The AIMS Marathon-Museum of Running Presentation

The 18th AIMS World Congress took place in the ACM Hotel in Athens from October 28-30, 2010. The work of the AIMS Marathon Museum of Running (Berlin Sports Museum) was shared with the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) through a Powerpoint presentation.

During the 9th AIMS World Congress in Macau in 1994, the Berlin Sports Museum was nominated as and given the byname of “AIMS Marathon Museum of Running”. The worldwide history and development of the sport of running, as well as the growing importance of the AIMS members’ running events, were thus to be documented through artefacts to be archived there.

In the presentation, the museum introduced the buildings and spaces in the Berlin Olympic Park, the exhibition space in the “House of German Sports” (Haus des Deutschen Sports) and the archives and office space for the staff. The Berlin Sports Museum lies under the auspices of the state of Berlin, but it also receives financial support from AIMS. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of AIMS in 2007, the museum created an exhibition for the 16th AIMS Congress in Xiamen, China. In 2010, the museum was present again with an exhibition in Athens, where it also passed out flyers about the museum to spread awareness for the museum among the AIMS members.

The developmental activities of the museum were presented through statistics and tables in the presentation. In addition, diverse photos demonstrated the careful preservation of the documents, artefacts, souvenirs, etc. In its archives, the AIMS Marathon Museum of Running holds a full collection of the AIMS newsletters beginning in 1981-82, the AIMS Yearbooks starting in 1985, protocols, and many photos and artefacts from races around the world, which were either collected at the various events or sent to the museum by AIMS members. The development of timekeeping through the use of clocks and computers, as well as the equipment for course measuring (Jones-Counter) is also documented in its archives. Racing wheelchairs of famous athletes also show the improvements in sporting equipment over the years.

Recent additions to the museum include race numbers from the 2010 double world record race in the 25km at the “Berlin runs … 25km” race, set by Mary Keitany (KEN) and Samuel Kosgei (KEN). The finish line band from the “BIG 25 km Berlin” and the world record shoe belonging to Mary Keitany are also part of the collection.

Bill Rodger’s (USA) legendary race number “1” from the Boston Marathon in 1979 is another very special artefact. The water bottles and the race numbers belonging to the world record holders from the Berlin Marathon, Naoko Takahashi (2001) and Haile Gebrselassie (2008), are other artefacts worth mentioning, that are part of the permanent exhibition of the museum.

The AIMS materials preserved in the museum document the lives of its presidents and members of the board of directors, the development of the growth in membership, the history of the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Awards, the AIMS/CITIZEN World Fastest Time Award, the AIMS/MyLaps Innovation Award, AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposiums in Marathon, the AIMS Children's Series and the constantly growing statistics provided by Dr. David Martin on all the champions and records at AIMS events.

The AIMS Marathon Museum of Running in Berlin “is the memory and documentation central” for this worldwide sports organisation, and this history and ever-changing development of this global sport is to be permanently preserved for coming generations.

The AIMS presentation was designed to provide a quick overview to the AIMS members and to the general public and others interested in the museum’s important activities collecting, preserving, securing, and processing the past for future generations.

Horst Milde

Aims Museum Presentation