Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

The home of world running™

AIMS Children’s Series

The growing realisation of running as a common cause throughout the world has led to many links being established between races, for which AIMS provides a forum. Organising this more formally, around particular issues, can capture the attention of a wider public. With this in mind, AIMS launched the Children’s Series at the beginning of 2006 to assist selected member races in promoting running among children.

AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa said “Many great athletes have often emerged against great adversity. We are seeking to encourage more young children to follow their dreams and to aim for a healthy life.” The member races involved in this pilot project were the Sahara Marathon in Algeria, the Kathmandu Peace Run in Nepal and the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa.

The intention was to support races in poorer countries since a number of big international races in wealthier countries had already developed children’s races alongside their own events.

2016

Children’s Series 2016

Childrens-series-2016-khanivali-1

The first AIMS Children’s Series race of 2016 was held on 24 January in the village of Khanivali, 80km north of Mumbai, the first time the Series has ever hosted an event in India.

Just under 500 children from the Anand Laxman Chandavarkar Vidhyalay secondary school participated in a 4km fun run. AIMS launched the Children’s Series in 2006 to assist selected member races in promoting running among children in areas of need.

The school, attended by children from mainly farming families, hosted boys’ and girls’ races for the eighth, ninth and tenth grades. The children raced over a traffic-free out-and-back 4km course on mainly tarmac road. The gently downhill first kilometre to the bridge over the river made for some fast starts. The girls’ races were set off five minutes after the boys so that there was only limited overlap and the interval between age groups was sufficient to allow almost all the field to have completed before the next race followed. All completed the course and some with impressive timings, the fastest of the day being 14 minutes 27 seconds. Comprehensive chip-timed results were available following the race.

There was a good incentive to run fast as the first three in each category – 18 in all – were awarded with bicycles and a pair of branded running shoes. AIMS Secretary Hugh Jones attended and assisted with the prize giving. All those who ran received probably the most goody-laden finisher bag ever offered anywhere: the bag itself was a canvas school backpack and it contained a blanket, cap, water bottle, pens, crayons, notebook and maths instruments as well as a skipping rope and two rubber balls, packets of food and toiletries. And that wasn’t all: along with the finishers’ medals and certificates everyone received a personal Fuji Instamax Polaroid of them with their medal, an analogue watch, a pair of canvas shoes (the children had been individually measured up the previous week) and two pairs of socks.

Race director Amit Sheth, who had recruited an organising team including the school staff, members of the Inner Wheel Club of Bombay Sea Coast, the Borivali National Park Green Runners from north Mumbai and a wide range of family and friends, was pleased with how the race went.

The other 2016 AIMS Children’s Series events are scheduled to take place in Ecuador and South Africa.

AIMS Secretary Hugh Jones comments: “I am delighted that I was able to attend this Children’s Series event and see first-hand the great work that has been done on behalf of the children here.”

AIMS Co-ordinator of the Children’s Series Martha Morales comments: “We are delighted to begin the 2016 AIMS Children’s Series in a new location in India. We look forward to an even bigger and better event next year.”

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “We would like to thank the organising committee for their excellent efforts in organising such a successful Children’s Series event. We are gratified to see how much joy this event has created among the children who participated.”

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2015

AIMS Children's Series 2014


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AIMS Children's Series 2013

The AIMS Children's Series race held on 3 August in Asuncion proved stiff competition for the title event, the Maraton International de Asuncion held the following day writes AIMS President Paco Borao. 1500 children from the age of six to 16 filled the Ñu Guazu Park in the biggest ever running festival held in Paraguay.

This was the first such event to be held in the country, financially supported by AIMS, and organized by the Paraguay Marathon Club (PMC) with the cooperation of the Foundation Dequení and several private groupings. It was a great success for all, and primarily for the PMC, who were of course also responsible for organizing the Maraton Internacional de Asunción the following day.

In the early morning dozens of buses transported the children from different regions of the country, to participate in the races organized by age groups. The enormous success achieved was because of the further support of the many parties involved: parents, relatives, teachers, organisers, supportive media coverage, which all helped to create the successful sporting and social fiesta.

