Portuguese marathon-running great Rosa Mota was presented with the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award at the fifth annual AIMS ‘Best Marathon Runner’ (BMR) Awards Gala, to be held in the home of the Marathon in Athens, Greece on Friday (10).
“I am honoured to be presented with this award. I would like to thank AIMS and their members for recognising me in this way,” said Mota.
It was in the Greek capital where Mota made her debut at the distance, leaving an indelible mark on the event in the process. After finishing 12th in the 3000m at the European Championships in 1982, Mota claimed a surprise gold medal in the marathon in 2:36:04 despite having never run beyond 20 kilometres in training.
Mota is the only athlete in European Championships history - male or female - to claim the marathon title three times, defending her crown in Stuttgart in 1986 and in Split in 1990. Mota won the 1987 World Championships in Rome by more than seven minutes and completed the Grand Slam of major marathon titles the following summer, winning gold at the Olympic Games in Seoul albeit by a reduced winning margin of 13 seconds.
Mota won 14 of her career 21 marathons with other noteworthy wins coming in Chicago (1984), Boston (1987, 1988, 1990) and London (1991). Her lifetime best of 2:23:29 set back in 1985 also remains the Portuguese record.
“We are very happy to welcome Rosa to Athens, the birthplace of the Marathon. Her achievements have been an inspiration to women and girls around the world for many years,” said AIMS president Paco Borao.
The AIMS ‘Best Marathon Runner’ Awards Gala was held ahead of the Athens Marathon on Sunday. Nearly 20,000 runners are expected to take part in the 26.2-mile event which is held on the traditional Marathon to Athens course. The race is also a five-star certified race by European Athletics Running for All.