 2:03:02. This could not be ratified as a world record because of overall drop to the course, and strong wind assistance. He returned to Boston in June to record a fast 10km time of 27:19. Perhaps his most impressive performance to date came in the New York City Marathon where he won in 2:05:06, slicing 2 minutes 37 seconds off the venerable event's 10-year old course record.

Mary Keitany

Mary recorded two sub-69 half marathon times in 2007 before she shot to prominence with her performance in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships held that year in Udine, Italy. According to a contemporary report: "at about 10km Kenya's Mary Keitany had the temerity to challenge [defending champion and hot favourite Lornah Kiplagat] and pulled ahead to lead by a few seconds. It took [Kiplagat] a while to shake off the tenacious Keitany, who was still only three seconds down at 15km. Keitany finished [second], just outside the old world record, in 1:06:48, improving the Kenyan national record by a single second.
Keitany took time out in 2008 to have a baby but returned with a vengeance in the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships held in Birmingham, Great Britain. Keitany dominated the race, finishing with the second fastest time ever, 1:06:36, and led Kenya to an emphatic team win. She broke away from Ethiopia's Aberu Kebebe before 10km and won by over a minute. All this despite being trapped in a lift for nearly an hour the previous day, and having to set the pace without assistance. She passed through 10km in 31:04 and 15km in 46:51, four seconds better than the World record, but "assisted" by excessive drop in the course to that point. She also recorded times of 1:07:00 in Lille and 1:06:54 in New Delhi. Her achievements in 2009 won her the title of AIMS/ASICS Athlete of the Year.
In 2010 she continued where she left off, running 1:07:14 in Abu Dhabi early in the year and 1:07:40 in Berlin on 9 May, a time recorded en route to a new world record of 1:19:53 for 25km. She completed her year with the New York City Marathon, finishing a relatively disappointing third in 2:29:01.
Shaking off such a setback in her debut Marathon, Keitany returned to her favoured distance in the Ras-Al Khaimah Half Marathon on 13 February 2011:  "With a slight breeze coming from the east, but in conditions that were otherwise perfect (17°C) she passed through 5km in 15:18, already five seconds up on Dire Tune, the winner here two years ago. She remained cool through 10km (30:45), and was way ahead schedule but in the second half she held the pace well. The 15km split of 46:40 showed her resilience, and she was able to follow pacemaker Simon Tonui through to 20km (1:02:36) while slowing only slightly to record the first "unassisted" sub-66 minute time for the Half Marathon."
Two months later she tried another Marathon, in London, and with a typically front-running performance on a course which is not the easiest she scored a commanding win in 2:19:19. Later in the year she  returned to New York but set an over-ambitious pace for the first half of the race and after building up a big lead she faded in the final kilometres to finish third in 2:23:38.

AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Awards Information Page

The AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Awards were founded in 1992 and are decided each year by way of nominations made by the members of the world body The Association of International Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS) member races. The membership totals some 310 races in over 95 countries covering every continent of the world.
A male and female winner is recognised each year for their outstanding athletic achievement and as ambassadors for their sport and country.
The award is sponsored by sports company ASICS and each winner is awarded a golden ASICS shoe.
Winners To Date

Year of Award

Male Winner

Female Winner


Benson Masya (Kenya)

Liz McColgan (Scotland)


Dionicio Ceron (Mexico)

No Award


Vincent Rousseau (Belgium)

Uta Pippig (Germany)


No Award

Tegla Loroupe (Kenya)


Paul Tergat (Kenya)

Uta Pippig (Germany)


Josia Thugwane (South Africa)

Tegla Loroupe (Kenya)


Ronaldo da Costa (Brazil)

Tegla Loroupe (Kenya)


Abel Anton (Spain)

Tegla Loroupe (Kenya)


Gezahenge Abera (Ethiopia)

Naoko Takahashi (Japan)


Josephat Kiprono (Kenya)

Catherine Ndereba (Kenya)


Khalid Kannouchi (USA)

Paula Radcliffe (England)


Paul Tergat (Kenya)

Paula Radcliffe (England)


Stefano Baldini (Italy)

Mizuki Noguchi (Japan)


Jaouad Gharib (Morocco)

Paula Radcliffe (England)


Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia)

Lornah Kiplagat (Netherlands)


Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia)

Lornah Kiplagat (Netherlands)


Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia)

Constantina Dita (Romania)


Sammy Wanjiru (Kenya)

Mary Keitany (Kenya)


Patrick Makau (Kenya)

Liliya Shobukhova (Russia)


Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya)

Mary Keitany (Kenya



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