From the beginning of the races the yellow AIMS T-shirts stood out, and the treasured medals for having completed the distances set for the different age groups were received with great excitement by the children. Local sponsors offered games, food and drinks, helping to complete a journey which will be long remembered by all those who were witness to this first AIMS Children’s Race in Asunción.

Thanks to all who attended and made it possible, under the coordination of Myrta Doldán and Marcelo Ithurralde, President and Vice-president of the PMC.

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AIMS Children's Series 2012

Durban, South Africa

The first edition of the AIMS Children's Series to be held in South Africa took place in Durban on 2 June 2012. Organised by the Comrades Marathon Association with the support of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport & Recreation, it was the third event of the 2012 series.

The event had an international flavour as part of the AIMS Children’s Series and drew enthusiasm from the various school districts of KZN. Participants were transported by bus from as far as 200km away from Durban. Over 5000 children completed the 10km and 5 km races respectively.

The race was attended by provincial and national government officials. Miss South Africa, Melinda Bam, assisted with the prize-giving ceremony after the race. The children were very proud of their medals: every finisher received a medal, and every entrant a T-shirt.

The Comrades Marathon Association used the race to highlight the importance of creating opportunities for youth to participate in accessible road races so as to build the culture of physical activity and organized sport in the community. Staging this race in South Africa has elevated the CMA and AIMS as important partners in children’s sport in South Africa.

AIMS would like to thank the sponsors who made the race possible: ASICS, OPAP and the TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION. Thanks are further extended to all the AIMS membership who contribute to the care of children by promoting the sport of running

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

The second edition of the AIMS Children's Series to be held in Tanzania took place on 21 April 2012, starting and finishing at the Tushikamane Care secondary school in the Tabata County district of Dar Es Salaam.

The under-13 girls opened proceedings, followed 15 minutes later by the under-13 boys. The under-17 races followed. There were 400 runners, all orphans and children living in difficulty, recruited from schools around the locality. They ran in under-17 and under-13 age categories for both boys and girls. Boys wore blue round neck AIMS t-shirts and girls wore white round neck AIMS t-shirts.

After the race the children were provided with refreshments and served a buffet lunch. The event was coordinated between Infosol Tanzania and Tushikamane Children’s Care Trust Fund. The organizing team involved 20 teachers recruited from all nine schools involved, 2 nurses, 10 Traffic police, 10 security personnel and 2 doctors.

Every participant was awarded a medal provided by AIMS, the first 3 winners of each category were acknowledged and awarded an extra gift of school equipment.

AIMS would like to thank the sponsors who made this extraordinary race possible: ASICS, OPAP and the TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION. Thanks are further extended to all the AIMS membership who contribute to the care of children by promoting the sport of running.

e Children's Series events are helping to bring unity to the world through a common language: that of “RUNNING”.  This experience will last forever in the hearts of the children and the sport of running will become part of their lives.

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AIMS Children's Series 2011

Santa Maria Acapulco, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

The third and final edition of the AIMS CHILDREN'S SERIES 2011 held in San Luis Potosi, México was postponed and actually took place on 31 January 2012, with almost 1,000 children participating,, The event was staged in the municipality of Villa de Reyes, 100km away from the state capital of San Luis Potosi.

The children came from more than 50 different communities, and had to travel to the venue to attend the race. For many it was the first time they had traveled outside their immediate community and the first time they had taken part in an athletic event. The opening ceremony was very colorful and animated by a dance prepared by 20 five-year old boys and girls organized by their teachers and mothers. Golden, red, green and blue long sleeved t-shirts crowded the municipality’s sports facility as parents became excited cheer leaders, screaming loud the letters: “A.I.M.S.”.

There were different races for different age groups: 5 years old, 6-7 years, 8-9 years, 10 -11, 12-13, 14-15, and 15-16 years old, each group wearing a t-shirt of designated color.

At the end of each race, each participant received a gold medal, a package with a meal, and Pepsi and Gatorade. All the children were very excited with the toys given as awards for the first three places of each age group, and with the raffles that were held.

