AIMS, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, has announced the winner of the 2019 Social Award and it’s… the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF.
The award recognises races working towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. These goals include ‘no poverty’, ‘zero hunger’, ‘gender equality’, and ‘sustainable cities and communities’. You can view the full list here.
The two other shortlisted races were the Dhiraagu Maldives Road Race (Maldives) in 2nd and the Kingston City Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K (Jamaica) in 3rd.
The previous winners of the accolade are:
2013 – Great Ethiopian Run (Ethiopia)
2014 – Tokyo Marathon (Japan)
2015 – Maratón Internacional Lala (Mexico)
2016 – Munich Marathon (Germany)
2017 – Maratón de las Flores Medellín (Colombia)
2018 – Belgrade Marathon (Serbia)
Since 2010 the Harmony Geneva Marathon has been in partnership with UNICEF, supporting the program ‘WASH: Water, Sanitation, Hygiene’ and their Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring access to water sanitation for all. To date the race has raised more than 440,000 Swiss Francs which has financed the installation of 1,000 water pumps in different countries. From 2020, the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF will support UNICEF Malawi to provide solar water pumps – a reliable, sustainable, user friendly and green technology solution for rural communities.
In addition, the race manages a clothes collection point in the Marathon Village in association with the organisation Bilifou to benefit young people in Burkino Faso. This partnership has seen over 1,000kgs of clothes collected. Other activities with disabled people and refugees are managed by the organisation in order to include everyone in the event.
Benjamin Chandelier, Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef Director comments: “The Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef has a long and proud history of working together with Unicef to benefit communities in different countries. We have ambitious goals the future and look forward to sharing our story with AIMS. We would like to thank AIMS, their partners and sponsors for presenting us with this award. This event couldn’t take place without our 1,000 volunteers, or the unwavering support of the Canton and City of Geneva as well as Chêne-Bourg who hosted the start of our races and all the villages we cross through on the beautiful course. Finally, I would also like to thank all our partners for their ongoing support and commitment”.
Paco Borao, AIMS President comments: “The Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef is a great example of a race helping communities in need on another continent. Their successes are clear and their plans are exciting. Everyone at AIMS wishes them every success in the future.”
The award will be presented during the seventh annual AIMS ‘Best Marathon Runner’ (BMR) Awards Gala to be held in the birthplace of the Marathon in Athens, Greece on 8 November 2019.