The Greek Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr Pavlos Geroulanos, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding with the President of the Association of International Marathons and Distances Races (AIMS), Mr Francisco Borao. According to this Memorandum of Understanding, the head offices of AIMS are moving to Athens, closely connecting the Marathon movement with the capital of Greece. Athens is becoming the world capital of Marathon Races.

Apart from anything else, this Memorandum states that AIMS undertakes the responsibility to advertise Greece as a tourist destination during all races held under its auspices, around the world. By that, we create an enormous platform that allows us to internationally promote our country through the Marathon, consolidating its connection with Athens and Greece.

On the other hand, the Greek State will cede the area to host the new AIMS Head Offices, using to its maximum a small part of the real assets of the public sector. Furthermore, the Greek State will appoint two staff members that will daily run the AIMS Head Offices, offering administration support.

The Memorandum of Understanding has a five (5) years effect. The same period applies to the offices concession agreement, while the sponsorship agreement will be valid of the a three (3) years period.

After signing the Memorandum of Understanding, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr Pavlos Geroulanos, noted: "About a year ago, we invested in the most self-evident; The Athens Classic Marathon. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism wishes to invest in and exploit all good and important things that Greece has to offer. When we saw the excellent work SEGAS was doing, we supported it with all our available means. Last October, Athens was full of optimism, of people, of runners from all over the world that were here to honor the 2,500 years of Marathon Race. Today is the next day. As of today the international Head Offices of the Marathon Race are hosted in Athens. We are very much excited with this outcome. The authority that represents all Marathon Races and all Marathon runners of the world brings its central offices to the city that gave birth to this race as well as to all values its stands for: freedom, democracy, individual and corporate effort. We welcome AIMS and we hope that this is the beginning of a long-lasting friendship."

On his behalf the President of AIMS, Francisco Borao noted: “What we want here and what we would like to achieve is sharing the recognition of the historical legend of the Marathon, the responsibility for keeping with care the universal patrimony of the running movement and the conviction that sport is part of culture”.

The ceremony, during which the above Memorandum of Understanding was signed, was also attended by the President of SEGAS, Mr Vassilis Sevastis, the Vice President of SEGAS and Chairman of the Athens Classic Marathon Organizing Committee, Mr Kostas Panagopoulos, the General Secretary of SEGAS, Mr Panayotis Dimakos. On behalf of AIMS, the General Secretary, Mr Hugh Jones, and the Executive Board Member, Mr Carlo Capalbo, was also present.