This organization received the full support of the Government of San Luis Potosi through the Governor Dr. Fernando Toranzo Fernandez and the Family Integral Development System. Other departments of the State Government, such as Security, the State Secretary, Civil Protection, and the Sports Institute all contributed to this great joint project. Support from the State Education Secretary, which provided the staff in charge of technical issues, was invaluable.

The Mayor of the Municipality of Villa de Reyes, Mr. Javier Salazar, made all facilities for the organization of the race available through the municipal departments.

The purpose of the series was achieved: the sport of running has crossed a boundary in Mexico, as the race made a sporting impact on the community and the series will continue to be organized locally. The children have come to know the feeling of running and begun to enjoy the sport along with their parents and teachers. This Series is likely the beginning of many races to be held in the future, thanks to AIMS, to its members and to the sponsors who made this dream possible.

Bagamoyo, Tanzania

AIMS held the first race of the 2011 AIMS Children’s Series in Bagamoyo, near Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, on Saturday 2nd April.

The event welcomed over 400 runners between 5-17 years of age and was hailed as an overwhelming success by all involved.

Children were recruited from eight primary and secondary schools in Bagamoyo town and surrounding district then split into sections of boys and girls and divided into categories aged under 13 and under 17. Local primary school, Mwanamakuka, provided the starting point and finishing line for all races.

AIMS supplied T-shirts and medals to all those participating and prizes were awarded for the top finishers in each age category.

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “We are pleased to stage the Children’s Series in Tanzania on AIMS’ journey to promote fitness and health to young people throughout the world. The area of Bagamoyo in Tanzania faces many social and economic challenges and the objective of the event was to provide those taking part with a passionate belief in the benefits of running – something which we feel has been achieved.”

AIMS would like to thank its partners ASICS and especially its local partners Infosol Tanzania and Bagamoyo District Council under the District Council Sports coordinator. Special thanks and acknowledgement also goes to the teachers from the schools involved, Bagamoyo District Hospital and the local Police Department.

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AIMS Children's Series 2010

Santa Maria Acapulco, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

On 12 November 2010 the AIMS Children’s Series conducted its second event in the Indian Community of Santa María Acapulco, within the Municipality of Santa Catarina in San Luis Potosí, México.

A total of 1100 children from 16 different native communities participated, made possible by the Education Secretariat of the State. The event was organized by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) in association with Tangamanga Marathon and the State Government of San Luis Potosí.

The course, around the oldest Church in Latin America (founded by Franciscan Monks in 1609) was difficult because of the mountainous terrain, but children tackled it with enthusiasm and gave great performances. The organizers had to interact with the children through interpreters, as they speak very little Spanish, using instead their own dialect Pame. Even so, their enjoyment of such a high quality event was evident. It was a shining example of how the sport of running has the power to unite society, as it provided something in common for the rich mix of cultures that populate the area. AIMS hopes to plant the seed of running in these communities, and that through running the children glimpse the opportunity of a better life.

There were various age groups ranging from 4 to 13 years old, competing in races over different distances. The children wore technical t-shirts, color-coded according to their age group.

The Governor Dr. Fernando Toranzo and his wife Dra. María Luisa Ramos showed great interest in the event and supported the organization by providing the services through the State Secretary of Education, the State Secretary of Security and Police, DIF System, the State Roads Authority and the Municipality of Santa Catarina.

The event was held thanks to AIMS’ sponsors ASICS, TOKYO MARATHON, and local supporters PEPSI, TURBO, GATORADE, CONALEP and HIALINA WATER.

The children received a runner package that included beverages, food, candies, toys and a beautiful medal produced in South Africa by the 1000km Company.

Awards were made to the first three finishers in each category and the Organization raffled “Turbo” bicycles and toys among the participants.

Kigali

The second race of Children Race Series 2010 was held on Saturday 22 May at the venue of Amohoro Stadium in Kigali.

Despite delays in the process the organizers registered 2387 children aged from 10 – 14 years. 1235 boys and 1152 girls entered, most of them via the 24 primary and secondary schools in central sectors of Kigali City. Others schools and Soroptimist clubs from northern and east province were enthusiastic and traveled over 240km with the children, spending the weekend in Kigali.

