The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), which represents more than 460 of the world’s leading distance races, recently awarded the Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef from Switzerland the 2019 AIMS Social Award.
The award, which recognises races working towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, was presented during the seventh annual AIMS ‘Best Marathon Runner’ (BMR) Awards Gala, held in the birthplace of the Marathon in Athens, Greece, on 8 November 2019.
The two other shortlisted races were the (second placed) Dhiraagu Maldives Road Race in the Maldives, – and (third placed) Kingston City Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Jamaica.
The 16th edition of the Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef takes place on 9th-10th May 2020. Thousands of runners from more than 138 global destinations are expected to join this inclusive festival of running by signing up for one of eight events: Marathon, Relay Marathon (4-6 people), Half-Marathon, Wheelchair Race, 10km (open to runners and walkers), La Genevoise #LikeAGirl by Always (a 6km race for women) and Junior Races (1 to 3km for 3 to 13-year-olds).
Since 2010 the Harmony Geneva Marathon has been in partnership with Unicef, supporting the program ‘WASH: Water, Sanitation, Hygiene’ and its 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 1,000kg 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 said: “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 for 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 wouldn’t be able to 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 added “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 17 Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations are:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-Being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Production and Consumption
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals