Ready for our first Gold Label marathon
This year’s Tet Riga Marathon will be special not only because it has gained the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Label, which has been awarded to just 12 marathons in Europe, but also because it will feature the world’s fastest elite athletes competing for medals and a pass to the Olympic Games. Additionally, the Tet Riga Marathon this year will experience the most powerful Latvian Championship in the event’s history. Participating Latvian athletes include two-time winner of the New York Marathon Jeļena Prokopčuka, who will be running the 42.195 km distance in Riga for the first time, as well as Anita Siliņa and Valērijs Žolnerovičs. Athletes running the half marathon include Ilona Marhele and Jānis Višķers.
The Rimi Kids’ Day anticipates a record-high number of participants - 13 000 young runners. Children will be able to participate in a new race: Sprint King and Queen, a timed 60m run with numbers, in which the fastest sprinters in each age group can be crowned Kings and Queens.
Tet Riga Marathon - Northern Europe’s only Gold Label marathon
As previously reported, after fulfilling the required criteria during the Centenary Marathon, the Tet Riga Marathon succeeded in gaining the IAAF’s highest quality label, placing it alongside other European Gold marathons such as Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna, Madrid, Prague, Amsterdam, Valencia and others. Furthermore, the Tet Riga Marathon is the only one in Northern Europe to be granted this status. This means that, for Russian, Scandinavian and Baltic runners, Riga has become the closest and only destination to run such a prestigious marathon.
Potential new course and personal records
In accordance with IAAF criteria, Gold Label marathons must have at least six women and six men from the world Top 200 rankings, and at least four from the European Top 100. The Tet Riga Marathon men’s record was set last year by Ethiopian Tsedat Ayana with a result of 2:11:00, while the women’s race was won by Kenyan Georgina Rono, finishing in 2:28:22. It is predicted that previous records will be beaten this year, because a large proportion of elite runners have already demonstrated better results at marathons run this year. The Tet Riga Marathon will see world-class running stars including Ethiopians Birke Debele Beyene and Worknesh Alemu Mola, as well as Belorussian Nastassia Ivanova and Latvia’s most successful long-distance runner, Jeļena Prokopčuka. Among the men, favourites include Deribe Robi Melka, Mengisa Tefera Asefa and Samuel Tsegay. Bearing in mind the Tet Riga Marathon course, which is fairly level and fast in comparison with other world marathons, personal records are also possible.
The Tet Riga Marathon gives elite athletes the chance to qualify for the Olympic Games and World Championship. It should be noted that the Olympic Games have set new qualifying times: 2:29:30 for women, 2:11:30 for men, or a Top 5 place in a Gold Label marathon, thus also in Riga. Runners can qualify for the World Championship in Doha by placing in the Top 10.
5000 international participants expected
Apart from the invited elite athletes, it is expected that around 10 000 guests will visit Riga during the Gold Label marathon, with around 5 000 participating in the event. We're ambitious, and alongside gaining the Gold Label, hope to double the number of overseas runners within three years to 10 000. The goal is also to increase the overall number of marathon and half-marathon distance participants.
Tet to gift great memories from the race
The Marathon’s main partner, Tet, will not only provide technical support, but will also give runners a special surprise this year - several “Tet Towers” on the course. In these zones, runners will be motivated with music, and will know that they will be immortalised in photographs, meaning the runners should be ready for their best running photos. After the marathon, the photos will be available online for free. Meanwhile, supporters will be able to enjoy the finish line from comfortable stands.
This year, Tet will also be showing the running celebration not just in the centre of Riga, but also throughout Latvia and even worldwide. As before, on the 360TV live stream, anyone in Latvia will be able to support this great sporting event - the intense emotions at the start and finish, interviews with the leaders, victory triumphs and the joy of togetherness along the whole course. Meanwhile, on the Best4Sport TV channel, people can cheer on the most tenacious athletes by watching the 42 km marathon distance - cameras mounted on motorcycles will film the course, following the frontrunners in their fight for victory. Both channels are available on Helio interactive TV and the Shortcut app, which is easy to use on your phone wherever you are. Shortcut can be used to follow the marathon anywhere in the world.
As in previous years, in collaboration with Tet, we will offer the option to track your runner through the marathon app and on uzmudrini.lv. When tracking their runner on the app, you're invited to choose your favourite spot on the course for cheering them on, or taking their place in the finish stands.
Sprint King and Queen to be found among the youngest runners
Young runners will be invited to participate in the Tet Riga Marathon Rimi Kids’ Day. This year, we expect approximately 13 000 little runners to participate, taking part with their parents in the 4.2 km Family Run, as well as shorter distances: the 200m and 400m runs which this year will take place in the central marathon finish zone, finishing under the big marathon arch. The very youngest participants can run the Little Ones race. This year, the Rimi Kids’ Day will include a new timed race with official numbers, which will determine the Sprint King and Queen for each age group. Just like the big runners, the little ones will receive medals for this race. Rimi’s Labākai dzīvei (For a Better Life) experts, as well as the Rimi Kids’ Day ambassadors, the Smildziņš family, will help runners prepare for their races. Keep up with the experts’ recommendations on how to eat and train through the Rimi and Smildziņš family social media accounts.
Participant and supporter comfort considered
In collaboration with DPD, any participant from any region of Latvia will be able to get their number, bag and Participants’ Guide at their nearest Pickup point. Meanwhile, businesses can apply to have their starting numbers delivered to their office, making number collection even more convenient for their employees who wish to run.
For participants’ convenience, the Tet Riga Marathon EXPO will be moved to the city centre. This year, participants will be able to enjoy the pre-marathon EXPO experience and collect their numbers on the second floor of the Radisson Blu Latvija hotel.