On Saturday 22 May from 08.00–09.30, the meeting area called ‘Petit Stade’ was crowded with children meeting their teachers and with volunteers and helpers from the Athletic Federation distributing the AIMS T-Shirts.

A highlight of the Kigali AIMS Children’s Race was the presence of top athletes. Thanks to the financial support of MINISPOC, IAAF Athletes representative Benjamin Limo (Kenya) was invited. Together with local top runner Dieudonne Disi (still injured) and Grant Robinson (who visited the country with friends) they encouraged children before the race start.

The boys’ start was at 10.1, girls following 5 minutes afterwards on the 5km course at Remera sector. The start and finish area was placed outside of the stadium for logistical reasons. Again, from looking at the results of the first few children it could be seen that Rwanda has great running potential

At the finish, AIMS Medals and refreshments were given to the children – although a bit stressful and overcrowded due to “relaxed” security.

On Sunday 23 May, thanks to support of ASICS, the top Children’s finishers were presented with their awards at the official prizegiving of the International Peace Marathon 2010.

Sahara

The first race of the AIMS Children's Series 2010 took place in Western Sahara, at the Dakhla refugee camp on 25 February, celebrating the final edition of the series in this venue; the Children´s Series is a social program that lasts 3 years in each location; by that time it is expected that the organization is ready to continue the organization by themselves and the seed of running has been planted.

The scene is within a refugee camp in the Sahara Desert; Dakhla is one of four such camps in south western Algeria.

Held on 25 February, three days after the Sahara Marathon was run between other three camps, the conditions could hardly have been less favourable, with temperatures in the Dakhla camp reaching 40°C earlier in the day. A thousand children marched down the long straight to the start of the half dozen races, which ranged from 300m for the youngest to 1000m for the early teenagers.

Held on 25 February, three days after the Sahara Marathon was run between other three camps, the conditions could hardly have been less favourable, with temperatures in the Dakhla camp reaching 40°C earlier in the day. A thousand children marched down the long straight to the start of the half dozen races, which ranged from 300m for the youngest to 1000m for the early teenagers.

Resplendent in AIMS tee-shirts, on both white and red, the children charged up the straight trailing clouds of sand dust behind them. Each finisher was rewarded with a substantial, specially struck bronze medal, and a prize of a toy.

It was hard to decide who was more enthusiastic, the children or the onlookers. But as the shadows lengthened, and a hectic hour came to a close, co-organisers (as they are of the marathon), Italian Mattia Durli and Spaniard Diego Muñoz declared the event the most successful in its five-year history.

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AIMS Children's Series 2009

In 2009 the AIMS Children's Series brought thousands of children on two different continents together to run and have fun at the same time. Through the Series AIMS brings the sport of running to the farthest communities and promotes running in needy areas where otherwise little financial support for sport is received. This has been made possible thanks to our partners ASICS, TOKYO MARATHON and the local partners. Thanks A Lot for making a difference to these children’s lives.

Santa Maria Acapulco, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Originally scheduled for 27 August, the Mexican event was postponed to 2 October. By this time children were back in their classes and had some time in which both their teachers and they themselves could prepare for the race. 1200 mainly indigenous Indian children took part in six age categories: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-16 years old.

They came from 16 different indigenous communities from the Santa Catarina district to take part and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Each age group was indicated by a different coloured strip on their sleeves. All were winners, just through participating and being given a chance to show their skills.

At the finish they received an impressive medal and a goodie bag to help them recuperate containing Powerade, Coca Cola, water, fruit and a pastry. Bicycles were raffled after the races, donated by the Potosi authorities, along with school items and sweets

The AIMS Vice President Paco Borao assisted, commenting: "It was a very good choice to put this event on in Santa Maria Acapulco".

Kigali

The Kigali Peace Marathon took place in the Rwandan capital on 24 May with the participation of 2000 children, starting and finishing their 5km run inside the National Stadium.

Sao Paulo Brazil

The event was held on 3 April during the AIMS Congress in Sao Paulo. The races were for young children and over a distance of only 200m.

Continuous “waves“ of half a dozen children at a time were set off on the tarmac racetrack.

AIMS President Hirokai Chosa acted as official starter and AIMS delegates assisted in proceedings.

