The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Just six weeks after its phenomenal 29th edition, organisers of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon have already made a major signing for their next race on 30 October 2011: Austria’s Günther Weidlinger, one of Europe’s most promising marathon runners.
Previously carrying a Silver Label, the 30th edition will see the race designated as an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
The 2010 event witnessed both course records being smashed. Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang clocked an outstanding time of 2:04:57, the tenth fastest ever run, while his fellow Kenyan Caroline Kilel took the women's title in 2:23:25.
Weidlinger said that the quality of the organisation, the very strong field, the fast course plus the spectacular atmosphere led to his early decision on where to run next autumn.
“I know what I get in Frankfurt and I am looking very forward to it. It is a great race with an amazing crowd support, it has a tremendously deep elite field and I can be sure that pacemaking will be arranged in a perfect way for me,” said Weidlinger, who improved the Austrian national record to 2:10:47 when running his second marathon in Frankfurt in 2009. This year has been less successful for the 32 year-old: In Vienna he suffered of an injury and had to be content with 12th place in 2:14:05; then he could not cope with the tremendous heat in Barcelona during the European Championships’ marathon, where he came in 18th with 2:23:37.
In 2011 Weidlinger intends to qualify for the Olympic Marathon and he is eager to clearly improve his personal best. “If I should not be able to break 2:10 in Düsseldorf in spring then this will be my goal for Frankfurt. I know that I can do clearly better on that course than in 2009. If I should manage to go sub 2:10 already in May, then I would take a more risky approach in Frankfurt and try to run really fast,” the former world-class steeplechaser said.
“For me it is important to know well in advance where I will run my major races. This helps me to motivate myself in training. Now I know what I am working for."
In addition to the course record, the number of finishers this year was a record as well: 9558 crossed the line in the indoor finish of the 'Festhalle'. For 2011 organisers hope to record more than 10,000 finishers for the first time in the history of Germany’s oldest city Marathon.