“It is obvious that the popularity of long distance and marathon running has increased tremendously during the last decade. Running has become a topical healthy life-style trend all over the world and there are several hundred marathons held annually. In order to promote quality standards among race organizers and to single out leading road races in the world, the IAAF introduced the Road Race Labels in 2008. We are happy to welcome new races and new regions on this leading marathon map, in this case Northern Europe and the Baltics, where the running culture is developing very fast. The IAAF congratulates "Nordea" Riga Marathon on the achievement and wishes the organizers success in their future endeavors to further improve the quality of this event,” IAAF President Lamine Diack wrote in his congratulation.
“All involved parties were working for several years to attain this objective. It is a mutual achievement of all the sponsors and partners, with fundamental involvement of Riga City council. The award urges us to ensure that each participant, arriving from Latvia, Finland, Estonia, Japan, Kenya or any other country, would feel that the award was well-earned, when running along the streets of Riga next year,” said the marathon's organizer representative, Aigars Nords.
Each year IAAF honors the leading road races in the world to enhance their quality. The award is based on a wide range of criteria, including technical requirements to secure health and safety of participants, achieve high results, certain media and promotion requirements and much more.
In 2011, IAAF presented awards to 39 marathons and 12 half-marathons with the Road Race label, among them Tokyo, Rome, Paris, London marathons, Prague marathon/half-marathon, and others.
The next "Nordea" Riga marathon will take place on May 20, 2012.