Sahara

The AIMS Children's Series 2009 opened with races held alongside the Sahara Marathon on 23 February. Mattia Durli reports: "So as not to exclude anyone we had two different children's races in the two camps where we stayed, including the Dhakla refugee camp where it was held for the first time."

The marathon was held in Smara, and the organization integrated the Camp within the marathon program. Runners from many different countries attended the marathon.

The children's race took place in Dakhla, 3 hours by car from Smara. Around 1000 participated in the race, having a great time and receiving a beautiful medal and a t-shirt.

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AIMS Children’s Series 2008

Addis Ababa

The AIMS Children's Series 2008 came to a close with the final event of the programme in Addis Ababa on 22 November. Races for boys and girls in under-8 and under-11 categories were run around Meskal Square in the Ethiopian capital.

AIMS Children's Series 2008 in Addis Ababa

About 3000 children participated with great enthusiasm, with all finishers receiving T-shirts and medals and the foremost of them being awarded sports bags and shoes thanks to support from Asics.

Kigali event draws in the crowds

The AIMS Children's Run, held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, took place on 11 May in conjunction with the Kigali Peace Marathon. Entries were over-subscribed as 1700 children took part but only 1250 could be registered.

In what was effectively a fantastic curtain-raiser for the Marathon, 1700 children aged from 9-13 started from within the stadium just before the top athletes. They completed a separate lap on the surrounding roads before re-entering the stadium for the final 300m on the track. Medals and T-shirts sponsored by AIMS were given to all participants and awards were presented to the top 15 girls and boys, courtesy of ASICS and the "Runners help runners" programme conducted at the Tokyo Marathon.

Above: Warming up before the start of the Children's race

The first race in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 was run on 25 February in conjunction with the Sahara Marathon. Children ran over the compacted sand of the scrub desert floor within the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria, which is also the location of the finish to the Sahara Marathon. Smara is one of several camps set up to house refugees from the Western Sahara after the territory was occupied by Morocco 30 years ago. The children who participated in the races were born and brought up in these camps, and see the races as a strong connection to the outside world.

The AIMS Children's Series enjoys co-operation with ASICS and benefits from a direct "Runners help runners" scheme funded by participants in the Tokyo Marathon, held one week previously. ASICS running shoes and equipment were awarded, and all children participating received a T-shirt and finisher's medal.

Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria

Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria

Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria

The AIMS Children's Series enjoys co-operation with ASICS and benefits from a direct "Runners help runners" scheme funded by participants in the Tokyo Marathon, held one week previously. ASICS running shoes and equipment were awarded, and all children participating received a T-shirt and finisher's medal.

Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria Running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria Children running in the AIMS Children's Series 2008 at the Sahara Marathon in the Smara refugee camp in the far west of Algeria

The other races in the AIMS Childrens Series 2008 will take place in Kigali (RWA) on 11 May and in Addis Ababa (ETH) on 29 November.

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AIMS Children's Series 2007

Addis Ababa

The final event in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 was again held in conjunction with the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa. It had been scheduled for 8 September to coincide with the Ethiopian Millennium celebrations, but at the late request of the Government was put back to the regular date, the last weekend in November.

AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa young runner in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa

There were four Children's races held on 24 November: under 8's and under 11's for both girls and boys, but children as young as three took part, alongside their parents or brothers and sisters. Each race was over a 1km out-and-back course which started and finished in Meskel Square, a huge semi-circular space with raked terraces reminiscent of an amphitheatre.

Apart from medals, T-shirts, snacks and drinks for all the first few finishers in each race won shoes and bags, in an initiative funded by charitable efforts of the Tokyo Marathon, initiated by ASICS.

young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa

Ethiopian airlines also provided a race souvenir. Race director Richard Nerurkar commented "I think this event is here to stay"

Rwanda

Because the Kathmandu race organisation has been disbanded, the second event in the series was replaced by a Children's race in Rwanda held on 13 May in conjunction with the Kigali Peace Marathon.

