September 4th, 2018

New Era In Global Road Races

IAAF made changes to the Label Road Races Regulations valid from next year. The new system includes a Platinum Label category.

The classification of road races was first introduced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2008 in order to ensure high standards in the world’s leading events. The system will run over three categories, Gold, Silver and Bronze, for the last time in 2019, and the top tier will be the “Platinum Label” starting from 2020. Organisers who wish to apply for a Platinum Label need to fulfil the required criteria in 2019. The criteria for the Platinum category comprises all those set for the Gold Label but additionally requires at least 15,000 finishers in the distance for which the application will be submitted. The regulations also include the condition of at least 5% of the finishers to come from foreign countries, a provision that was never sought in previous years.

To be able to apply for an IAAF Label, each race must have a minimum of 6 men and 6 women elite athletes. The term “elite athlete” no more defines an athlete who achieved a certain performance at a single race. The IAAF will determine, and publish by the end of the year, the rankings of the current year based on a scoring system, and the athletes ranked 1 to 100 will have Gold status, 101 to 230 Silver, 231 to 400 Bronze throughout the following year. All athletes eligible for Gold status will need to apply, directly or via their representatives, for a “Gold Label Licence” with the IAAF. A precondition for obtaining a Gold Label Licence is the payment of an “Integrity Fee” to the Athletics Integrity Unit, an independent organisation that manages all threats to the integrity of the sport on behalf of the IAAF. Athletes with Gold Label status failing to obtain a Gold Label Licence, will be downgraded to Silver status.

Races who seek an IAAF Label must send an application separately for each edition of the event. In 2018, four races from Turkey hold such labels. İstanbul Half Marathon in April and the Istanbul Marathon to be held in November were both granted Gold labels, and Darıca Half Marathon in October as well as the Mersin Marathon scheduled to December were granted Bronze labels.