Young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Sahara Marathon, on 26 February.  Photos: "© 2007 - Vladislav Priplata - www.rexlaus.info"

Young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Sahara Marathon, on 26 February. Photos © 2007 - Vladislav Priplata - www.rexlaus.info

More than 1200 children registered for the 5km fun run in which they ran alongside people of all ages.

They started from within the national stadium, and ran pell-mell for the exit gate to start their circuit of the surrounding streets in the outlying district of the Rwandan capital. The race attracted a lot of support from the crowd along the route.

The circuit included some inclines, made more taxing by the moderate altitude, but even the smallest children seemed to complete the entire course without stopping or walking.

Young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Sahara Marathon, on 26 February.

Young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Sahara Marathon, on 26 February.

The final part of the lap involved circling the stadium on the road outside before entering the arena to run the final 300m on the track.

The popularity of the Kigali event was such that only one age group, 10-11 year olds, was included within the Children's race and others entered individually for the fun run.

Children were entered through their schools, and some of them travelled long distances to reach the capital, and had to stay overnight to be able to participate in the race.

young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the Sahara Marathon, on 26 February.

Photos © 2007 - Vladislav Priplata – www.rexlaus.info

Chip timing allowed easy identification of the category winners - and top 10 finishers in both boys and girls categories were presented with running shoes and sports bags supplied by courtesy of ASICS.

The third event will again be in Addis Ababa. It had been scheduled for 8 September to coincide with the Ethiopian Millennium celebrations, but at the late request of the Government both the Children's races and the Great Ethiopian run were put back to the regular date, the last weekend in November.

Sahara

The 2007 series had again begun with the children's races held at the Sahara Marathon on 26 February. Held in conjunction with the Sahara Marathon for the second year, the Children's race was again a great success, even though controlling 1000 highly enthusiastic boys and girls is very difficult writes Mattia Durli. There were three races, of 300m, 500m and 800m, depending on the age of the children. T-shirts were distributed before and medals after the races, along with a small present for each runner.

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AIMS Children’s Series 2006

The first event, in Tindouf, Algeria, on 27 February 2006, was met with great enthusiasm. “The children’s race was something awesome,” wrote Mattia Durli, technical director of the Sahara Marathon. “Almost 1000 kids took part in the 800m race, divided by age groups and according to schools. Each child ran with the AIMS Children’s Series T-shirt and received the medal at the end. All this took place against the background of severe flooding only two weeks before the races. The race raised morale, along with 12,000 euros for the projected sports centre.”

The second stage of the series took place in Nepal on 22 October 2006, in association with the Samsung Kathmandu 5km Peace Run. Setting off from the City Hall building, with the temples and stupas of Durbar Square in the background, the combined field created a long snaking trail along New Road, around Ratna Park and then eastward out to Baneshwor, to finish at the gates of the gigantic Birendra International Convention Centre. There were three age groups, each divided into boys’ and girls’ categories, identified by a letter code to pick them out at the finish line. The grounds of the convention centre gradually filled up with smiling runners, proudly wearing their medals and clutching their certificates as they tucked into their breakfast packs.

The AIMS Children’s Series for 2006 was rounded off in Addis Ababa on 25 November by a series of four separate races conducted the day before the 6th Toyota Great Ethiopian Run 10km.

young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the first event, in Tindouf, Algeria, on 27 February 2006.

The size of the fields were limited in this inaugural edition to a total of 3000 runners split into boys and girls and into two age categories. In the under 8s some serious racing went on up front, but the tiny kids trailing in their wake ran the whole way.  The start and finish were located in the huge amphitheatre surrounding Meskel Square.

The course was 1200m in length, comprising a lap of Meskel Square and out-and-back section up a testing slope. In the under 11s girls’ race the first three finishers all ran barefoot.

After the finish line each child was awarded a drink and a bottle, biscuits and a medal. Gradually the Square filled up with kids basking in the sunshine, laughing and chatting with friends and sporting the spoils of their participation. The top three in each category received plaques from a trio of distinguished athletes: Carolina Kluft, Sonia O’Sullivan and race patron Haile Gebrselassie.

young runners in the AIMS Children's Series 2007 at the first event, in Tindouf, Algeria, on 27 February 2006. Back to top

Distance Running

Official magazine of AIMS and IAAF

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